Being a parent is obviously one of the toughest jobs there is. There are many ups and many downs to shaping the lives of one’s children. But there are definitely many sides to being a parent that are entertaining and emulated on television. I think these sides are often even more “intense” when combined with the elements of animation.
That’s why I think that cartoon dads are a great breed in television. Not only can a cartoon portray the great traits of being a father, but it can also add the “absurdity” element and put these traits over the top in almost a lovable way.
Here are six cartoon dads that I think capture this sentiment
Peter Griffin – Family Guy
Peter Griffin is the epitome of fatherhood. From belching and farting to getting into physical altercations with family members, he really shows us how to get the job done. What I really love about Family Guy is the ability to take a character who is so wrong as a father and person, and yet turn him into a completely lovable guy. It’s not an easy thing to pull off. Imagine it weren’t a cartoon character. We would probably hate this guy and never fathom him actually being on TV. MacFarlane really does a brilliant job shaping Griffin and the rest of the show for that matter.
Homer Simpson – The Simpsons
I happen to be a bigger fan of Peter Griffin but obviously you can’t make a list like this without including one of the most famed cartoon TV dads of all time. I just personally think that the humor on Family Guy is a little more “with the times.” Not sure how to really put that but I feel that The Simpsons is somewhat less mature than Family Guy. Don’t get me wrong, they are both very clever shows. I just think Family Guy resonates more to America than the Simpsons does. Nevertheless, you have to enjoy Homer’s antics. Specifically choking his son Bart.
Hank Hill – King of the Hill
This description puts it best:
Early in the series, he often says of Bobby, “That boy ain’t right.” However, Hank absolutely loves his son, even though he’s reluctant and uncomfortable to say it to his face. He even feigns an interest in Bobby’s passions such as cooking and theatre. Hank is relieved when Kahn tells him that he caught Bobby and Connie taking their clothes off, due to the fact he initially thought Bobby was gay due to his strange and sometimes effeminate tendencies. In the first episode of the series, Hank deals with an unruly social worker who calls Hank’s parenting skills into question, but this is laid to rest when Hank speaks with Bobby; when his son thinks he might be a disappointment, Hank immediately rebukes this and tells him how proud he is of him, as he is Bobby’s father and by definition is proud of everything he does well.
Ned Flanders – The Simpsons
Ned is the “perfect dad.” But the great thing about his character is that being the perfect dad doesn’t exactly produce the perfect kids. In fact the show makes it obvious how ridiculously wacko his little kids are. I mean it’s not exactly normal to quote scriptures and be THAT good at such a young age. Still though, Ned’s a lovable guy who’d do anything for his family and also anything to please his fellow neighbors.
Mort – Family Guy
Clearly based on Jerky Boy Character Sol Rosenberg, Mort is a nervous, scared, bumbling dad. I don’t have much else to say other than I love every single moment this guy appears on the show.
Southpark fans, I think that Stan’s dad is awesome. From getting wasted at an Obama rally to his heroin like addiction to video games, his up front appearance as a father to Stan is one of a caring parent, and yet his true character as a total degenerate makes him a perfect person to round out this list.