Entry 516: An Emergency Appeal for TV Dads

Dear Friend,

I am writing to you today on behalf of Fathers Appearing on Retro Television Shows.

The primary mission of F.A.R.T.S. is to maintain the wholesome image of old-timey TV dads. You know, the bumbling fellows with minimal personality flaws and mostly unknown jobs. They may have worn suits around the house a bit too much, and perhaps they had shortcomings when it came to naming their kids (Kitten? Chip? Punky?), but they were always great role models for their children…and for fathers across America.

bradyBut now all that has gone to hell because of our suddenly-former member, William Henry Cosby.

As you may have heard, it has been alleged that Mr. Cosby may have exercised poor judgement in administering drugs to, and having sex with, a number of women, that number being roughly the equivalent of several soccer teams. While we consider Mr. Cosby to be innocent until proven guilty even as we remove his picture from our reception area, we cannot deny that his legal troubles have sullied the reputation of our organization and its members.

This turn of events is particularly problematic because F.A.R.T.S. has managed for the most part to stay free of scandal. There was the unfortunate Stephen Collins thing, of course, which was actually somewhat worse than Mr. Cosby’s situation, because Collins played a reverend on Seventh Heaven and because his issues involved, shall we say, the painsjunior varsity soccer team.

There was also that incident with the son of Growing Pains’ Alan Thicke, when Robin received a vertical lap dance from Miley Cyrus on national TV. But we can’t really blame a father for his son’s actions, and we certainly can’t blame TV dads for the actions of the actors who played their children, most of whom have wound up in rehab. We didn’t even kick out Robert Reed of The Brady Bunch for letting his TV son have an affair with his TV wife. Besides, Reed is dead now, as are the vast majority of our members, even the ones who were in color.

BOMichael Gross of Family Ties is still alive, though, and he is a model citizen, pursuing a second career as the “celebrity spokesman” for the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore. Reginald VelJohnson of Family Matters is still acting, but he should stop, since he’ll never have a better role than the cop in Die Hard. Tim Allen of Home Improvement got his scandals out of the way before he became a TV dad, so we forgive him for his cocaine arrest, although not for his part in Last Man Standing. And Joel Higgins of Silver Spoons is still acting, too. He also writes for the theater and gets free drinks in bars by telling slightly off-color stories about Ricky Schroeder.*

How You Can Help

I am not here to ask for money for F.A.R.T.S. Instead of signing your name to a check, spoonswe’d like you to sign your name to a petition…a petition to TV networks and streaming services.

You see, Netflix will soon be streaming Fuller House, and The Disney Channel is airing Girl Meets World, a sequel to Boy Meets World. So F.A.R.T.S. believes television should offer employment to all our old, still-living TV dads in the same manner. Let’s see Bryan Cranston in Breaking Malcolm, John Lithgow in The Third Rock is Earth–Get It?, John Goodman in Yes, Dan Conner Died But We’re Reviving Roseanne Anyway, and Dick van Dyke in The Dick (Possibly the Still-Living TV Dad from the Oldest Show) van Dyke Show.

Come on, network executives! The least you can do is schedule a bunch of reunion shows so we can see how decrepit everyone got and make fun of their various “procedures.”

In this way, all our beloved TV dads can show that they are still wise, patient and bumbling, and America can once again place its faith in the successors to Robert Young, Fred MacMurray and Hugh Beaumont.

mattersPlease do not allow Bill Cosby to make all TV dads guilty by association. We loved our TV dads. Let’s welcome them back into our lives.

Support F.A.R.T.S. today.

See you soon.

*I’m kidding about the Ricky Schroeder stories. I’m pleased to say that Joel Higgins is a friend of mine and the only remotely famous person that I know personally. He doesn’t actually talk much about Schroeder, although he really dishes the dirt about Andy Griffith,** with whom he starred in a possibly ill-conceived TV series called Salvage-1, which was something about him and the Sheriff of Mayberry flying through space collecting junk in a ship composed primarily of a gasoline tanker and a cement mixer. trio-interview-spacehelmets21[1]Really.

**I’m kidding about Joel dishing the dirt about Andy Griffith, too. Joel is a gentleman who doesn’t have an unkind word to say about anybody except maybe, as a result of this post, me.

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