#186; Battle of the cartoon dads

In a truly quick hit (because it’s still Monday morning) I wanted to point out something that’s been gnawing at me lately. I’m a big fan – honestly, most people in their mid t0 late twenties seem to be – of Family Guy, The Simpsons, South Park, American Dad… The dysfunctional family cartoons that we ‘grew up’ on through high school, college, and our post-college shared-housing days. I’m too young to truly appreciate Beavis & Butthead, and I was never allowed to watch Ren & Stimpy, so the genius of Seth Green and Patrick Stewart, Matt Stone and Trey Parker have always been where it’s at for me.

But I’ve noticed something. The main (possibly only?) difference between Matt Greoning’s original family of animated debauchery – The Simpsons – and Seth MacFarlane’s reigning dictator of cartoon comedy – Family Guy – is that Homer Jay Simpson tends to want to try, or so it seems, to be a good father. He doesn’t always know how – the daily strangling of his eldest, Bart, being a great example of his efforts gone awry – but he does care for the kids’ well-being, their misadventures, their feelings. Peter Griffin on the other hand? Shoots/drowns/poisons/sells his eldest, Meg, on a regular basis, if that’s any indication as to how little effort he makes with the family.

Then again, maybe I should be starting Monday morning by asking how the hell these shows ended up being the standard to which we hold comedy in my generation. But that’s just too much thought before my fourth cup of coffee of the week. So, below, discuss your favorite TV dads!

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