Famous fathers in pop culture

19 Jun

Today is 「父の日」 (Fathers Day).

My wife and daughters made a delicious Mexican dinner and gave me some new clothes for a Fathers Day present.
Wonderful gifts!

For my Fathers Day blog post, I thought I’d mention the first five famous fathers in pop culture that I thought of, whether they are fictional or “real”.

So, here’s my list (in no particular order):

Homer Simpson

The cartoon father figure of the American TV series “The Simpsons” is a selfish, clumsy, overweight, accident-prone father of three.
He works in a nuclear power plant but treats his responsibilities with the same importance as he does with everything else in his life…not much.

Despite all of his flaws, his family always supports him.

Archie Bunker

If you lived in America during the ’70s, then you surely know who Archie Bunker is.
He was the father figure on the popular (during the ’70s) American TV sit-com series.

On the surface, he seemed obnoxious, impatient and un-accepting of anyone different from himself. But, as much as he tried to hide it, he actually had a good heart and would stand up and help others.

Ozzy Osbourne

This is the only person on my list who isn’t a fictional character…but in many ways Ozzy Osbourne’s life has been “stranger than fiction”.

He was the original lead vocalist of the English heavy metal band “Black Sabbath” but had even more success as a solo artist after he was fired from the band he helped form.
He was infamous during the early years of his solo career for such antics as biting the heads off of a dove and a bat (on two separate occasions) and urinating on “The Alamo”, a landmark in the U.S. state of Texas (which got him banned from that state for over a decade).

In the early 2000’s, he (and most of his family) became more famous for their reality show on MTV titled “The Osbournes” about their unconventional family life.

Baka-bon-no-papa

The Japanese cartoon 「天才バカボン」 (“Tensai-Bakabon“) is actually named after the son, who is a foolish boy…but his father, simply called “Bakabon’s papa” is even dumber than his son and has become the most famous character in the Japanese comic book and TV cartoon series.

Darth Vader

The scene where Darth Vader revealed that he was Luke Skywalker's father.

Darth Vader has always been my favorite Star Wars character. He made a big impression when I was seven years old and saw him for the first time.
It was also quite a shock when I was ten and Darth Vader said “Luke, I am your father!”.

—-
What famous pop culture fathers can you think of?

(And, to my own father…Happy fathers day.)

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34 Responses to “Famous fathers in pop culture”

  1. metalodyssey June 28, 2011 at 1:26 am #

    I picked up (on Fathers Day) Black Sunshine (2010 debut CD from this Hard Rock band) and the new Foo Fighters “Wasting Light”. I diversify regularly with my CD purchases… it’s all Rock n’ Roll to me!

    Here is another cool dad: George Jetson from “The Jetsons” 🙂 “The Waltons”… man, I’ve seen every episode two, three times in my life it seems… yet I haven’t seen that show in about a decade! LOL.

    Like

    • tokyo5 June 28, 2011 at 1:51 am #

      >I picked up…Black Sunshine…and the new Foo Fighters (CDs)

      (This is in reply to my question above.)

      So, are those CDs good?

      >Here is another cool dad: George Jetson from “The Jetsons”

      George Jetson! Great!

      How about George McFly (the father in the movie “Back To The Future“)?

      >I haven’t seen that show (“The Waltons”) in about a decade!

      I haven’t watched it since the ’70s! I don’t really remember what it was about. And I was young back then, so I didn’t particularly care for the show much either back then. I might like it more now. Is it a good show?

      Like

  2. Mom June 27, 2011 at 1:20 pm #

    wow, there are so many funny shows with funny fathers. I can’t think of another one but enjoy your post. do it on mother’s day too. and you also celebrate children’s day too, right?

    Like

    • tokyo5 June 27, 2011 at 5:42 pm #

      >I can’t think of another one

      There’s a multitude of them!

      Not only fictional characters…in the news, there are plenty of (in)famous fathers…
      Richard Heene (the father of the “Balloon Boy“, who was in the news in America a couple years ago (his wife is Japanese, by the way),
      Joe Jackson (father of Michael Jackson (who was also an unusual father)), and David Beckham (the English soccer player).

      >do it on mother’s day too.

      The next Mothers Day nearly a year from now. I’ll try to remember.

      Like

  3. Musings June 27, 2011 at 6:04 am #

    Really interesting choices of fathers. I’d add Bill Cosby (the sitcome version).

    Like

    • tokyo5 June 27, 2011 at 5:19 pm #

      Oh yeah. The “Cosby Show“. During that period of the ’80s, American TV was full of “family situation comedies”.

      I have no idea what’s on American TV nowadays, but back then there was “Growing Pains“, “Family Ties“, “Diff’rent Strokes“, “Full House“, “Roseanne“, “Who’s The Boss“, “Alf“, etc.

      Each of those had a (semi) famous father character.

