There was a time in television when father knew best. Kids on sitcoms used to panic in worry waiting for their father to come and find out what trouble their kid had gotten into. But as times went on the days of Danny Thomas and Andy Taylor changed. The Cosby Show was one of the first shows to make the mother the parent to be scared of, but at least in that show Cliff was not stupid. Oh sure he had his faults but he was still the father, in charge and respected.

But in the 90’s that changed, and husbands became plane idiots.I tried to find a show from the 70’s or 80’s to put on here but nothing popped out at me. Maybe Roseanne could be credited for being the first to make the father just a dumb guy who sits there while the wife rules. But Dan was notreally dumb he just knew who was in charge. Cross the line and he stepped up,big time! Some sitcoms don’t stop at making the mother the authority; they make the husband a flat out idiot! I guess it’s because more humor comes from a clueless husband but it gets annoying after a while.

But first I need to explain; dumb and lazy are different things. Most sitcom husbands in the 90’s and so forth were lazy and stared at the television. It’s what they did when the TV was off that makes me call them dumb. For instance, Hayden Fox from Coach was clueless in how modern men think and act. This caused him to look dumb in many situations even though he was a brilliant football coach.
So today I wanted to talk about five of my favorite dumb sitcom husbands.

#5. Paul Buchman (Mad About You)

There may be those who know this show saying “what??”Paul was an honest guy who worked hard and loved his wife. True, and while he was a good filmmaker he was also a real dumb guy. Let’s be honest. I could list the dumb things he did in this series. Let’s see, giving their bed away to a charity who had the wrong apartment, forgetting to mail his wife’s college registration, losing his wedding ring, dropping off at the video store a sex tape he and his wife made. And those are just for starters. He loved his wife and was a nice guy, but he wasn’t nearly as smart as he thought he was. The real annoying thing with Paul is he thought he was brilliant, and some of his most annoying moments come from those times when his ego got out of control.

#4. Tim Taylor (Home Improvement)

One thing you will see on this list is that a dumb sitcom husband will always have an expertise which makes up for his dumbness. In this case, Tim’s expertise is his dumbness. In other words if he didn’t blow stuff up all the time and get carried away with his projects, he would be your average sitcom husband. He loves his wife and spends time with his kids, and yeah he has caveman attitudes about life but he is also willing to learn and be better. But then he gets carried away and does something idiotic like getting a hammer stuck to his tongue or falling off the roof or blowing out his television after installing a new sound system. Does any of this stop his quest for more power? Nope, he just keeps trying. The reason Al Borlin was so loved was because Richard Karn did a great job expressing Al’s aggravation at Tim’s cluelessness as he destroys things and gets his head stuck to a table.

#3. Al Bundy (Married..With Children)

I was not much of a fan of this show which is why I don’t talk much about it. But in this category there was no way I could overlook him.Al Bundy set the standard for lazy, slob husbands that so many sitcoms in the90’s tried to copy. Al wasn’t just an idiot, he was a miserable human being who hated his life and took it out on everyone. While Al has a job as a shoe salesman, he hates it which makes him even more miserable. He also has no ethics, he has done many rotten things in the course of the series and all for his own selfish gain. It’s no wonder his wife just takes advantage of him and has fun, she isn’t going to find it with Al! He also can’t do anything, and where Tim Taylor knew how to use tools but would get carried away Al is just clueless and has no idea what he is doing. So why did people like this guy then? Because he was one of best fleshed out characters ever, and fans really got to know the poor slob. Ed O’Neil did a great job with him.

#2. Ray Barone (Everybody Loves Raymond)

Who else? Ray is lazy and never helps around the house, but that isn’t what makes him a dumb husband. That makes him a bad husband. What makes him a dumb husband is his inability to stand up for himself! His wife pushes him around, and his mother treats him like he is still a little boy in diapers! He has managed to make a career as a sportswriter but how that happened is a mystery. In fact they did an episode on that very thing, when aradio show host declared he hated Ray because Ray was to dumb for the career heis in. Oh, and did I mention how horny this guy is? I always felt he should seea doctor for an overactive sex drive the way he acts. The thing about Ray is he seemed to know how dumb he was, for the most part. Maybe that’s what made him bearable, the fact he wasn’t clueless to his own stupidity. Ray tried very hard to be a nice guy and just make everybody happy, but usually fails. What makes him worst than Al? The worst thing about Ray is the way he ignored his kids, sure he loves them but would rather golf than play with them.He also seems to hate spending time with his wife, with several episodes about the fact Ray never spends time with Debra and it never seems to bother him.

#1. Homer Simpson (The Simpsons)

If Al set the standard, Homer perfected it! Homer is the classic 90’s dumb husband. And that is why weloved him. I did a list of breakthrough characters and he almost deserves aplace on that to, because Bart was the start of the show. But Homer and isutter cluelessness is just so funny to watch. It;s really amazing how dimwittedthis guy is, and yet he has a wife and loving family! In fact one of TheSimpson’s better episode addressed that fact, what did Homer do to deserve sucha break? But we enjoy watching him as he stumbles his way through life insearch for beer or donuts. He is aware of when he does stupid things, as heexclaims with his classic D’oh! Homer does love his family and can be a loyalguy, be he is so dim witted that most of his attempts to do things do not workout. In fact during the series run Home has gotten dumber and dumber, but westill love him.

Honorary Mention-Peter Griffin from Family Guy. I never saw the show but have been told he makes Homer look like Einstein

For those wondering why Doug Heffernan from “King ofQueens” isn’t on here, I never really thought he was dumb. Ok he’s nogenius but he isn’t quite as dumb as Ray and will actually stand up for himselfwhen his wife is yelling at him! He’s also selfish but that is not the same asdumb. As for Jim from “According to Jim”, he is another”caveman” husband more than an idiot besides I hated that show somuch I don’t feel like acknowledging (eight seasons? really?). Then of coursethere was Mark Addy on “Still Standing” who was so lazy even Homerwould get sick of his lying around!

Let me know if you disagree or think I missed someone. Next time maybe I will discuss bitchy wives (we all know who would lead that list!)

By richb

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