This week we asked readers to pick their favorite father figure (other than their own).
It was a remarkably close contest, certainly in view of the 15 choices provided – but at the end of the day, Dr. Cliff Huxtable of “The Cosby Show” topped the list with 25.8% of the vote. As one reader noted, “Although there are many others I would like to choose for comedic reasons, Cliff Huxtable was my favorite. He was the funny, goofy dad who expected the most out of his kids no matter what.” Or, as another noted, ” He was rich, he was fun, talked to his kids, what’s not to like?).
Close behind was Andy Taylor , Mayberry’s sheriff in “The Andy Griffith Show,” with 22% (” Honest, down-to-earth, fair, and never seemed to be caught up with his own self-importance as the Sheriff of Mayberry,” noted one reader), while “Leave It to Beaver’s” Ward Cleaver was a distant third with 8.2% (one reader wistfully noted, “Now, if only my kids truly listened to me like Wally and the Beaver listened to their Dad .â€¦” Homer Simpson was fourth (doah – in fact, one reader noted, “I think my two-year-old son would concur; whenever he sees Homer, he belts out a “D’oh!” ), while Jim Anderson of “Father Knows Best” fame rounded out the top five.
Other interesting verbatims:
“I learned about life and dealing with people from Andy Taylor. I use ‘Andy-isms’ in my daily interactions with employees and vendors. Of course, being from the South, I am in favor of ‘bud nipping.'”
“Cliff was always logical, level headed, and humorous. But then, wouldn’t it be easy to be that way if life were written out in a script to follow? Parenting isn’t something we practice any more.”
“Both Cosby and Taylor exhibit, IMO, what a father ought to be: wise, loving, confident, stood up for what’s right, funny, and still able to laugh at themselves …which is also why I find the Simpson- and Bundy-type characters no laughing matter in today’s world.”
“Andy had a unique way of telling us the right thing to do. Awkward and corny, but he never avoided an opportunity to teach us right from wrong.”
“Ward always knew what to do and did not freak out, no matter what havoc the Beav caused.
It’s probably bad that I don’t know half of these TV shows, isn’t it? Do I live in a cultural vacuum?! I’ll console myself by acknowledging that more than one of these shows was before my time.”
But this week’s Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who noted, “My former girlfriend thought my dad was a lot like paranoid control freak Jack Byrnes from “Meet the Parents,” although there’s no command center hidden at the family compound. That I know of.”
Thanks to everyone who participated in our survey!
The full standings are presented on the “Final Father Figure Figures” tab/page.
|1.||Vito Corleone (The Godfather)|
|2.||Charles Ingalls - Little House on the Prairie|
|6.||Cliff Huxtable (The Cosby Show)|
|7.||Herman Munster Gomez Addams|
|9.||Atticus Finch from "To Kill a Mockingbird." Smart, loving, empathetic, rock solid integrity, gentle & strong|
|10.||Atticus Finch from "To Kill A Mockingbird"|
|11.||Mel Horowitz, father of Cher Horowitz in the movie Clueless|
|12.||Ozzie Nelson (Ozzie & Harriet)|
|13.||Lucas McCain (The Rifleman)|
|14.||Mr. Cunningham, Happy Days|
|15.||John Walton on the Waltons|
|16.||Tim Russert's father...Big Russ|
|17.||Steve Martin (Father of the Bride) Or Spencer Tracy (Father of the Bride) depending on how old you are!|
|18.||George Jetson (The Jetson's)|
|19.||My maternal grandfather|
|Jim Anderson (Father Knows Best)||8.9%|
|Mike Brady (Brady Bunch)||2.4%|
|Tony Soprano (The Sopranos)||4.1%|
|Darth Vader (Star Wars)||3.3%|
|Cliff Huxtable (The Cosby Show)||8.9%|
|Homer Simpson (The Simpsons)||1.6%|
|Ward Cleaver (Leave It to Beaver)||5.7%|
|Andy Taylor (The Andy Griffith Show)||12.2%|
|Archie Bunker (All in the Family)||16.3%|
|Ray Barone (Everybody Loves Raymond)||0.8%|
|Frank Barone (Ray's dad, Everybody Loves Raymond||4.9%|
|Al Bundy (Married with Children)||2.4%|
|George Jefferson (The Jeffersons)||0.8%|
|Jack Byrnes (Meet the Parents)||3.3%|
|The Old Man - Mr. Parker (Christmas Story)||9.8%|
|2.||My father was not like any of these people because he was a very real person. He was a fine man of integrity that taught me well and loved me very much. He died 21 years ago and I still miss him. But I'm so grateful God made him my Dad.|
|3.||While not a crime boss, my father figure reminds me a bit of Vito Corleone (The Godfather)|
|4.||none of the above - he has no equal!|
|5.||I always thought of my Dad as like Atticus Finch, probably partly because he was an attorney, too.|
|6.||A great mix of Cliff Huxtable and Jack Byrnes. He's 90% Cliff, but the baseball bat he's been known to meet new boyfriends at the door with (during the highschool years) is the 10% Jack we really love.|
|8.||Fits no mold|
