Once again, prosecutors have failed to get sexual assault charges to stick to Bill Cosby as the jury in his most recent (but probably not the last) criminal trial.
Look, I’m not gonna sit here and peddle some lukewarm take about race and feminism and how they relate to the latest Cosby trial. I do know that Bill Cosby is very high on the list of people America really, really doesn’t want to be a serial rapist, which I have to imagine has something to do with the fact that jurors are having a really, really tough time pulling the trigger on this guy.
I’m not gonna say that Bill Cosby is definitely a rapist, but I will say that dozens of women all accusing the guy of doing the same thing in the same way is extraordinarily suspicious. That’s the long and short of my take since ultimately I’m too lazy to look into defamation law and I’d rather play it safe since, after all, Cosby still hasn’t been convicted. If you ask me, Cosby would have done well to model himself after an upstanding, respectable person who doesn’t get involved in this sordid stuff like Clarence Thomas.
Anyway, the real story here is that if you want to commit a heinous crime, the move is to first ingrain yourself in the American psyche as a wise, loving father figure. Seriously, people love TV dad’s so much I think pretty much any of them would be able to commit major crimes and, if their timing was right, there would be no group of 12 people in America ready throw him in the clink for good.
In the spirit of that, let’s take a look at the Mount Rushmore of the most unconvictable TV dads, and what crimes they would probably commit.
Red Forman – That 70’s Show
Red Forman was a great character because he was, for lack of a better word, a dick. Most TV dads are all hugs and advice and forgiveness, but Red had the unmistakable edge of a multi-war veteran who got laid off after 20 years at the auto plant. It’s a classic American story, and it must have been refreshing to see a TV dad who wasn’t afraid to call his son a dumbass when he was being a goddamn dumbass.
Of course, Red is a loving father and husband too. He and Kitty led that family through some hard times and they came out OK on the other end. But if he had a vice, it was certainly wrath. I don’t know who and I don’t know when (probably some goddamn hippie), but if Red Forman is committing a crime, it’s murder. Murder by foot in the ass.
Howard Cunningham – Happy Days
Happy Days, for those who haven’t seen it, was essentially That 50’s Show during the 70’s (which That 70’s Show was definitely aware of, since the characters watched Happy Days all the time). Howard Cunningham was one of the OG advice-giving TV dads. I have to imagine people were walking up to Tom Bosley in the street telling him their problems about liking a girl in school or whatever.
But the thing about the “glory days” of the 50’s, if you believe the 50’s were any good, is that they crashed to a halt during the civil/political strife of the 60’s and the economic downturn in the 70’s. Howard Cunningham couldn’t have predicted this, so maybe he makes a few questionable business decisions with his mom and pop hardware store downtown and has to make some tough decisions so he doesn’t go bankrupt trying to support Archie after he developed his cocaine problem (you can thank the Fonz for that one.) At the end of his rope, Howard Cunningham ultimately commits insurance fraud by staging an electrical fire at the hardware store.
Danny Tanner – Full House
Danny Tanner would be especially hard to put behind bars because if you do that, you’re leaving Uncle Joey and Uncle Jesse alone to raise three kids, which is criminal enough in itself. Sure, they did a great job with Danny around, but they could just pass all the real problems along cause he was the real dad. Two bachelors outnumbered by women in the house (who they also have to raise) is a recipe of disaster, and I guarantee you the Tanner children would be “in the system” within weeks of Danny being dragged off in cuffs.
So of all TV dads, I think Danny could get away with the most fucked up shit. And he has a lot of steam to blow off because in the first several seasons he’s basically single-dad-raising Joey and Jesse along with his three young girls. Danny Tanner could get away with murder, but he wouldn’t stop there. California is the state of serial killers, and Danny Tanner would be their king. 100% guarantee he’s staying up late every night to torture homeless people in his basement.
Archie Bunker – All in the Family
We know Archie Bunker could get away with anything because he was the most unabashed dick of anyone on this list. Red was a dick when people around him (mainly Eric) were being dicks, but Archie Bunker was just a racist, miserable sourpuss all day every day. And still, America found him as charming as they found him shocking.
Obviously Archie Bunker’s crimes are gonna be hate crimes. Wave after wave of immigrants into New York would eventually drive the man over the edge to start committing wanton acts of vandalism, destruction, and minor violence. Sure he would eventually get caught, but instead of getting him convicted his trial would propel him to national prominence as he starts and wins an outsider political campaign to the US House of Representatives.
There’s a very obvious moral to this blog: to all you would-be criminals out there who want to commit crimes but fear the mighty hand of justice, the answer is simple. Become a TV dad and no 12 Americans would ever bring themselves to be able to lock you up.