Top 10 Sitcom Dads
June 5, 2024

Top 10 Sitcom Dads

Most Iconic TV Dads of All Time

With Father’s Day just around the corner, we decided to celebrate by taking a look at some of the most iconic dads in television history. Being a father can be a complicated job. Even if they only parent for about thirty minutes a day, and that’s including commercials! But all jokes aside, being a dad requires a sharp wit, expert timing, and hilarious facial expressions. That’s why all these lucky men have made our list of TV’s most iconic dads of all time.

#10 - Home Improvement

Tim Allen as Tim Taylor

He loves sports, tools, and cars. He inspired many a young man’s passion for woodworking with his show Tool Time. We’re of course talking about none other than Tim Taylor. Now, Tim’s not just the ultimate man’s man, he’s the ultimate boy-dad. With three sons who love to prank and tussle, Tim’s got his hands full. But not to worry. There’s always his neighbor Wilson to set him straight. While he’s constantly hidden by the backyard fence, Wilson’s sage advice is unobscured.

FUN FACT: Tim Allen was such a popular dad character, he currently stars in a second sitcom, Last Man Standing, where he’s the father to three young girls. A subtle nod to Tim’s run on Home Improvement

#9 - Black●ish

Anthony Anderson as Andre “Dre” Johnson

Andre and his wife Bow are a successful African-American couple, raising their five (yes, FIVE!) children in a predominantly white suburb. In a bit of traditional gender role reversal, Bow takes the role of primary breadwinner, while Dre stays home. Dre’s daily struggles include ensuring his children retain a sense of that culture about their own black heritage while attempting to balance his own parent’s ideas of how his children should be raised.

#8 - Everybody Loves Raymond

Ray Romano as Ray Barone

His parents live just across the street, his brother is constantly dropping by, and he fruitlessly offices out of the basement. We’re talking about Ray Barone. For some reason, his wife agreed to the whole neighboring inlaws thing and it’s caused Ray to regress to something of a man-child. However, these stories aren’t just some writer’s comical musings. They are direct inspirations pulled from the real Ray’s actual life. Knowing that puts the show into a whole new humorous light.

#7 - The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

James Avery as Philip Banks

He’s strict, a little cheap, and at times, has a bit of a temper. He’s not just judging you at work, but at home too. He’s, of course, Uncle Phil. While he comes across as something like a rough diamond, he’s really kind, loving, and welcoming to his trouble-prone nephew, Will. But with four kids in the house, he’s really got his hands full. However, Uncle Phil is pretty good at rolling with the punches, so on the list, he goes!

# 6 - I Love Lucy

Desi Arnaz as Ricky Ricardo

He’s a singer and he’s always trying to keep up with his aspiring entertainer wife, Lucy. Everyone knows him as Ricky Ricardo but in real life, he goes by Desi Arnaz. We’re, of course, talking about the very popular 50’s sitcom, I Love Lucy. The show's widely-watched popularity was due to the genuine love and friction between the show's two main characters, Ricky and Lucy, who were actually married in real life. In fact, the main theme of season two is the expected arrival of Ricky and Lucy’s first child. This storyline was created to mirror the anticipated arrival of Desi and Lucille’s actual first child. The rest of the shows’ seasons depict how Ricky navigates his son’s mischief, his Cuban heritage, and his natural talent for playing drums.

FUN FACT: The prerecorded episode where Ricky Ricardo Jr., aka Little Ricky, was born aired on the real birthday day of Desi and Lucille’s actual child.

#5 - Frasier

John Mahoney as Martin Crane

This dad couldn't be any more different from his two sons. He drinks beer, and they drink sherry. He munches on pork rinds, and they nibble on caviar. He relies on homespun wisdom, and they spout medical diagnosis from the DSM. We’re talking about Martin Crane and his two sons, Frasier and Niles from the popular 90’s sitcom, Frasier. The clear juxtaposition of on-screen personalities ignites the shows’ exceptionally dry humor into a crackling fire of comedy. And while Frasier and Niles are the psychiatrists, it's’ really Martin who teaches his sons the most valuable lessons about life, love, and family.

#4 - Arrested Development

Jason Bateman as Michael Bluth

There’s no lack of dads on Arrested Development. Between George, Oscar, Gob, and Tobias, there’s plenty of patriarchal figures. However, none of these men would win a ‘Father of the Year’ award. The show’s one exception is Michael Bluth. While it’s easy to shine in comparison to the other unreliable cast of characters, Michael consistently attempts to set an example of stability, consistency, and hard work for his one and only son George Micheal.

#3 - Seinfeld

Jerry Stiller as Frank Costanza

He yells. He has red hair. He wears sneakers in the swimming pool. His name is Frank Constanza. Even though he only appears in twenty-nine of the 180 episodes of Seinfield, Frank is hands down, one of the most memorable father figures in television history. It’s Frank who gave us Festivus --the holiday for the rest of us, “serenity now!”, and the Mansier --a brasier for men. And when it comes to being a dad, he’s “One in a million, Doc. One in a million.”

