Jun 11th 2009 By Nicholas Nadel
Ah, the pop culture dad. Is anyone more bumbling? Film and TV have provided us with a bevy of memorable dads
, many perpetuating the stereotype of the well-meaning, but dim-witted (or borderline psychotic) pop. (Actually, sometimes it isn't borderline.) In honor of Father's Day, we salute a few of the greatest moments in pop culture dad-itude. They all deserve a "Father of the Year" novelty award ... and possibly psychiatric counseling. From martini-mixing lessons to murdering mobsters, see some of the best moments after the jump ...
Bill Cosby Teaches Theo About Money, "The Cosby Show"
The Cosby clan went to great lengths to teach cocky Theo about the real world, be it through elaborate role-play games or good old-fashioned tough love. Our favorite "Cosby" moment has to be when Cliff uses Monopoly money to teach Theo how to balance a budget. $400 bucks for an apartment in Manhattan? Now that's a great joke.
Darth Vader Drops a Bombshell, "The Empire Strikes Back"
Could Vader have picked a more inopportune time to drop the daddy bombshell on Luke? Maybe he could have told him when he first arrived in Cloud City over a nice cup of tea? No, he has to go and slice off his hand before professing his fatherly love. Now that's a pop who deserves to have his "World's Best Dad" mug revoked.
Jim's Dad, "American Pie"
Not only does Jim's pop (played by the brilliant Eugene Levy) walk in on his son making amour fou
with a harmless apple pie, he has a heart-to-heart with him about it. (He even suggests telling his mom that they ate it all.) Levy's sage advice on everything from condoms to masturbation ("It's like playing tennis against brick wall: What you want is a partner to return the ball.") ensured that he'd keep showing up in the many "Pie" sequels, even when it strained credulity. (Why does Jim's dad care about the band-camp antics of Stifler's brother?)
Ralphie's Dad Gives Him a BB Gun, "A Christmas Story"
Ralphie's borderline obsessive quest for a Red Ryder BB gun reminds us of our own longing for a Masters of the Universe Snake Mountain play set, making it all the more poignant when his dad relents and gets him one for Christmas. (As the old man tells Ralphie's mom, he had one when he was a kid.) Of course the little idiot goes off and breaks his glasses with it. Some kids don't deserve cool presents.
Don Teaches His Daughter How To Make a Bloody Mary, "Mad Men"
Don Draper and the rest of the "Mad" crew are always ready for a stiff drink, be it at the office or during Sunday family time. And what better way to spend time with the kids than by teaching them the fine art of mixology? Young Sally Draper is well on her way to becoming a world-class drunk, or totally bats@!t crazy like her mom.