One of the best pieces of advice my dad ever gave me was to fall in love with a nerd. I’m just a month shy of 26, but I finally did as I was told and couldn’t be happier. Not only are nerdy guys hilarious in real life, but they’re also awesome in pop culture. Forget “cool” fathers, these dorky TV dads inspire excellent jokes, storylines and relationships. Here are the best nerdy dads on TV:
9. Phil Dunphy
Phil Dunphy is hands down the dorkiest (and funniest) father on television. He’s cool in his overwhelming uncoolness and attempts at intimidation. His daughters’ male friends come over and he thinks he can give them a good scare, but in the end, he just embarrasses himself and the girls. That’s totally OK. I’d rather have silly Phil as a dad than a cool dad who doesn’t care enough to try.
8. Mitchell Pritchett
He’s a little different from the rest of the Modern Family gang. Mitch is an Ivy league lawyer who isn’t afraid to correct people, but underneath that know-it-all, elitist exterior is a loving nerd who just wants to provide for his delightful daughter and partner Cam.
7. George Altman
George is a slick city guy with mojo in Suburgatory, but he’s a closet nerd if there ever was one. I’ll never forget the episode in which he lathers himself up to secretly bathe in his friend’s amazing new shower.
6. Danny Tanner
You can’t raise three girls without a sense of humor, and Danny Tanner’s happens to be on the cheesy side. That’s fine by me.
5. Luke Danes
Like George, Luke is another subtle nerd. Soon after finding out he has a daughter, Luke hovers and becomes extremely overprotective. He obsesses about her potentially kissing boys and can’t help butting into her personal life. It’s annoying for a girl trying to grow up, but it’s sweet to see how invested this dad really is.
4. Sandy Cohen
I love everything about The O.C.’s Sandy Cohen, perhaps one of the biggest male feminists in television. He’s a well-read, politically active purveyor of wisdom for son Seth, and he’s totally happy that he’s not the house breadwinner. He’s a smart guy who came from very little in NYC and managed to make it big in California, and he relays good values to Seth and Ryan. I wish Sandy Cohen existed in real life.
3. Cameron Tucker
Like Mitch, Modern Family’s Cam has a silly streak, which comes through when he plays with their little girl or is asked to work more often. He’d rather go to a tea party, thanks!
2. Cyrus Rose
At first, Gossip Girl’s Blair Waldorf is skeptical of her mother’s short new boyfriend Cyrus, but Blair gets attached to Cyrus very quickly. He may be not be the hottest bachelor in NYC, but he’s a great lawyer and a sweet father figure.
1. Sam McGuire
It’s been a while since I’ve watched Lizzie McGuire, but I do remember her dad being really goofy. He’s uncomfortable with the prospect of his young girl dating or kissing, and he also goes on a witch hunt against lawn gnomes at one point. Don’t as me why. I’m not a nerdy dad.