My Favorite Pop-Culture Dads and Stuff They Could Learn from and Contribute to Stuff Every Dad Should Know

Posted by Brett Cohen

In honor of Father’s Day, I have chosen a few of my favorite pop-culture dads. They don’t always make fatherhood look easy, but they usually have the best intentions.

In many ways, these guys could’ve helped write Stuff Every Dad Should Know… and could also be readers who learn a little something from the book.

George McFly, Back to the Future

Children: Marty, Linda and Dave

Stuff He Could’ve Learned from SEDSK: Over the course of the trilogy, Marty often gets bullied into things by being called “chicken”.  “What are you? Chicken?”  Certainly, George could’ve better equipped Marty against peer pressure.

Stuff He Could’ve Contributed to SEDSK: George’s confidence to punch-out Biff is an important life-lesson.  Teach your children how to deal with bullying.  (And, despite evidence to the contrary, violence isn’t always the answer.)

Jim Walsh, Beverly Hills, 90210

Children: Brandon & Brenda

Stuff He Could’ve Learned from SEDSK: Considering that Brenda never really seemed comfortable in the driver’s seat, Jim could’ve used some guidance (and patience) when teaching her how to drive.

Stuff He Could’ve Contributed to SEDSK: Jimbo was determined to teach his children responsibility in the hopes of keeping them grounded amidst the overindulgence of Beverly Hills.  Jim made certain that the twins performed their household chores and Brandon maintained a job at The Peach Pit to earn money for his car.

Phil Dunphy, Modern Family

Children: Haley, Alex and Luke

Stuff He Could’ve Learned from SEDSK: Phil’s drive in life is to be the cool dad employing a technique called ‘PEERenting’ where he parents his children by speaking and acting like a peer.  This leaves Claire as the enforcer.  Clearly, Phil could learn how to say ‘no’ once in awhile.

Stuff He Could’ve Contributed to SEDSK: In his defense, his ‘PEERenting’ technique does create a practical way to spend time with his kids.   Hilarity usually ensues.  But, so do memories that will last a lifetime.

Steven Keaton, Family Ties

Children: Alex, Malorie, Jennifer and Andrew

Stuff He Could’ve Learned from SEDSK: This family’s dynamic hinges on the sibling in-fighting between Alex and Malorie—not to mention the political divide between the republican children and their hippy parents. Certainly, Steven could’ve benefited from some tips to manage these rivalries.

Stuff He Could’ve Contributed to SEDSK: Anyone remember Uncle Ned?  Anyone remember that he was an alcoholic? Once Alex alerted everyone to his addiction, Steven and Elyse were able to speak to their children about the potential dangers of alcohol and drugs.

Noah Levenstein, American Pie

Child: Jim

Stuff He Could’ve Learned from SEDSK: He’s walked in on Jim in so many uncomfortable sexual situations that he should definitely take a cue from the entry on how to give your teen some privacy.

Stuff He Could’ve Contributed to SEDSK: Sure he’s a bit bumbling. But, if anything, Mr. Levenstein is clearly comfortable speaking to Jim about sex.  And, no matter what type of awkward situation Jim finds himself in, he knows his dad is there to bail him out.

Share your favorite pop-culture dad in the comments section for a chance to win a copy of Stuff Every Dad Should Know.

Brett Cohen

Brett Cohen

Brett likes his vodka on the rocks, his meat on the grill, and his Sundays on the couch watching football.  As VP, he likes Quirk’s projects to deliver on time, the P&Ls to be on budget, and sales to exceed expectations. He's the author of Stuff Every Man Should KnowStuff Every Dad Should Know and the co-author of Recipes Every Man Should Know.