Happy Father’s Day From Gordo’s

Some of the biggest dippers on the planet are dads and this makes Father’s Day even more special for Gordo’s Cheese Dip. As a special “thank you” to every dad and in honor of Father’s Day June 16th, we have some surprises in the next two issues of News From the Big Dipper.

First off, it’s always interesting to know where holidays originate. In the case of Father’s Day, it was founded in Spokane, Washington by Sonora Smart Dodd. Its first celebration was in the Spokane YMCA on June 19, 1910. Her father was a Civil War veteran (William Jackson Smart) who as a single parent raised his six children. After hearing a sermon about Mother’s Day, which had just started, she told her pastor that fathers should have a similar holiday honoring them and she suggested her father’s birthday, June 5th. Apparently, there was not enough time to pull this off, so they deferred to the third Sunday of June. It took until 1966 for Congress and the president to finally officially recognize Father’s Day.

The Best and Worst Dads

Whether we still have our father or not, we all have strong feelings about this guy we call dad, pop or father. While these perceptions are based on our personal experience, some of these feelings have been based on the types of fictional characters we’ve seen playing a father on mass media such as television.

Sometimes these fictional father figures are positive and sometimes they’re negative. Sometime dad is portrayed as a wise, kind gentleman and sometimes he’s played as a bumbling doofus.  He can be debonair or despicable. As a public service (and hopefully for a few laughs at dear old dad’s expense), Gordo’s Cheese Dip presents the Best and the Worst Fathers on TV.

The Absolute Worst Dads…Ever!

Because they are easier to make fun of, let’s start with the Best of the Worst Dads. Television producers and writers have never met a caricature they didn’t like and therefore there are many choices for the Worst Dad on TV. Here are three, particularly bad ones.

Tony Soprano – (played by James Gandolfini) – The SopranosTony did the best he could to provide for his wife, son and daughter in his chosen profession of Jersey mafia honcho. This job had occupational hazards of hanging out in strip clubs, stealing money and expensive stuff and killing friends and rivals and was not conducive to the traditional role of Daddy. Everything was OK until daughter Meadow and son Anthony Jr. found out what dad did at the office and everything changed for the worse. Father’s Day must have been weird at the Soprano house and we can only speculate that if Tony and the kids had spent more time sitting around, playing Scrabble and eating Gordo’s Original Cheese Dip, all of those other peccadillos – murder, mayhem and money-laundering – would have worked themselves out.

Homer Simpson – The Simpsons – In 1989, Homer Jay Simpson became the head of of the Simpson clan and his character, while rough around the edges, is mild and even urbane when compared to cartoon dad Peter Griffin on “Family Guy.”  Homer is loud, overweight, clumsy, drinks too much beer and is prone to issue a loud burp at inappropriate times. However, in fairness, he has to put up with outrageous family members such as son Bart (“eat my shorts Dad”) and a sweet but ditzy wife Marge. There is no doubt that Homer would be eternally grateful if the whole family would leave him alone on Father’s Day and let him consume an entire bowl of Gordo’s Party Layered Dip and a cold Duff Beer.

Frank Gallagher – (played by William H. Macy) – Shameless Frank Gallagher may be the worst dad in the history of TV. As some critics have noted “he is a drunk, narcissist and overall despicable human being and those are his good traits.” He cheats the system and anyone who comes into contact with him for his livelihood and he is the occasional “dad” to six children on the show who have pretty much resigned themselves to the fact that they don’t really have a “dad.” He is so over-the-top Shameless that his character is pathetically hilarious. This could all be fixed, of course, if someone would just see Frank for who he truly is – a kind-hearted, peach of a guy who just needs more home-cooking. Perhaps he would come around and show his true paternal instincts if someone on the show would bring home some Gordo’s Spicy Cheese Dip and a bag of chips.

Why Didn’t We Have These Dads? 

For every Tony Soprano there’s a Cliff Huxtable. Yes, television has also introduced us to some great Fathers. In fact, they are so perfect some of us find it difficult to believe that these characters exist…anywhere. In no particular order, here are the best dads on TV.

Ward Cleaver – (played by Hugh Beaumont) – Leave it to Beaver Admit it, if you are old enough to have watched Leave it to Beaver, didn’t you wish your dad would have the patience to put up with the shenanigans you, your siblings and your buddies got into? Being the father to Wally and “the Beav” was extremely tough, but Ward Cleaver handled it with impeccable aplomb. TV critics have noted that “Leave it to Beaver was simultaneously every parent’s nightmare and every parent’s dream in 1960’s America. The Beaver was lily white America’s version of juvenile delinquency with peanut butter and jelly stains and a milk moustache.” He was constantly in trouble and yet his dad would calmly use these transgressions (which YOUR dad would be looking for his paddle) to teach the Beav some important life lesson. It’s too bad that there was no Gordo’s around back then. Having Ward, June, Wally and Beaver grabbing a handful of chips, dipping them in a bowl of Gordo’s and then smiling for the camera, as the credits rolled, would be a perfect ending to the show.

Heathcliff Huxtable – (played by Bill Cosby) – The Cosby ShowBill Cosby was and is a comedic genius. The brilliance of the Cosby Show lay in the fact that the situation comedy was a “typical” upper class, white collar America with a cast of black actors. It was inspired by Cosby who, at the time of its heyday noted that “he hoped it would portray a different racial view of successful African Americans and inspire millions of black American males to look at the show as a mentoring tool.” While this lofty goal was probably not realized, it did re-invigorate the classic American television sit-com and spawn a host of successful shows based on the concept. Most of the scenes from this show came from the stand-up comedy sketches that Cosby presented in his stage act and most agree that they are pure parenting genius. The only thing that would have improved the Cosby Show would be a scene with Cliff digging into a plate of wings with some Buffalo Chicken Wing Dip made with Gordo’s Cheese Dip…then looking directly into the camera, with that amazing, expressive face and saying “Oh yeah!”

Andy Taylor – (played by Andy Griffith) – The Andy Griffith Show Can you even imagine how much fun Aunt Bea would have had preparing meals with Gordo’s Cheese Dip? Andy and Opie would have been in heaven! Without a shadow of a doubt, the BEST television dad in history was Sheriff Andy Taylor.  The Andy Griffith Show cast was made up of amazing characters Don Knotts as Deputy Barney Fife, Frances Bavier as Aunt Bea and Ron Howard as Opie. As a TV historian noted about this show: “Opie grew up in front of America’s eyes from age 6 to age 14 and America learned most every valuable lesson about life, love, sharing, giving and growing up and laughing hysterically while doing it. We should all have a dad like Andy and we should all be able to go fishing as much as they did in Mayberry.

More Father’s Day Ideas Next Week

Whether your father was more like Ward Cleaver or Homer Simpson, most likely he did the best he could with what he had. If you are lucky enough to still have a father living, Sunday June 16th is a great day to show him how much you appreciate all of the things he’s done for you.

Next week’s News From the Big Dipper will feature gift and party ideas for Dad’s Day 2013. If you want some ideas for some gifts before then, you can always check the Gordo’s Pinterest page on Father’s Day gifts. Check back with us next week for more Father’s Day fun from Gordo’s Cheese Dip.


Photo credit Flickr Creative Commons