The challenge: List 'manly' TV dads

Written by Sharon Eberson on .

Edward James Olmos/Adm. AdamaThe topics that people send my way . . .

As a tribute to Father's Day, Christoper Dabrowski of the Manly Men Men blog (warning: could be rated a hard R, so you're on your own to find the link) decided to pull together a list of television's manliest men of all-time.

May I first say that any such blog that does not include Admiral William Adama (Edward James Olmos, left) of "Battlestar Gallactica" has done its homework, but then I realized this was sitcoms only. And it's not necessarily fathers. So for Father's Day, they have a list of their manliest sitcom men, who, like the Fonz, are not known for roles as fathers. Huh? "As you read down the list about some of these iconic characters, I think you will agree that we've had a chance to learn about family values, how to bond with your son, and avoid the wife all at the same time.  As a tribute to Father's Day weekend, we put together our list of television's manliest men of all-time," said Dabrowski.  

Avery Brooks/DSN"Avoid the wife"??!! That makes a man manly??!! Puh-leeze! In fact, most of the married men on his list represent TV's most loving husbands.

So here's the Manly Men Men list -- followed by my own lis, of manliest TV fathers, no sitcoms necessary. Just because.   

MMM's manliest TV men

1. Archibald "Archie" Bunker (Carroll O'Connor), "All In The Family"
2. Arthur "The Fonz" Fonzarelli (Henry Winkler), "Happy Days"
3. Al Bundy (Ed O'Neil), "Married With Children"
4. Charlie Harper (Charlie Sheen), "Two and a Half Men"
5. Tim "The Toolman" Taylor (Tim Allen), "Home Improvement" 
6. Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven), "Entourage" 
7. Red Forman (Kurtwood Smith), "That '70s Show" 
8. Earl Jehosophat Hickey (Jason Lee), "My Name Is Earl"
9. Doug Heffernan (Kevin James), "King of Queens" 
10. Frank Barone (Peter Boyle) "Everyone Loves Raymond"

POPi's manliest TV fathers

1. Admiral Bill Adama (Edward James Olmos), "Battlestar Gallactica" -- Think of him, as, oh, the Moses of mankind, leading what's left of human beings to the Promised Land.
2. Lucas McCain (Chuck Connors), "The Rifleman" -- It's on cable's Western channel. Trust me, Chuck Connors is as macho as sensitive dad's get.
3. Eric Taylor (Kyle Chandler), "Friday Night Lights" -- A loving father, sexy and devoted husband, and a high school football coach with scruples.
4. Captain Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks, above right), "Star Trek: Deeps Space Nine" -- The third single father on the list. Makes me think I should think twice about adding Ben Cartwright later on. But these sci-fi guys with military titles really fit the manly mold.
5. Tim "The Toolman" Taylor (Tim Allen), "Home Improvement" -- Tim's macho posturing can't hide the fact that's he's a devoted father and husband.
6. Dan Connor (John Goodman), "Rosanne" -- Dan, living a blue-collar life in which money was always an issue, was the very definition of big-hearted patience.
7. Cliff Huxtable (Bill Cosby), "The Cosby Show" -- A doctor, a doting husband and dad. Smart and funny can be manly, too.
8. Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini), "The Sopranos"/Vick Mackey (Michael Chiklis), "The Shield" -- I debated this one a lot. Are manly fathers less so because they are amoral? I'm writing them in while I'm still debating that one.
9. Jimmy Brock (Tom Skerrit), "Picket Fences" -- An underrated, offbeat show that had a core family with a caring father who also was the town sheriff.
10. Andy Taylor (Andy Griffith), "The Andy Griffith Show" -- Another sheriff. Hmmm. Everyone in Mayberry, not just Opie and Aunt Bea, looked to Andy as the strong, steady leader in crises big and small. And he had enough confidence in his own ability to keep a frequently inept deputy around.

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.