#2 - Schitt’s Creek

Eugene Levy as Johnny Rose

He’s not good with money, he thinks it’s called Tweeters, and his eyebrows are more than iconic. We’re talking about Johnny Rose from Schitt's Creek. As patriarchal male figures go, we’re not quite certain he’s wearing the pants in the family. Between his linguistically comical wife, Mora, to his two supremely sheltered children, David and Alexis, there appears to be too much chaos to keep everyone in line. However, Johnny Rose is always doing his best to pull his family out of the riches-to-rags scenario his crooked money manager tossed them into.

FUN FACT: Eugene Levy’s on-screen son, David Rose, is actually his real son, Dan Levy. And Twyla, the waitress in the town’s only cafe, is Eugene’s actual daughter, Sarah Levy.

#1 - That 70’s Show

Kurtwood Smith as Red Forman

Tough loving is the name of the game when it comes to Red Forman from That 70’s Show. He’s not what you’d call the most politically correct individual, nor would we call him the most openly affectionate. Despite Red’s constant attempt to find solitude and isolation, his home is continuously overrun by teenagers brought into the house by his two teenage kids. Occasionally, Red softens to show real genuine concern, consideration, and love for each of the kids in his life. Which, in contradiction to his naturally stern and irritable demeanor, makes these sweet moments all the sweeter.

Did We Miss Somone? 

Well, there you have it! We’ve rounded out our list of TV’s most iconic dads. Think we missed someone? Tell us below in the comments!



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Teresa Sassaman
May 25, 2022
How about Ralph Waite as John Walton on the Waltons. Also Michael Landon as Charles Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie.
May 25, 2022
Al Bundy and Archie Bunker
Mr TIM Kirk
May 25, 2022
I think Tim Allen is a great choice, but I vote for his role as Mike in "Last Man Standing". Through the seasons his character while gruff on the outside, was always fighting to provide the best for his family. Often revealing a soft and gooey heart for loved ones.
May 25, 2022
Alan Thicke (Growing Pains) Mike Brady (Brady Bunch)
May 25, 2022
Mike Brady from The Brady Bunch.
May 25, 2022
Of all of those shows the only one I watched was "I Love Lucy". The shows I remember are, of course: "Leave It to Beaver", "The Donna Reed Show", "My Three Sons", "Father Knows Best", "Cosby", "Bonanza", "Happy Days", "The Danny Thomas Show". However, I lived overseas for years in the '70s and '80s so I missed a lot of US TV shows.
May 25, 2022
What about Michael Landon on “Little House on The Prairie”? What an awesome example of a loving, hard-working, and faithful dad and husband who stood tough through the roughest times and seasons of the year.
May 25, 2022
Dick Van Dyke?
Karin and Tim Stewart
May 25, 2022
Andy Griffin and his son Opie (on the Andy Show, since 1958!!). Still one of our family's favorite!!!
May 25, 2022
How about Mike Brady from the Brady Bunch and the dad (Mr. Douglas) from My 3 Sons. Let's not forget Al Bundy from Married With Children.
Lyle Piner
May 25, 2022
Robert Young as Jim Anderson on Father Knows Best.
May 25, 2022
our house was like a sitcom most of the time so i nominate my dad as the best
May 25, 2022
How about Carroll O'Connor as Archie Bunker and Red Foxx as Fred Sanford
May 25, 2022
What about James Evans or Fred Sanford and let's not forget George Jefferson and Herman Munster.
Karen Gogan
May 25, 2022
Andy Griffith, My Three sons, Father knows best
Bradley Burland
May 25, 2022
Your pick of Kirtwood Smith as the #1 Sitcom Dad was spot-on! Not all syrupy and gooey towards his kids, but showing genuine affection, Red-style, when appropriate. Great pick! B
May 25, 2022
Other notable dads. Ward Cleaver, Mike Brady, Archie Bunker, Ozzie Nelson, Ben Cartwright, Andy Taylor, Herman Munster.
Carol Lewis
May 25, 2022
I agree with some of the previous comments. You left out Andy Taylor/Griffith, Robert Young as Jim Anderson, Hugh Beaumont/ Ward Cleaver, Lorne Greene/Mr. Cartwright, Mike Brady/Robert Reed, Stephen Douglas/Fred MacMurray, Dick Van Dyke/Rob Petrie and Mr. Cunningham/Tom Bosley. The only one on your list that I watched was Desi Arnaz/Ricky Ricardo.
Carol Lewis
May 25, 2022
Correction on my previous comment: I do watch Everybody loves Raymond. Ray did have some good dad moments.
May 31, 2022
I agree with Sheriff Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show, Jim Anderson on Father Knows Best, Ward Cleaver on Leave it to Beaver, Steve Douglas on My 3 Sons, Dr. Stone on The Donna Reed Show, and Danny Thomas on Make Room for Daddy (later The Danny Thomas Show). I would add Roy Rogers on The Roy Rogers Show, Charles Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie, and John Walton, Sr. on The Waltons. I could go with Tim Allen on Home Improvement. My husband wants to add Herman Munster, on The Munsters, so that makes our 10 or 11. I also agree with C.E.G. that most of those chosen on your site are questionable as fathers.
March 3, 2023
I think ward cleaver was best dad
June 13, 2024
Lorne Greene as Ben Cartwright.
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