The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History

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.
Ranked by
  • Jack Geller
    60 votes

    Jack Geller

    Father of Ross & Monica Geller
  • Frank Costanza
    60 votes
    Father of George Costanza
  • Jerry Whitaker
    52 votes

    Jerry Whitaker

    How I Met Your Mother
    Father of Barney Stinson
  • Morty Seinfeld
    49 votes
    Father of Jerry Seinfeld
  • Dr. Leonard Green
    53 votes
    Father of Rachel Green
  • Max Keenan
    51 votes
    Father of Temperance and Russ Brennan