|9.||Didnt have one.|
|1.||They seem level headed.|
|2.||Both Cosby and Taylor exhibit, IMO, what a father ought to be: wise, loving, confident, stood up for what's right, funny, and still able to laugh at themselves ...which is also why I find the Simpson- and Bundy-type characters no laughing matter in today's world. bh|
|3.||Do you spend time with your family? Good. Because a man that doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man.|
|4.||Although there are many others I would like to chose to comedic reasons, Cliff Huxtable was my favorite. He was the funny, goofy dad who expected the most out of his kids no matter what.|
|5.||I cannot believe you left Gomez Addams off the list!|
|6.||Probably not too surprising that Tony Soprano is my favorite father figure..... I also pick "Christmas Vacation" as my all-time favorite holiday movie. Yes, real sentimental here......|
|7.||Darth Vader? Give me a break.... 🙂 The Old Man...who cussed so much a cloud of cuss words hung in the air over the house :-).... Ahhh...such fond memories...|
|8.||I think my two-year-old son would concur; whenever he sees Homer, he belts out a "D'oh!"|
|9.||He had the best sense of humor - a most valuable tool for raising children.|
|10.||Life would never be dull!|
|11.||My own father passed away when I was in college, but watching Dr. Huxtable scheme to get his naps always reminds me of Dad.|
|12.||Very - Real with Humor and good morals|
|13.||He was rich, he was fun, talked to his kids, what's not to like?|
|14.||Without a doubt, Cliff was a great dad. He knew how to teach a lesson, but always could get the kids to laugh about whatever they had done wrong, and all of the kids had great respect for both of their parents. Kids today could learn a lot from this television family!!|
|15.||standard guy who can't do much right and is always in some sort of trouble between wife and the parents.|
|16.||I didnt have a father growing up. But if I did, I think I would like Homer the best. He's a drunk, lazy slob that has some of the worse ideas on the planet. But he knows it. And so does his family. My kind of family 🙂|
|17.||He gets (drawn) better as he gets older.|
|18.||Now if only my kids truly listened to me like Wally and the Beaver listened to their Dad . . .|
|19.||A true father figure; very tough, sometimes crude, with a leaders show of strength but with a compassionate and loving core and who puts his family first. You have to love him.|
|20.||No contest - how can you ignore a loving father who said this when encountered by slimy aliens... "Please don't eat me! I have a wife and kids. Eat them! "|
|21.||What about Spencer Tracy in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? An excellent example of a realistic intelligent father with prejudices who is able to allow love to help him change. Cliff Huxtable is far and away the best father on your list, but Tony Soprano is the most realistic and complex character, I think.|
|22.||He wore the grooviest clothes and had the hottest wife 🙂|
|23.||Mel has some characteristics that - as the father of a very attractive daughter - I need to incorporate into me life. Most notable is his ability to set expectations for would-be suitors. A Melism that really rings home is when he talks to Cher's date for the evening, and explains that she will return home unharmed. To bring it home, he tells him, "I have a 45 and a shovel. I seriously doubt that anyone would miss you." Parenting examples of this kind are priceless! That's what makes Mel my favorite fictional father figure.|
|24.||Ozzie was a very cheery and supportive dad but still got the discipline across to his sons. Of course, with a wife like Harriet, how could anything go wrong! 🙂|
|25.||Cliff always managed to handle life problems with wisdom, humor and patience.|
|26.||Lucas McCain was a single (widowed) father raising a young son (Mark) in the Wild West and faced many challenges. Lucas was a Superdad but had his human failings that made him seem very real. There was a moral lesson in every show.|
|27.||The very fact that "Mr. C." was left off this list is a travesty! The man lost a son, Chuck, but he and Marion pressed on, even adopting a young hoodlum who constantly assaulting jukeboxes in local restaurants.|
|28.||My former girlfriend thought my dad was a lot like paranoid control freak Jack Byrnes from Meet the Parents, although there's no command center hidden at the family compound. That I know of.|
|29.||My Father came FIRST, closely followed by my Grandfather.|
|30.||Actually I think John Walton's dad, Zebulon, is best of all.|
|31.||Easy going, sagacious, loveable -- something all dads (including myself)should strive to be|
