The 1990’s were pretty much the pinnacle of the “dad” sitcom. 90% of what you saw on your TV set was either a sitcom about dads or a show made specifically with dads in mind, with the other 10% being Friends and Seinfeld.
So take a trip with us down nostalgia lane as we go through the best Dad Shows of the 90s.
We could talk about why your dad loves Walker Texas Ranger way more than he should, but we won’t. Does it matter that the show was awful? No, that doesn’t matter to most dads at all.
Your dad was around when Paul Reiser was actually known for being funny (as opposed to whatever the hell this was) so he appreciates Mad About You. He also is attracted to Helen Hunt in a “don’t tell your mother” kind of way. Lastly, Hank Azaria killed it on this show.
You may remember Married…With Children as the show starring the grandfather from Modern Family, the voice of Leela (wait, really?) from Futurama, Veronica Corningstone, and “God, I hope that the actor who played that kid didn’t end up OD’ing or in jail or something.”
Your dad, on the other hand, remembers it as “edgy” programming where a married couple bickered openly about sex and he only had to wait until season three for him not to feel creepy for ogling Christina Applegate.
Spin City is practically cheating. If there was a store of “actors and actresses your dad likes” (it’s called “network television sitcom pilot season”) Spin City would literally take half of the available inventory.
There’s Heather Locklear (cue your dad going “shaaaa-wing”), older-but-still-youthful Michael J. Fox (dads love older Michael J. Fox almost as much as they love Back to the Future Michael J. Fox), Cameron from Ferris Bueller (pretty sure that’s his legal name), Connie Britton (TAMI TAYLOR!) and Richard King, that guy with the big mouth that kind of looks like a toad, but in a nice way.
It’s like a Dad casting call.
Your dad still inappropriately brings up that one scene where Dyllan McDermott had sex in the shower that one time. He also still has a thing for Lara Flynn Boyle in a “don’t tell your mom” way despite the fact that she turned into a bit of a warning sign against the dangers of too much plastic surgery.
It’s a cop show where you see butts sometimes. We don’t think we need to spell out how dad-appropriate this is.
A classic dad show about a dad who makes dad jokes that dads like. This show was literally created so it could be included on this list. (Also it was created to give Ray Romano more money than God).
A sitcom about a football coach whose love for everything football often gets him in hot water with the old ball and chain is a show that probably can only be watched by dads.
If a mother, pissed off teenager, or college student tried to watch a full episode of Coach they’d either explode or suddenly find themselves a 40-year-old man with two kids standing in front of a grill chastising his neighbor for turning the brats too often.
This one actually has some cross-generational appeal. Your dad likes it because Danny Tanner is one of the all-time great TV dads. And Millennials like it because they grew up watching it (because their dad liked it, because Danny Tanner, and so on, and so on).
But this just brings us to the ultimate dad show of the 90’s…
Uuuuuuah? Of course it was going to be Home Improvement.
Tim Allen is TV’s ultimate dad, and Home Improvement is his 10 commandments. That’s the only reason your dad was okay with you having those damn Justin Taylor Thomas posters up on your wall growing up.
There really could only be one ultimate Dad TV show. All hail the once and future Dad King.