Entertainment

The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History  

Ranker TV
2.3k votes 168 voters 2.3k views 49 items

List Rules Recurring or guest star TV fathers of main characters, though they are not part of the primary cast

List of the greatest guest star dads in TV history, recurring or one-time appearances. These guest star TV dads range from cold and distant to loving to overbearing, but they’ve all done one important thing: made great TV shows even better. Guest star TV fathers might only show up once or they might be recurring characters -- either way, they’re TV dads who will be remembered as part of TV history. After all, who can forget Frank Costanza or Jack Geller?

 Perhaps the insight they give is one reason the best TV guest star dads are so memorable. Characters’ actions become easier to understand when viewers occasionally see their interactions with their fathers. Take Kurt Hummel, for instance. When he sometimes struggles with the ramifications of his sexual orientation, viewers understand why -- his father struggles with the same issues. Even one-time guest star dad appearances are enough to explain a character’s quirks or issues, especially when that character has struggled with the absence of his or her father throughout the TV series.

 Of course, not all guest star dad appearances are so serious. Guest star television fathers can be comic relief, pure and simple. They show up, drive their offspring crazy and make viewers laugh, then vanish for a while. Many of them act as caricatures of real-world fathers, doing typical dad things, like arguing over who’ll pay the check or spoiling the grandchildren without permission. Guest star TV dads also perform not-so-normal acts -- like Mac’s father on “It’s Always Sunny,” who wanted his son to smuggle drugs into prison.

 Whatever the reason viewers love TV guest star dads, this is a list of the very best. These are the ones who’ve made viewers laugh, or maybe cry, and although they don’t show up often, they’re welcome when they do.
list ordered by
1
Jack Geller is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Jack Geller Friends
Father of Ross & Monica Geller
2
Frank Costanza is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Seinfeld
Father of George Costanza
3
Jerry Whitaker is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Jerry Whitaker How I Met Your Mother
Father of Barney Stinson
4
Max Keenan is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Bones
Father of Temperance and Russ Brennan
5
Marvin Eriksen is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Marvin Eriksen How I Met Your Mother
Father of Marshall Eriksen
6
Morty Seinfeld is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Seinfeld
Father of Jerry Seinfeld
7
Dr. Leonard Green is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Friends
Father of Rachel Green
8
Mickey Aldrin is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Mickey Aldrin How I Met Your Mother
Father of Lily Aldrin
9
Dr. V. M. Koothrappali ... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
The Big Bang Theory
Father of Raj Koothrappali
10
Russell Huxtable is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Russell Huxtable The Cosby Show
Father of Cliff Huxtable
11
Frank Dunphy is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Frank Dunphy Modern Family
Father of Phil Dunphy
12
Howard Cunningham is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Obrien News Service added Howard Cunningham
Happy Days
13
William Barnett is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
William Barnett That '70s Show
Father of Steven Hyde
14
Eddie R. Lawson is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Royal Pains
Father of Hank and Evan Lawson
15
Christopher Hayden is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Christopher Hayden Gilmore Girls
Father of Rory Gilmore
16
Ephraim Wanker is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Ephraim Wanker Married... with Children
Father of Peg Bundy
17
Bob Day is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Bob Day New Girl
Father of Jess Day
18
Burt Hummel is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Glee
Father of Kurt Hummel
19
Harry Moon is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Harry Moon Frasier
Father of Daphne Moon
20
Jackson Hunt is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Jackson Hunt Castle
Father of Richard Castle
21
Salvadore Petrillo is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Salvadore Petrillo The Golden Girls
Father of Dorothy Zbornak
22
Mitch Leery is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Dawson's Creek
Father of Dawson Leery
23
Joe Heffernan is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Joe Heffernan King of Queens
Father of Doug Heffernan
24
Ed Conner is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Ed Conner Roseanne
Father of Dan Conner
25
Milton Greene is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Milton Greene 30 Rock
Father of Jack Donaghy