Despicable Dads Dominate The Screen

Homer Simpson’s parenting skills leave much to be desired.

What’s it take to be a great dad? Don’t ask any of these TV patriarchs, who have set a new low standard for fatherhood with their lying, scheming and murdering ways. And while we would hate to call any of these men our dad, we do love watching them cause mayhem in their own families.

Homer Simpson, The Simpsons

Lazy, irresponsible, dim-witted: that’s just the tip of the iceberg for Homer Simpson. He’s short-tempered, bone-headed and often cares more about donuts than his responsibilities as a dad. While he’s often more devoted to satisfying his stomach than his family, Homer does have his fair share of winning moments, like when he sold a ride on the Duff blimp to enter Lisa in a beauty contest. But, perhaps his most memorable, and hilarious, TV moments are when he’s being the ridiculous, bumbling oaf he was created to be.

Al Bundy, Married…With Children

Ed ONeill portrayed Al Bundy on the popular sitcom Married With Children. (Photo by Columbia Pictures via

While nowadays, Ed O’Neill plays a more endearing dad on Modern Family, he got his start playing the rude and irritable Al Bundy. Unhappily married, Al peaked in high school and is now relegated to spending his days selling women’s shoes for minimum wage and finding enjoyment parked in front of the TV with a beer in hand. It’s not hard to imagine what Al’s thinking—he has no filter and is often ranting about his distaste for overweight women, his wife’s food and his daughter’s boyfriends.

Frank Gallagher, Shameless

William H. Macy plays Frank Gallagher in Shameless. (Photo source: Shameless Facebook)

If the Gallagher patriarch isn’t drinking, he’s probably passed out or nursing a hangover, leaving his six kids to clean up whatever mess he’s gotten himself into. Though he’s intelligent and resourceful, he often uses his smarts to con his way into securing money, drugs and alcohol, doing whatever it takes to save himself with little thought to the effect it will have on his family. Telling his son Carl that he had cancer and whoring out his youngest daughter to make extra money for her baby are just some of the fatherly moments Frank has blessed his children with.

Mickey Donovan, Ray Donovan

Jon Voight plays Mickey Donovan

On his road to redemption, Mickey Donovan has a long way to go. An ill-tempered gangster and ex-convict, his many faults include cheating on his dying wife, almost blowing up his grandson and letting one of his sons go to prison for him, while influencing another son to break his hard-fought sobriety. All of this and more causes his most combative son, the titular Ray, to come close to having him whacked. Dangerously charming, Mickey’s attempts to reunite with his family often do more harm than good.

George Bluth Sr., Arrested Development

Jeffrey Tambor will reprise his role as George Bluth in Arrested Development season 5 (Photo by Fox Broadcasting Company via

George Bluth won’t be getting a Father’s Day card anytime soon. He went to jail for defrauding investors, petty theft and grand theft, faked his own death and got his twin brother arrested. That’s in addition to cheating on his wife multiple times and poisoning the teachers of his children and grandchildren. George, or Prisoner #1881372911 as he’s known in some circles, was far from a role model for his kids, who all grew up with their fair share of eccentricities.

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Betsy Abraham
Betsy Abraham is senior managing editor at Anton Media Group and editor of The Westbury Times and Massapequa Observer. She also writes for Long Island Weekly.

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