Dads seem to know everything, don't they? It's like they were born to pass on their wisdom to you - how to throw a baseball, ride a bike, use power tools, make a snow angel. TV dads are the same way, and it's a good thing, because many of us spend as much time with them as our own fathers. Who grew up watching those ideal dads of the '50s and '60s - Ward Cleaver in Leave it to Beaver; Jim Anderson, Sr. of Father Knows Best, even Ben Cartwright on Bonanza - and didn't wish their dad could be that good? Modern TV dads seem to trend more toward the goofy, even buffoonish at times, but they have their own wit and wisdom to share. But don't take our word for it; take theirs.
FATHER KNOWS BEST
TV Dad: Danny Williams
Show: Make Room for Daddy (1953-1965)
Profession: Nightclub entertainer
Actor: Danny Thomas
Fatherly wisdom: "I love you, you little jerk."
TV Dad: Jim Anderson
Show: Father Knows Best (1954-1960)
Profession: Insurance agent
Actor: Robert Young
Fatherly wisdom: "I look barely in my '40s. That hardly qualifies me for the home for the aged. Yet."
TV Dad: Steven Keaton
Show: Family Ties (1982-1989)
Profession: Works for public television
Actor: Michael Gross
Fatherly wisdom: "Oh yes, we can ground her. Ground her as she's never been grounded before. Ground her deep, ground her long, ground her hard."
TV Dad: Heathcliff Huxtable
Show: The Cosby Show (1984-1992)
Actor: Bill Cosby
Fatherly wisdom: "You're going to do it because I said so. I am your father. I brought you into this world, and I'll take you out!"
TV Dad: Al Bundy
Show: Married With Children (1987-1997)
Profession: Women's shoe salesman
Actor: Ed O'Neill
Fatherly wisdom: "A Bundy never wins, but a Bundy never quits."
TV Dad: Homer Simpson
Show: The Simpsons (1989-present)
Profession: Nuclear power plant safety inspector
Actor: Dan Castellaneta
Fatherly wisdom: "I won't lie to you, fatherhood isn't easy like motherhood."
TV Dad: Tony Soprano
Show: The Sopranos (1999-present)
Profession: Waste management consultant/mob boss
Actor: James Gandolfini
Fatherly wisdom: "There is nothing more useless than an unloaded gun."
TV Dad: Tim Taylor
Show: Home Improvement (1991-1999)
Profession: Host of TV program about tools
Actor: Tim Allen
Fatherly wisdom: "There's two different types of pain. Pain and man pain ... Man pain is when you do something stupid."
TV Dad: Sandy Cohen
Show: The OC (2003-present)
Actor: Peter Gallagher
Fatherly wisdom: "Never underestimate a parent's ability to mortify their child."