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Loony and Lovable: Ten Memorable Main Men

When I need love, affection, and a boost of self-esteem, I go to my mom. When I need candor, career counseling, and unconventional cooking advice (How do you brown rice? Add Coke!), I go to my dad. Dads (mine in particular) tend to have a more eccentric approach to parenting. From my own peculiar papa to Homer Simpson and his beer-guzzling ways, Dad is the one man who’ll always stand by our side. Here’s a salute to the silver-screen papas who’ve kept us watching and laughing and taught us just how far a father will go to prove his love. Related Stories: Father Knows Best: Four Heroic Dads Who Risked It All Daddy Dearest: Terrible but Lovable Onscreen Fathers TV’s Ten Most Empowering Women
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George Banks (Steve Martin), Father of the Bride
Heathcliff Huxtable (Bill Cosby), The Cosby Show
Homer Simpson, The Simpsons
George Lopez, The George Lopez Show
Mike Brady (Robert Reed), The Brady Bunch
Phil Dunphy (Ty Burrell), Modern Family
Guido Orefice (Roberto Benigni), Life Is Beautiful
Captain Von Trapp (Christopher Plummer), The Sound of Music
Chris Gardner (Will Smith), Pursuit of Happyness
Danny Tanner (Bob Saget), Full House

Mike Brady (Robert Reed), The Brady Bunch

At some point or another, every family member has wanted to trade in their dysfunctional clan to become a member of the Bradys. Their fearless leader, Mike, was a successful architect, a devoted husband, and an all-around eerily perfect paternal figure. From his hairdo to his high moral code, Mike Brady was practically perfect (and totally groovy) in every way.

Quotable Quote: Cindy, you know by tattling on your friends, you’re really just tattling on yourself. By tattling on your friends, you’re just telling them that you’re a tattletale. Now is that the tale you want to tell?

_Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Heathcliff Huxtable (Bill Cosby), The Cosby Show

Of all the unhip yet loveable pop culture fathers, the one we adore most is Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable. With his tacky sweaters and ridiculous imitations, he never ceased to embarrass his flock. Whether it was doing the twist in front of Vanessa’s boyfriend or slamming down the phone on Theo’s new crush, he made sure his kids knew who ran the show (and just how much he loved them).

Quotable Quote: I brought you in this world and I’ll take you out!

_Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Homer Simpson, The Simpsons

Homer Simpson is proof that being a good father doesn’t require a massive amount of brainpower. He’s a belching, overeating, intellectually incapacitated moron of a man. With television and alcohol being his greatest teachers in life, he’s perpetually bursting with inane nuggets of wisdom. Despite his lack of common sense, his heart is always where it belongs—with his family.

Quotable Quote: Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try.

Photo courtesy of diemer at flickr (cc)

George Lopez, The George Lopez Show

Whether he’s spying on his daughter and her boyfriend or allowing his best buddy to use his son to score a date, George Lopez is always full of candor and surprises. His attempts to bridge his Mexican roots with the lives of his American children is often awkward, usually inappropriate, but always heartfelt.

Quotable Quote: From now on, we’re homeschooling you. Whatever we don’t know, you don’t know. When did the Korean War start? I don’t know, and neither do you!

_Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Mike Brady (Robert Reed), The Brady Bunch

At some point or another, every family member has wanted to trade in their dysfunctional clan to become a member of the Bradys. Their fearless leader, Mike, was a successful architect, a devoted husband, and an all-around eerily perfect paternal figure. From his hairdo to his high moral code, Mike Brady was practically perfect (and totally groovy) in every way.

Quotable Quote: Cindy, you know by tattling on your friends, you’re really just tattling on yourself. By tattling on your friends, you’re just telling them that you’re a tattletale. Now is that the tale you want to tell?

_Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Phil Dunphy (Ty Burrell), Modern Family

Having Phil as a father would be like having a preschooler direct traffic—it’s pretty much a mess. Whether he’s getting locked in a port-a-potty or donning special goggles before chopping onions, he’s got a level of quirkiness that’s a bit quirkier than most. Phil is awkward, a tad slow, and pretty socially inept. All that said, it’s impossible not to relate to and adore him.

Quotable Quote: I’m a cool dad, that’s my thang. I’m hip, I surf the web, I text. LOL: laugh out loud, OMG: oh my god, WTF: why the face?

Guido Orefice (Roberto Benigni), Life Is Beautiful

Guido Orefice is a rare breed of awesomeness. When he and his son are taken to a concentration camp, he turned the entire experience into a game. Even as Nazi soldiers were escorting him to his final resting place, Guido ensured that his son was mentally and physically protected. Goofy, eccentric, and unconditionally devoted, Guido proves that a father’s love knows no end.

Quotable Quote: You can lose all your points for any one of three things. One: If you cry. Two: If you ask to see your mother. Three: If you’re hungry and ask for a snack! Forget it!

Captain Von Trapp (Christopher Plummer), The Sound of Music

When we first met Captain Von Trapp, he was more cold disciplinarian than cuddly dad. One hot nanny (Miss Julie Andrews herself) and a few emo ballads later, he’s transformed into a loveable, huggable, and dedicated family man. He forfeited his high-flying army career, swoon-worthy mansion, and entire life to ensure his brood stayed safe and stayed together.

Quotable Quote: You brought music back into the house. I had forgotten.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Chris Gardner (Will Smith), Pursuit of Happyness

Even though Chris Gardner was broke, homeless, and abandoned by his wife, he never left his son’s side. He turned nights sleeping in subway bathrooms into dinosaur hunting adventures and sacrificed sleep, food, and shelter to secure a better future. Try watching his journey without going through an entire box of Kleenex … we dare you.

Quotable Quote: I met my father for the first time when I was twenty-eight years old. I made up my mind that when I had children, my children were going to know who their father was.

Danny Tanner (Bob Saget), Full House

As a widower with three kids, a live-in brother-in-law and an old college buddy as a roommate, life wasn’t always peachy for Danny Tanner. From sewing ballet costumes to chatting about feminine circumstances, no situation was too tough for Daddy Tanner. He led his eclectic herd with strength, love, humor, and an always squeaky-clean bathroom.

Quotable Quote: (Puts on a record and starts dancing) This is Danny Tanner reminding YOU that disco will never die!

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