The World’s Greatest TV Dad ContestParenting Blog Humor — By Jeff on May 23, 2011 at 12:47 pm
We’ve had a falling out in the last decade but for a solid 20 years the TV and I are were going steady. At times, it was pretty hot & heavy and I’m not talking exclusively about late night cable programming.
The first show I remember snuggling up with was Guiding Light. My mom was in front of this soap every weekday at 3pm and when I hopped off my yellow school bus I was right there with her, Alan Spalding, and Rita. My eyeballs were also glued to a lot of hockey on ESPN2 (“the deuce” back then when ESPN cared about the sport). Stop right there. Holy cow did that combo foreshadow me as a complex adult! I never thought about how funny a soap opera/sports fanatic pairing was, but yeah that pretty much sums me up doesn’t it?
In between the overwrought afternoon drama and numerous Detroit Red Wings victories late in the evening were a handful of sitcoms. Cheers was a big one. Night Court too. But even before that, it was Happy Days and The Cosby Show. The papas, Mr. Cunningham and Bill Cosby’s Cliff Huxtable, were my early template for fatherhood as it existed outside my home. (Note: the only tangible thing Soap Opera dads taught me were that I absolutely can come back from the dead after cheating on my wife but will likely have to wear an eye patch as penance for my sins). My own dad coached me in many of the youth sports I participated in and I didn’t have a ton of friends as a child (that probably doesn’t surprise anyone). As such I didn’t have a ton of interaction with other fathers.
Nope, for me it was all about Don Bogle, Cliff Huxtable and Howard Cunningham. Not a bad trio to subconsciously teach me how to be a good man and eventually a good daddy. In all three I saw that a dad can be funny, huggable and soft while also being strong, smart and professional when necessary.
I’m 35 and a father of two now. Those shows of yesteryear are a fond yet distant memory but as a dad, I too am firm but playful, serious but goofy, sometimes mean yet extremely tender and cuddly. The oxymoronic nature of my non-daddy persona definitely bleeds over into my parenting. I cook, I clean, I pick out drapery, and I handle the household finances. I’m a Stay at Home, Work at Home Dad not unlike Mr. Huxtable minus the gorgeous brownstone and private physician’s practice in my basement. Otherwise, we’re pretty much the same dude
Wanna take a fun trip down TV memory lane yourself? You’ve got to check out – and vote in – ManOfTheHouse.com’s “World’s Greatest TV Dad” contest. It’s a NCAA-tournament style bracket competition pitting the likes of Homer Simpson, Don Draper and Steven Keaton against each other to determine the greatest TV dad ever. Go to ManOfTheHouse.com now to read the fatherly bios, see how the bracket is shaping up and, most importantly, to cast your own vote!
*I wrote this post while participating in a blog tour campaign by Dad Central Consulting on behalf of P&G and received promotional items to thank me for taking the time to participate.