• Entertainment

The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History

List RulesRecurring 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.
  • 1
    47
    20

    Jack Geller

    Friends
    Father of Ross & Monica Geller
  • 44
    22
    Father of George Costanza
  • 3
    36
    21

    Jerry Whitaker

    How I Met Your Mother
    Father of Barney Stinson
  • 4
    26
    17

    Marvin Eriksen

    How I Met Your Mother
    Father of Marshall Eriksen
  • 31
    26
    Father of Temperance and Russ Brennan
  • 29
    25
    Father of Jerry Seinfeld
  • Father of Rachel Green
  • 8
    23
    20

    Mickey Aldrin

    How I Met Your Mother
    Father of Lily Aldrin
  • 23
    21
    The Big Bang Theory
    Father of Raj Koothrappali
  • 10
    25
    26

    Russell Huxtable

    The Cosby Show
    Father of Cliff Huxtable
  • 11
    20
    25

    Frank Dunphy

    Modern Family
    Father of Phil Dunphy
  • 12
    15
    19

    Howard Cunningham

    Happy Days
  • 13
    16
    23

    William Barnett

    That '70s Show
    Father of Steven Hyde
  • 16
    24
    Royal Pains
    Father of Hank and Evan Lawson
  • 15
    18
    27

    Christopher Hayden

    Gilmore Girls
    Father of Rory Gilmore
  • 16
    14
    22

    Ephraim Wanker

    Married... with Children
    Father of Peg Bundy
  • 13
    21
    Father of Kurt Hummel
  • 12
    22
    Dawson's Creek
    Father of Dawson Leery
  • 19
    12
    22

    Bob Day

    New Girl
    Father of Jess Day
  • 20
    12
    23

    Harry Moon

    Frasier
    Father of Daphne Moon
  • 21
    11
    23

    Nikolai Jakov

    Archer
    Father of Sterling Archer (maybe)
  • 22
    11
    23

    Salvadore Petrillo

    The Golden Girls
    Father of Dorothy Zbornak
  • 23
    9
    20

    Ed Conner

    Roseanne
    Father of Dan Conner
  • 24
    10
    22

    Joe Heffernan

    King of Queens
    Father of Doug Heffernan
  • 11
    25
    It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
    Father of Dennis and Dee Reynolds