The New Normal’s Justin Bartha and Andrew Rannell
Someone has to say it: It’s rare that a sitcom father is a sexy beast. Historically, dads on sitcoms are sarcastic, exhausted, or flatly chipper, and therefore not nearly as libidinous as we want them to be. As NBC’s upcoming gay daddy comedy The New Normal proves, fatherhood can look pretty hot on a man. (Justin Bartha and Andrew Rannells are pretty choice specimens, wouldn’t you say?) So today, we’re looking back at 10 sitcom dads who beat the odds and came out sexy. I’m hooting “Babaloo!” already.
10. Desi Arnaz as Ricky Ricardo on I Love Lucy
Have we finally reached the first generation that won’t grow up on reruns of I Love Lucy? Kind of crazy, right? Especially since it means they’ll miss their tutorial in fiery Cuban fatherhood. Desi Arnaz may not have been the most patient or open-hearted husband, but he was hotheaded enough to establish himself as TV’s first sexy dad.
9. Don Adams as Maxwell Smart on Get Smart
I’ll say it: Don Adams was hot. Dry, silly humor is catnip to me, and his shifting eyebrows and bumbling shenanigans as superspy Maxwell Smart on Get Smart were as endearing as they were nutty. His onscreen charisma with Agent 99 (Barbara Feldon) was dynamite, and when the two characters had twins during the fourth season, I couldn’t help but hope the two had frantic telephone booth sex.
8. Damon Wayans as Michael Kyle on My Wife and Kids
I vote YES to any sitcom dad who can dispense with both heart-warming lessons and spicy humor. The My Wife and Kids patriarch handled that dichotomy well, not to mention his buff upper body, for the show’s entire run. (Apologies to Shawn Wayans, my choice for the hottest Wayans sibling.)
7. Joel Higgins as Edward W. Stratton III on Silver Spoons
Man-children! They’re rarely tolerable! But in the case of Silver Spoons’s Edward W. Stratton, he was downright lovable for a man who arranged a train track to run through his house. In the mid ’80s, it was becoming increasingly uncomfortable for men to cop Kristy McNichol’s ’70s bob, but Joel Higgins sold it every week.
6. Alec Baldwin as Jack Donaghy on 30 Rock
He may have dry-heaved upon realizing that his daughter Liddy might be born in Canada, but Jack Donaghy is a pretty kickass dad. He’ll argue with his Trinidadian nanny about telenovelas for hours if it means protecting the honor of his daughter. It also helps that he was once the hot, naked bastard from Working Girl.
5. Dick Sargent as Darrin Stephens on Bewitched
I knew a homosexual would get in here somewhere! I’ve always preferred Dick Sargent to Dick York as Bewitched’s harried ad man, even if the unforgettable Elizabeth Montgomery always stole the show as the warm, subversive Samantha. Look at Mr. Sargent’s sly grin. Neil Patrick Harris should play him in a biopic.
4. John Krasinski as Jim Halpert on The Office
John Krasinski’s knowing looks at the camera may be ridiculously uninspired at this point, but there’s no denying he’s about the cutest, most unassumingly charming sitcom dad to come around in years. Tell me you can resist that grin. Tell me! You’re lying.
3. Ty Burrell as Phil Dunphy on Modern Family
This is serious. Once every couple of episodes on Modern Family, I am gobsmacked by how hot Ty Burrell is. That dark hair. That sinister smirk. As implied by my Don Adams commentary, I have an eyebrow fixation, and Ty’s bushily calligraphic brows are effing poetic. Plus, the man can fill out a henley just fine. Julie Bowen, you’ve truly got it all.
2. John Stamos as Jesse Katsopolis on Full House
In true Get Smart form, Full House’s Uncle Jesse hastily produced a set of twins near the end of his series. All I can say is thank God, because Jesse Katsopolis is just about the hottest daddy ever to have a scheming cousin named Stavros. Cruelly, John Stamos has gotten even hotter with age.
1. Dick Van Dyke as Rob Petrie on The Dick Van Dyke Show
You can’t go wrong with a classic, and Mr. Dick Van Dyke exhibited everyman charm, goofy mannerisms, priceless joke delivery, and one of the most striking and gorgeous faces of the ’60s. He’s the ultimate hot TV dad — and not just because he can turn an ottoman accident into a splendid somersault when he pleases.
Who’s your ultimate sitcom daddy?