It’s Father’s Day, and while you might mark it with a card, a phone call, or a goofy tie,consider what our dads are up against: They’re measured against our collective idea of what dads are supposed to do or be. And after almost 100 years of lovable TV dads, our real-life dads have a lot to live up to. We’ve put together a list of the most iconic dad names and the men who have the rather large task of living up to them.
Ward Cleaver “Leave it to Beaver”
Trivia: Hugh Beaumont also starred in “The Mole People” a sci-fi film from 1956 voted one of the worst in the genre.
Fred Flintstone “The Flintstones”
Archie Bunker “All in the Family”
One of the most memorable characters in TV, Archie was a bigot, but also loved his family and did the right thing on occasion. The show won numerous awards, and was #1 for most of the 1970s. It touched on all the pressing issues of the day, both comical and thought-provoking at the same time.
Less than 30,000 people in the U.S. are named Archie, but the name’s experienced a burst of popularity since 2000.
Trivia: Producer Norman Lear’s first choice for Archie was Mickey Rooney.
Michael Bluth “Arrested Development”
Phil Dunphy “Modern Family”
Tony Soprano “The Sopranos”
The name Anthony breaks the Top 50 most popular names in the U.S (1,344,404), with the most people having that name living in New Jersey, but you know Tony’s the (deeply-flawed) boss.
Trivia: Actor Ray Liotta was the first choice to play Tony Soprano, but he didn’t want to commit to a TV series, so James Gandalfini was chosen.
Carl Winslow “Family Matters”
Don Draper “Mad Men”
Homer Simpson “The Simpsons”
Ned Stark “Game of Thrones”
Robert Crawley “Downton Abbey”
Danny Tanner “Full House”
A Top 20 name in the U.S, there are over 1.5 million people named Daniel, with the most “Dannys” in Wisconsin; 1985 was the height of its popularity, 4 years before “Full House” began.
Trivia: Another actor, Robert Posey, played Danny Tanner in the unaired pilot of the show before comedian Bob Saget took the role.
Peter Griffin “Family Guy”
This “loveable oaf” of a dad is the patriarch of the odd, New England-based Griffin family, voiced by Seth McFarlane.
You’ll find the most people named Peter in New England, too: Vermont.
Trivia: McFarlane based the voice of the brewery employee on a security guard he knew while going to college.
Jim Anderson “Father Knows Best”
Little known fact: Robert Young was part of a “Good Drivers” campaign for youth in 1953, the year before the show started on TV.