SURVEY SAYS: Which TV Dad Do You Have?

June 16, 2014 ( - Yesterday was Father’s Day.

Our last Father’s Day survey asked for words of wisdom from Dad (see “SURVEY SAYS: Dad’sWisdom”), but this year, I asked NewsDash readers, “Which TV dad is your dad most like?”

The most popular choice from the list of TV dads (16.7%) was Dr. Cliff Huxtable from “The Cosby Show,” followed by Archie Bunker from “All in the Family” (9.5%) and John Walton from “The Waltons” (7.1%). Nearly 12% indicated their dads were not like any of the dads on the list.

The other choices on the list were selected as follows:

  • Ward Cleaver from “Leave It to Beaver” – 4.8%;
  • Jim Anderson from “Father Knows Best” – 4.8%;
  • Andy Taylor from “The Andy Griffith Show” – 4.8%;
  • Howard Cunningham from “Happy Days” – 0%;
  • Steve Keaton from “Family Ties” – 4.8%;
  • Frank Barone from “Everybody Loves Raymond” – 4.8%;
  • Danny Tanner from “Full House” – 0%;
  • Peter Griffin from “Family Guy” – 0%;
  • Al Bundy from “Married with Children” – 2.4%;
  • Red Forman of “That 70s Show” – 2.4%;
  • Hal Muniz from “Malcolm in the Middle” – 0%;
  • Jay Pritchett from “Modern Family” – 4.8%;
  • Phil Dunphy from “Modern Family” – 2.4%; and
  • Cameron Tucker from “Modern Family” – 0%.


Nineteen percent of responding readers entered “other” choices, which included Tim Taylor from “Home Improvement,” James Evans from “Good Times,” John Travolta’s character in the movie “Wild Hogs,” Leroy Jethro Gibbs from “NCIS” and Mike Brady from “The Brady Bunch.”

When asked to share the personality traits that made them select the TV dad they chose, readers shared:


Understands people and reality, enjoys having fun, but knows the limits.

dinosaur thoughts on reality and integration with current surroundings; inability to adapt to change.

Dad's 85 and grew up in a different time. His views on diversity and the place of women in the work place are cringe-worthy, and he doesn't edit himself. But, he's been a great father all these years, so what can you do?

My dad has never seen a tool that he did not want, loves to do home improvements and in the end, loves his wife and kids and wants the best for them.

biased; opinionated

Relxed, wise, and sure of his place in the world. Rocking chair philosophy of life and still rocking!

Can't answer this question because my dad died when I was 2. However, my mom, who was mom and dad was most like Cliff Huxtable.


funny and smart! and loving

My Dad and Jim Anderson share the traits of wisdom, but willing to admit if errs; willing to spend time with and listen to his kids; counseled, but let kids make their own decisions.

patient, loving, wise, hard-working

I guess I chose Cliff Huxtable because my dad had a great sense of humor, as did Cliff. And he kidded with my little friends, the way Cliff did. Cliff was a music lover and my dad loved music, although his taste ran more toward opera than jazz.

Patience, humility, country boy, innate sense of what is right, loyalty, common sense

hard working, sense of humor while struggling to provide for his family

absolutely none

Tells it like it is and doesn't beat around the bush.

Kind, patient.

Dad was a hardworking man who did what he had to do to keep the family fed. Yet, no matter how tired he was from sometimes working 3 jobs, he always had time for us. He showered us with words of wisdom and love.

My Dad is Italian, and he loves my mother's cooking. He also rolls his eyes a lot at comments that she makes, behind her back, of course. After 58 years of marriage, he's entitled to that!

mild mannered

His world is very black & white, right from wrong, taught the need to work together as a team and motivation supplied by the occasional (and usually warranted) slap upside the head.

There was always a lesson behind his comments

always calm in a crisis with words of wisdom that at the time didn't make a whole lot of sense but through the adult years resonate loud and clear.

Want you to learn some things by making own mistakes, but there to guide you along the way. Always willing to answer any questions.

In verbatim responses, those who’ve lost their dad, remember him, and some share more positive traits and words of wisdom from their fathers. While it seems from the list selections, most responding readers had great dads, not all did. Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said: “If you have a great dad, give him a hug and let him know how you feel. Be thankful that you had a good dad. There are some who had no dad or were not blessed with a good dad and have no idea what a dad's love feels like.”


TV dads may look more fun and act way cooler, but they never pay your college tuition and they don't come bail you out of jail.

I love my Dad. He isn't my "birth" father, but he loved me and raised as his own. How lucky for me! Even now, after my Mom has been gone for so many years, and he has been re-married for over 25, I am still his little girl. Between he and my Uncle, I have had the best possible male role-models for whom any woman could ask!

I am a contrarian on holidays like Valentine's Day, Mother's Day or Father's Day, because they are exclusionary to folks to don't fit into the Hallmark definitions of these holidays. What if you don't have a sweetheart or spouse on Valentine's Day? What if your sweetheart or spouse and your relationship with that person is dysfunctional? What if your mother is Livia Soprano? What if, like me, your dad was absent due to death or abandonment (physical or emotionally)? No, I'm not a fan of these holidays.

My Dad always believed in me, raised me to be independent, and had my back so I knew I would make it in the world.

My dad's been gone over 20 years, but I still miss him. When I try to think of what heaven may be like, I always think of my father waiting to greet me with a hug.

If you have a great dad, give him a hug and let him know how you feel. Be thankful that you had a good dad. There are some who had no dad or were not blessed with a good dad and have no idea what a dad's love feels like.

Many men can father a child. It takes a special man to be a Dad. My "Daddy" was awesome!

I'm glad I had such a great life with my father; I am who I am because of him - a real chip off the old block - I miss him terribly

Here's my six-word memoir, with due respect, for my dad: always second banana, last in line.

Today's TV dads are portrayed as fools without an intelligent thought while mom controls their life. Not true, not a good image, and possibly a cause of so many marriage breakdowns.

Best advice given by my Dad - Don't be house or car poor. Translation - live within your means.


NOTE: Responses reflect the opinions of individual readers and not necessarily the stance of Asset International or its affiliates.