25 TV Dads we wish were ours

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Photo: Paramount TV

Dan Conner – Roseanne

Middle America and the working class have been woefully underrepresented on network TV. When Dan Conner appeared as the most relatable blue collar dad on ABC’s Roseanne, it felt like I already knew him. That was the appeal of this show, and truthfully, all the characters. They were designed to feel like someone we already knew, and loved. He was outgoing and funny, but still as solid as a character as you needed to run a family in the middle of that pandemonium.

It took a big personality to compete with Roseanne Barr’s portrayal of the brassy mom raising three kids in the Midwest. John Goodman never once got lost in her shadow and their chemistry on screen was enough to make America fall in love with them as a family. He was a convincing leader, but he was also an excellent partner to his wife.

Dan, on his own, however, was a great dad to his kids, Becky, Darlene, and DJ. What makes him stand out is the sheer effort he put forth, even when you could tell he was clueless about what to say or do. Every episode, he showed up for the kids and contributed as best as he could, knowing when to defer to their mother (as most good dads do).