By: Tatiana G. King
Dads. Gotta Love them. Especially the kooky ones. The ones that will build their kid a tree house but attempt to retrofit it with wifi. The dads that “help” with science fair projects and end up knocking holes in walls. The dads that try their very best and really are the best. To each and every one–Happy Father’s Day. This is for you:
10. Tim Taylor (Tim Allen) – Home Improvement
Back when the 90s was king, it was Mr. “More Power!” who was the cool dad. It was the frequent and unforgettable mishaps during Tool Time that made him lovable. Although not too much of a traditional geek, Tim thoroughly enjoyed power tools and employed them in the worst ways ever. Though you should never try what he did at home, he made it ok to experiment and have fun while learning. Home Improvement was one of my favorite shows at the time (JTT–you know..for the LADIEZ…) and I loved guessing at what hair-brained thing Tim would do next. While often brash and fairly rude (i.e. discussions about farting and burping), Tim never failed to make me smile in the end.
9. Captain Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks) – Star Trek: Deep Space 9
Ah good ole Capt. Sisko. Shakespeare in Space is always the first thought that comes to my mind when I think of him. Sisko was a damn good strategist and a fine engineer. In fact there were many episodes on DS9 where he MacGuyver’d himself out of some sticky situations. In a way I considered Sisko to be an almost royal handyman. He consistently had this regal aura about him that made me believe absolutely anything he said–even if I didn’t understand a word. A very firm and serious man, but loving and an exceptionally good cook; Capt. Sisko definitely deserves a spot on this list.
8. Mr. Incredible/Bob Parr (voiced by Craig T. Nelson) – The Incredibles
Everyone loves The Incredibles. I’m one of the many that silently weeps with every year that passes without a mention of the (supposed) sequel. Mr. Incredible is the super powered, super strong dad of the Parr family and is the epitome of physical strength. He’s a “real life” super hero (or a “Super” to use the movie term). Bob just wants to make the world better. And although he is hindered initially by the public (superheros do ALOT of a damage. ALOT), it finally comes to a point where he has to lead his family in the fight against evil. It’s in his strength as a father where he’s most effective.
7. Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) – Taken
While the second film was fairly horrendous, the first film was incredible in the outrageous way they depicted Liam Neeson as the most well rounded spy/hitman/mercenary you could ever hire. This guy can do it all: wet work, covert-ops missions, martial arts, defense strategy–you name it. If I was ever taken I’d want this guy on the job to get me back post haste! Whether its his daughter, wife, or anyone he even remotely considers his family, Bryan will save you. This guy always thinks 28 steps ahead of his adversaries and seems to have a plan for every situation. Need an example?: “Go in the door. Find a key in a blue box. Also in that box you will find a pill. Take that pill at exactly 8:03 p.m. The police will come looking for you in that room precisely 7 minutes later. The effects of the pill will kick in at 8:04 giving you six minutes to find a safe vantage point on the roof. At that point you will find another box. Use the key. In it you will find a sniper rifle. The pill you took earlier? Diazepam. It will steady your breathing. When you see the flare in the sky to the east, shoot at the 3rd floor balcony window. Do not hesitate.–You got that?”
6. Heathcliff “Cliff” Huxtable (Bill Cosby) – The Cosby Show
Again, while not an up and down geek, Cliff Huxtable was (and still is), one of everyone’s favorite TV dads. Cliff was a doctor (an OB/GYN to be exact) so his medical school training and knowledge ups his nerd street cred. The greatest thing about Cliff was his hilarious mannerisms, humor, and the fact that he was the essential family man. Whether it was silly bets with his wife Claire, life lessons learned through board and card games, or dreams of giving birth to 30 -foot long hoagies; Cliff was the man. And people loved him. Also, lest we not forget his infamous sweaters. Only a true geek-pimp can pull that off.
5. Dr. Evil (Mike Myers) – Austin Powers
“One….BILLION….dollars….”. Dr. Evil also falls into that dichotomy of weirdly lovable father, yet innately evil. While constantly focused on world domination, he creates schemes that tend to have massive but intentionally funny holes. Like most textbook villains he ends up screwing himself in the end (never, ever go into a diatribe about the reason why you did what you did before the good guy is disposed of). When I think about it I’m not sure if he is actually a real doctor considering he employs troops of scientists to create his insane contraptions and weapons of war. However, they are all mostly his ideas (a miniature clone of yourself, eh?). While he is usually not too kind to his son Scott, he is fairly impressed upon receiving a gift of sharks with lasers on their heads. It proves that Dr. Evil is all about the comic-book like gimmicks that create some of the most notable characters in pop culture.
4. Jor-El (actor varies; most recently Russel Crowe) – the Superman universe
Jor-El is Kal-El’s (Superman) dad and Krypton’s leading scientist that foresaw the planet’s doom. Because of Jor-El’s forward thinking mindset and selflessness, he sends his only son to Earth to not only save him from the destruction of his world, but to sew hope and help to advance humanity. Jor-El was a master inventor and astronomer; he discovered The Phantom Zone, created the hover car, and was shining example of the El family lineage; a group that made massive contributions to society and the Kryptonian culture. In the movie Man of Steel (which I absolutely loved), the live action Jor-El not only exhibited his great intelligence, but his fighting prowess. Jor-El is a definite father figure for all people and the mold in which Kal-El was cast.
3. Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker (James Earl Jones [voice]/Jake Lloyd, Hayden Christensen, Sebatian Shaw) – Star Wars
Ok so this one, while obvious, can also get a bit prickly. I mean, Vader DID chop his own son’s hand off! In the end you do get to see that he actually loves his son and its really all one big, massive tragedy. But hey, “Welcome to the Dark Side.” Still, the booming voice of Vader forever echo in the hall of the greatest dads ever. Why? Well at one point he was considered the most powerful Jedi ever born. He was a huge tinkerer as a child and young man and could easily create or fix just about any gadget or bot. Vader is an undeniable legend and face of a franchise. He is perhaps the most recognizable figure of beloved science-fiction films.
2. Eddard (Ned) Stark (Sean Bean) – Game of Thrones
While moreso nerd by association, Ned is exceptionally honorable and just. As a main character of the biggest fantasy series turned premium TV show in the last decade, Ned’s influence can be seen throughout Westeros. As the masthead of House Stark and (formerly) Lord of Winterfell, Ned knew how to hold things down and keep his family and people safe. Well, until his demise anyway. Ned was intelligent, fiercely loyal, and sometimes brutally honest. It also helps that Sean Bean, the actor that plays Ned, also plays Borormir in the vast Lord of the Rings landscape. So that brings him into the kingdom of nerdom quite handily.
1. Walter White (Bryan Cranston) – Breaking Bad
Walter. Frickin. White. An astute chemist and entrepreneur of criminal genius (and I don’t mean that lightly). Good ole Walt is perhaps the most bad ass of all bad ass TV dads to date. How do you top a guy that enters the scene as your typical dockers wearing white American dad, but morphs into the Al Capone of the meth game? And he’s actually SCARY at times! Sheesh. He is the king of schemes and has an affinity for elegant planning and strategy. While his amazing plans end up being fairly ostentatious, you cannot help but applaud the man. This guy made science look good in the most enjoyable (but highly illegal) way. Ever!
Thoughts about our Father’s Day 2013 countdown? Leave a comment below!