|32.||Cliff was always logical, level headed, and humorous. But then, wouldn't it be easy to be that way if life were written out in a script to follow? Parenting isn't something we practice any more. The Duggers are the only ones that offer the children parenting skills at a young age and thank heavens not too many humans want to reproduce like rabbits any more.|
|33.||Great sense of humor! Willing to admit to mistakes! Loved his son and wasn't afraid to show it!|
|34.||It's like the Father of the Bride character is a bunch of the above mixed together. Not too sappy like Jim Anderson, Ward cleaver, etc. He's got some Ray Barone, George Jefferson and Cliff Huxtable. He's even got a little evil in him when he thinks bad thoughts about his daughter's fiance. The perfect father in my book!|
|35.||Homer's got it made - he watches TV and drinks Duff Beer while Marge does ALL the housework; he wears the same white shirt and blue pants every day; and, he does nothing at work outside of eating doughnuts. Ah, the life of a regular guy...|
|36.||This guy has it all -- cool gadgets, great family, Astro (rut-roh!), and a job at Spacely's Sprockets where he is constantly getting promoted and demoted in the same episode! . "Ye-ye-yessir, Mr. Spacely" indeed! And how can you not feel for a guy who gets stuck spinning on a treadmill while walking his dog? Great stuff! (Feel free to publish)|
|37.||I'll have to quote Homer himself, singing to the tune of the Flinstones theme "Simpson, Homer Simpson. He's the greatest guy in history. From the town of Springfield, he's about to hit a chestnut tree."|
|38.||It may have been Jim Anderson or Ward Cleaver but I didn't watch those shows, even though I can't say they were before my time.|
|39.||The first one to show true American households - the love, the hate, teen challenges, and materialistic needs!|
|40.||No one could compare with my father, but my maternal grandfather was special. His sense of duty drove him to serve in 3 wars, yet he was the most gentle man alive. Old-fashioned, with impeccable manners, a great nature and animal lover.|
|41.||Honest, down-to-earth, fair and never seemed to be caught up with his own self-importance as the Sheriff of Mayberry.|
|42.||It's probably bad that I don't know half of these TV shows, isn't it? Do I live in cultural vacuum?! I'll console myself by acknowledging that more than one of these shows was before my time.|
|43.||I learned about life and dealing with people from Andy Taylor. I use "Andy-isms" in my daily interactions with employees and vendors. Of course being from the South, I am in favor of "bud nipping".|
|44.||He always let Opie make the mistakes, feel bad and then learn from his mistakes. His patience was overwelming and he let Aunt Bea live with them - who wouldn't want a live in maid and cook. Besides that, Andy Griffith's birthday is the same as mine and I got married on my real Dad's birthday. They both lead with a silent aura and strong belief.|
|45.||He dealt with situations with humor - without humor, in today's world, you're sunk!|
|46.||Ward always knew what to do, and did not freak out, no matter what havoc the Beav caused|
|47.||Andj had a unique way of telling us the right thing to do. Awkward and corny, but he never avoided an opportunity to teach us right from wrong.|
|48.||He talk me how to cuss|
(6) Homer Simpson
"I'm a rage-aholic! I'm addicted to rage-ahol!"
(8) Andy Griffith because he and my Father were the most alike.
I remember Andy got out the guitar at the end of one episode and sang "Crawdad Hole": You get a line and I'll get a pole, Honey...Honey.
My Father added his own verse that went something like
You get a hammer and I'll get a saw, Honey....Honey.
You get a hammer and I'll get a saw, Babe....Babe.
You get a hammer and I'll get a saw,
and we'll cut the legs off my mother-in-law,
What about Fred MacMurray who played Steve Douglas on "My Three Sons"? Now there was a dad. Or am I showing my age too much?
(8) Andy Griffith and second would be the father on "My Three Sons"
8) Andy Taylor in The Andy Griffith Show. Wise, kind, with loads of common sense.
A three way tie a) Jim Anderson 5) Cliff Huxtable and 8) Andy Taylor.
I remember a show from each that touch me than as well and probably now that I'm older and a parent. A) Bud wants to run away and join the circus 5) Cliff use monopoly money to explain life expenses to Theo and 8) Opie raises some baby birds and has to set them free. "My cage seems so empty. Yes but don't the trees seem so full."
15) The "Old Man" is the classic 1950's father that I grew up with. A pragmatic figurehead, imperfect but sincere, supposedly the disciplinarian, but actually deferring authority in the home to "mom". The love for his children shown by the childlike joy in his face at their attainment of their "heart's desire at Christmas" is real and timeless to me. The quiet scene of the "Old Man" and his wife in the easy chair after another successful Christmas is one of my family favorites.