Evolution of the sitcom dad
In honor of the season 1 DVDs of Robert Young’s family comedy, we studied sitcom dads as they went from Father Knows Best to father knows nothing.
Father Knows Best ”Thanksgiving Day” (1954)
After 9-year-old Kathy (Lauren Chapin) wins a poetry contest, papa Jim (Young) calls her work ”nonsense,” causing her to burst into tears on live television. Of course, he later offers her a humble apology.
The Brady Bunch ”Father of the Year” (1970)
Angry with Marcia (Maureen McCormick) for neglecting her chores, stepdad Mike (Robert Reed) bans her from the family ski trip. Then he realizes she was working overtime to get him named ”Father of the Year” in the local paper. Oops.
Roseanne ”Inherit the Wind” (1989)
When Becky (Lecy Goranson) cuts the cheese in front of student council and her crush, Dan (John Goodman) can’t stop laughing long enough to comfort the mortified teen.
Family Guy ”I Never Met the Dead Man” (1999)
Peter balks at giving Meg driving lessons — ”Daddy loves you but daddy also loves Star Trek and…Star Trek was here first” — but he does offer this advice: ”If you ever catch eyes with the guy next to you at a red light, you gotta race him.”
Arrested Development ”The Cabin Show” (2005)
Oblivious to son George Michael’s (Michael Cera) crippling crush on his cousin, dad Michael (Jason Bateman) suggests he ”pop a tent” in the front yard with the girl because ”this is a good chance for you to rub off on her.”