25 TV Dads we wish were ours

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Photo: CBS

Ray Barone – Everybody Loves Raymond

Ray Romano pretty much invented the TV trope of the hapless dad at the mercy of his strong-willed wife and meddling family. Like so many dads in our popular culture, he performed more like his wife’s oldest child who needed the most supervision. In Everybody Loves Raymond Ray Barone is a suburban dad with a handful of children and harried wife just trying to keep it all together. His over-bearing and interfering mother lives across the street and provides most of the conflict in this show.

What makes Ray Barone such an iconic TV father is the character’s willingness to take the crap that comes along with fatherhood, and do it in the most easy-going way. In real life, being a parent is far from glamorous and rewarding, and Ray schleps along in the most good-natured way. This is often to the chagrin of the people around him, who seem to thrive on the chaos that Ray despises. While they are all pulling their hair out, he’s doing his best “lean and grin.”

Even when his frazzled wife is unraveling or his meddling mother is grousing, he shrugs his way through it, doing the whole “every man” bit better than any other character on TV.