      Like

  4. RH June 27, 2011 at 5:54 am #

    Fred Sanford, yeah that’s a good one, but I sure would hate to have him for a father- he always called his son “dummy’!
    I just thought of another one, Ricky Ricardo, played by Desi Arnes from I love Lucy.

    Like

    • tokyo5 June 27, 2011 at 5:09 pm #

      >Fred Sanford…I sure would hate to have him for a father- he always called his son “dummy’!

      I think Lamont (his son) knew that his father wasn’t good at showing his true feelings. He talked rough but loved his son.

      >Ricky Ricardo, played by Desi Arnes from I love Lucy.

      I Love Lucy” was a humorous show. I think the neighbor (“Fred Mertz”) character was funnier than Ricky Ricardo’s.

      Like

      • metalodyssey June 28, 2011 at 1:32 am #

        Fred Mertz looked and acted like he was 25 years older than his “television wife” Ethel. To this day, when I see “I Love Lucy” it just comes across that way to me. Fred and Ethel never had kids on “I Love Lucy” either… I wonder why it was written that way in the script? I guess we’ll never know now! LOL… 😮

        Like

      • tokyo5 June 28, 2011 at 1:54 am #

        >Fred and Ethel never had kids on “I Love Lucy”

        I don’t think Ricky and Lucy had children in that show either. So I guess Ricky Ricardo doesn’t belong on this list of famous fathers.

        Or am I remembering wrong? Did they have kids?

        Like

  5. R J June 24, 2011 at 7:42 pm #

    tokyo5 :
    Is it similar to “Married With Children”?
    Actually I haven’t watched “Married With Children” since the ’80s…and even then it wasn’t “must-see” TV or anything. It was entertaining if I happened to be watching TV when it was on.

    I guess he said that because Ed O’Neill takes part in that show, yet again playing a grumpy father 🙂 But maybe not as grumpy as Al Bundy, that’s hard to top anyways 😛 But it’s a really good show, that’s true

    Like

    • tokyo5 June 24, 2011 at 10:24 pm #

      >grumpy as Al Bundy…

      I think the popularity of Archie Bunker in the ’70s had American TV producers trying to make more “grumpy” father characters for TV sit-coms.

      Like

  6. RH June 24, 2011 at 5:19 am #

    And to my son– Happy fathers day also. Did you mention Mr. Cunningham (can’t think of his first name) from Happy Days? How about the father on Father Knows Best from the 50s and 60s, How about Morty Seinfeld, Jery Seinfelds father? We could probably go on and on, can you think of any more?
    I have to say, I couldn’t be a father to a better son, I’m very proud of you!

    Like

    • tokyo5 June 24, 2011 at 10:05 pm #

      >Happy fathers day

      Thanks. Did you have a nice Fathers Day?

      >Did you mention Mr. Cunningham from Happy Days?

      Yes. In this comment above.

      >Father Knows Best…(and) Morty Seinfeld

      Yeah, those are good ones. Thanks for adding to the list.

      >can you think of any more?

      OK. How about Jor-El, Superman‘s father? And Fred Sanford (of “Sanford & Son“)?

      Like

  7. metalodyssey June 21, 2011 at 8:28 am #

    Tokyo Five… I am your father. (Just kidding… LOL… I couldn’t resist). 🙂

    How about Ward Cleaver, the clean-cut, all knowing and super professional dad on the 1950’s-60’s “Leave It To Beaver”. Gene Simmons… his family reality series “Family Jewels” is very interesting to watch… especially lately.

    Happy belated Fathers Day Tokyo Five! I hope the healing and rebuilding process is going on well over there in Japan too. \m/

    Like

    • tokyo5 June 22, 2011 at 5:37 pm #

      >How about Ward Cleaver…(and) Gene Simmons

      Those are good ones too.
      How about Jed Clampett (Beverly Hillbillies)? Fred Flintstone? or Howard Cunningham (Happy Days)?

      >Happy belated Fathers Day

      Thanks. You too. Did you do anything special?

      > I hope the healing and rebuilding process is going on well over there in Japan too.

      Still got a long way to go! 😦

      Like

      • metalodyssey June 27, 2011 at 7:59 am #

        Sorry my response is so late… I went to Best Buy on Fathers Day and picked out 2 CD’s, my wife and daughters insisted! 🙂

        Other than that, we cooked hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill on Fathers Day and just chilled out.

        Here is another “old school” Father from T.V. of yesteryear: Dick Van Patten, the dad on the series: “Eight Is Enough”

        Like

      • tokyo5 June 27, 2011 at 5:30 pm #

        >2 CD’s

        Which CDs did you get?

        >the dad on the series: “Eight Is Enough”

        Eight Is Enough“. I’d forgotten about that show (since I never watched it 😉 ).

        Well then, how about John Walton (on “The Waltons”), Charles Ingalls (on “Little House On The Prairie”), Herman Munster (on “The Munsters”), and Gomez Addams (on “The Addams Family”)?

