Boomers’ Favorite Dad, Of The Televised Variety

In the age of the McMansion, there’s still something appealing about a little house. A pre-Father’s Day poll by AARP The Magazine asked people age 45-59 to pick their favorite television-show dad. Little House on the Prairie’s Charles Ingalls (played by Michael Landon) was the top vote-getter, picked by 30 percent of respondents. The Cosby Show’s Cliff Huxtable (played by Bill Cosby) was the runner-up at 25 percent, with Leave It to Beaver’s Ward Cleaver (played by Hugh Beaumont) a distant third, with 10 percent of the vote. Ozzie Nelson, the patriarch in the The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, garnered 7 percent. When the poll’s respondents were asked to cite the emotion they feel most strongly toward their own fathers, “love” edged out “respect,” 41 percent to 35 percent. Boomers don’t necessarily view the old man as a font of wisdom about parenting: 28 percent said they look to their fathers for advice about raising their own children, while 40 percent said they turn to their mothers for such counsel.