Photo Credit: Fox/Courtesy Neal Peters Collection; hbo/courtesy neal peters collection; Hanna-Barbera/Courtesy The Neal Peters Collection
Before there was Jon Gosselin and the winning men of Wife Swap, there was Cliff Huxtable and Howard Cunningham – dads that really cared about their kids. Dads who wore sensible sweaters, not Ed Hardy tees. Dads who engaged their daughters rather than dating women the same age. Men who did housework without complaining (Tony Micelli) and built doghouses for the dog, not themselves (Mike Brady) and helped with the homework (Danny Tanner). In honor of these sturdy founding forefathers, we asked some of our all-time favorite TV dads to tell us what advice they would give their television daughters, if they knew then what they know now:
My Sweet Pebbles,
From the moment I first saw you, on February 2, 10,000 B.C. when you were born, I knew you were special. That fiery red hair sets you apart from all the other cavekiddies. Now, like most redheads, there might be times when you hate being different, and you’ll be tempted to dye your beautiful locks blonde with dinosaur urine. Don’t do it. By the time you’ve graduated Bedrock High, you’ll realize that standing out from the crowd is a good thing, and conformity is for the pterodactyls.
Yabba Dabba Dooo!
Listen, Kelly. Enough with the cleavage and belly tops already. I know Bud likes to tease you by calling you a slut, and bringing home a procession of losers is all you know, but I’m beginning to think that your revealing wardrobe and promiscuous persona are merely coping mechanisms subconsciously designed to mask a perilously low self-esteem. I’m sure my misogynistic rants and your brother’s penchant for blow-up dolls haven’t helped with your issues. (loud belch) But for God’s sake, cover up those knockers! Your mother and I have been talking and we think bi-weekly therapy sessions could really help you to get to the root of things. I’ll have to put in overtime at the shoe store, but hey, what good do I have to come home to anyways? Now do me a favor and bring me my beer and the remote, would ya?
Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable
Sondra, Denise, Vanessa, Ruby, and Olivia,
Let the record show that if I’ve learned anything from being surrounded by women at home and at the office, it’s that sometimes the smartest thing to do is just sit back and be quiet. But I do hope you pay attention to your mother: She somehow manages to balance a full work load with a demanding family, she always has a hot dinner on the table and she looks gooood doing it. She puts the pudding in my pop! I love you girls and I believe it you. Just remember: I brought you into this world, and I’ll take you out.
Meadow, honey, listen to me, Honey. If any guy ever touches you, I mean even once, I’m going to rip his head off and feed it to him for breakfast. I mean it. He’s dead.
Lisa, remember that time I teased you about being a crazy vegetarian like Apu? Bart and I formed a conga line and sang, "You don't win friends with salad!" Well, all I can say is, “D’oh!” I was wrong, sweetheart. I appreciate you sticking to your guns and standing up for what you believe in. Just because your old man lives on donuts and Duff beer doesn’t mean I want you filling up on empty calories. If I’ve taught you anything, it’s this: Always hit on 21, and if the Bible has taught us nothing else, and it hasn't, it's that girls should stick to girls sports, such as hot oil wrestling and foxy boxing and such and such. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I'm going to the back seat of my car, with the woman I love, and I won't be back for ten minutes!
Who's your all-time favorite TV dad? Chime in below.