        Like

  8. Toshogu June 21, 2011 at 5:13 am #

    Vader was a good father. All he ever wanted was his son to join the family business. Is there anything wrong with that?

    Like

    • tokyo5 June 22, 2011 at 5:32 pm #

      You make him seem like a mobster. 😉

      Like

  9. pongrocks June 21, 2011 at 1:11 am #

    tokyo5 :
    I know that Jerry Stiller is comedian Ben Stiller’s father, but I’ve never heard of the show “King Of Queens. Is (was) it funny?

    Yeah it was funny, I used to watch it. It was pretty popular I think, at least it ran for like 10 seasons 🙂
    Like I said, jerry stiller plays a grumpy, old father who lives with his daughter and son in-law. here is a video if you’d like to watch some scenes:

    Like

    • pongrocks June 21, 2011 at 1:13 am #

      oops, I just put in the link and didn’t know your blog would embed it right away, sorry

      Like

      • tokyo5 June 22, 2011 at 5:30 pm #

        >didn’t know your blog would embed it

        That’s fine. I sometimes embed video and pictures in comments too.

        Like

    • tokyo5 June 22, 2011 at 5:29 pm #

      >here is a video

      It’s funny.

      Like

  10. Mom June 20, 2011 at 2:06 pm #

    I like your list of famous fathers! some of them are funny while others are very strange. it’s really late now and I cannot think of one famous fathers maybe I am too tired. I will try again tomorrow.

    It sounds like your family really loves and appreciates you. I’m glad that you had a nice day with them. I want to wish you a Happy Father’s day too. Pls give our love to the girls and your beautiful wife. we are so proud of the wonderful father you are to your family. love Mom

    Like

  11. gigihawaii June 20, 2011 at 2:29 am #

    HAPPY FATHER’S DAY TO YOU!!!
    I did not know it was celebrated in Japan.

    Like

    • tokyo5 June 22, 2011 at 5:20 pm #

      >HAPPY FATHER’S DAY TO YOU!!!

      Thanks.

      >I did not know it was celebrated in Japan.

      Yes, both Mothers and Fathers Day. Also, there are the Japanese holidays “Children’s Day” and “Respect For The Aged Day (Grandparents Day)”.

      Like

  12. bartman905 June 19, 2011 at 11:54 pm #

    Happy father’s day! I guess I would add:

    – Movies: Vito Corleone (who isn’t a Godfather movie fan).
    – TV: Mike Brady (Brady Bunch)
    – Politics: George Bush (both W and his father)
    – Celebrity: Brad Pitt (ok, maybe Angelina is more famous as the Mother)

    Like

    • tokyo5 June 20, 2011 at 12:30 am #

      >Happy father’s day!

      Thanks. You, too. Did you do anything special?

      That list is quite different from mine! I wouldn’t have thought of any of those fathers. But, you’re right, they’re all famous in pop culture and they’re all fathers.

      Thanks for adding to the list.

      Like

  13. pongrocks June 19, 2011 at 8:28 pm #

    The first father that came to my mind was Al Bundy from “Married… with Children”. He seems a bit like the Archie Bunker character you mentioned. Annoyed by everyone, but at the core he loves his family 🙂

    Another Father figure would be Randy Marsh from “South Park”. He can’t accept that he’s getting older and does the stupidest things to show everyone how young he is.

    Maybe Arthur Spooner from “King of Queens” is worth mentioning as well. He’s kind of a mixture of the ones I mentioned before. Grumpy, lives at the house of his daughter an son in law and does things that annoy the crap out of his son in law. The actor (Jerry Stiller) is actually the father of Ben Stiller, kind of hard to believe 🙂

    Like

    • tokyo5 June 19, 2011 at 9:03 pm #

      I know that Jerry Stiller is comedian Ben Stiller’s father, but I’ve never heard of the show “King Of Queens. Is (was) it funny?

      I have heard of, but have never actually watched, “South Park”.

      But I did used to watch the American TV sit-com “Married With Children” when I was a teenager in America.
      It was funny. I remember one episode in particular where Al Bundy was reminded that it was his wedding anniversary but he didn’t want his wife to known that he’d forgotten, so he told her that her left her gift in the car. But when he went out to get it, the car could be heard starting and driving away.
      Al returned later with a can of motor oil for his wife’s gift…because the only place he found still open at that hour was a gas station.

      A bit of KISS-related trivia about the “Married With Children” show:
      The actress who played Peg Bundy on the show, Katey Sagal, sang backing vocals on the 1978 KISS “Gene Simmons” album.

      Like

    • sixmats June 20, 2011 at 5:09 pm #

      If you like Married … you should check out Modern Family.

      Like

      • tokyo5 June 22, 2011 at 5:28 pm #

        Is it similar to “Married With Children”?

        Actually I haven’t watched “Married With Children” since the ’80s…and even then it wasn’t “must-see” TV or anything. It was entertaining if I happened to be watching TV when it was on.

        Like

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