Published on June 16th, 2013 | by Ernie1
Today is Father’s Day. In the spirit of honoring the patriarch of our families I started thinking of the paternal figures from my childhood. It’s not to say that my father wasn’t an influence in my childhood, but more that his influence, stern hand and unending love was supplemented by a number of other ‘fathers’ (of the television variety). My top 5 TV father figures from childhood are:
5. Optimus Prime
Transformer and leader of the Autobots. Oh sure, he was a robot and a leader of an army, but he was often looked to for wisdom, exhibited courage and showed great compassion for the human race. He would eventually lead the Autobots in a battle for Earth, but not to control it…simply to make sure that the Decepticons wouldn’t abuse the planet and destroy it for mankind.
4. Philip Drummond
Let’s first start with the notion that he took two young boys in simply because their mother used to work for him. Then you add in the fact that they were a completely different race. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. He gave his kids, natural and adopted, every possible advantage financially while still making sure that they understood the value of a dollar. Of course, they had a full time housekeeper so they didn’t necessarily have to clean up or cook – or do any other chores for that matter – but he still showed his kids that anything was possible through hard work. It’s a shame the real life actors who played the children couldn’t grasp that concept.
3. Philip Banks
Another Philip and another successful father that provided plenty of financial advantages for his children. But more importantly, like Phil Drummond, Phil Banks took in a child that was not his own and supported him as if he was. In this case it was his nephew, and no matter how Will chastised his cousins (typically of how “bougie” or how “white” they were), Banks did nothing but support him. And when there were those “special” episodes where Will was questioning himself (either about his race or the more memorable “How come he don’t want me” episode – shown below). Uncle Phil was always there to pick him up.
2. Homer Simpson
D’oh! Most often mentioning the name Homer Simpson elicits images of donuts, Duff beer or choking Bart. No he’s not super successful like the previous two dads and he’s definitely not one that is looked to for wisdom, courage or compassion. But what makes Homer great is that he’s the loveable loser that we all enjoy being from time to time. The guy that really doesn’t get his kids or really tries to. The guy that spends most of his days on the couch or at Moe’s enjoying a frosty Duff. At the end of the day, there’s not much to admire about Homer’s parenting technique, and he is the epitome of being a slave to every desire. However, Homer also embodies the stereotypical everyman – blue collar, clumsy and simplistic in every manner. The man has an itch and all he does is scratch it, no matter the detriment to himself or anyone else, yet he always somehow finds a way to do what’s right.
1. Heathcliff Huxtable
The ultimate combination of the previous four dads. Cliff is successful and provides for his kids without overindulging their wants, opens his home and himself to any extended family (friends, neighbors, friends of friends, etc.) and yet still falls prey to his desires (who doesn’t remember him carving a piece of cake out of the middle then stuffing it with paper towel and covering with frosting?). Huxtable’s most endearing quality is his ability to recount the past with hyperbole – though it is just as quickly cut down by his wife who relates the ‘real’ truth of the past. And let’s not forget those fatherly sweaters!
These figures along with my own dad helped to shape and mold me into the dad that I am today.
Guess it’s up to my kids to tell me one day if that’s a good thing.