25 TV Dads we wish were ours

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Photo: YouTube/CBS/ABC

Ward Cleaver – Leave It To Beaver

Ward Cleaver is the model for American fatherhood on television. He’s such a solid symbol of being a dad that his name has worked itself into the popular culture as a synonym for “perfect parenting.”

Ward and June Cleaver were the parents to two boys, Wally and Beaver. June stayed home to mind the home and vacuum in heels and pearls, while Ward worked outside the home as the only breadwinner. Their parenting issues never became more serious than a broken vase or a bad grade, but they were seen to handle it perfectly.

Of course there’s no such thing as a perfect parent, but the 1950s weren’t a time for reality and realism on our television sets. Things were in such transition in reality, with fluctuating political climates and civil unrest. We looked to our TV for comfort about the way we wished things were. As much as Ward Cleaver has become a symbol for fatherhood, he’s also become a symbol for the American way of life.

To most of us, however, it’s a comical caricature, but to Leave It To Beaver audiences, he was a salve to their worries and anxiety about an uncertain world.