Our June is for the Dads series continues! This time we’re getting silly with dads from the popular Cartoon Network shows The Amazing World of Gumball and Johnny Test. In case you missed it, Darth Vader and Gomez Addams spearheaded our last post.

June 7th – Richard Watterson, The Amazing World of Gumball

British-American animated comedy series The Amazing World of Gumball is home to many extraordinary and odd characters. It is about a 12-year-old anthropomorphic blue cat named Gumball Watterson and his family, which includes adoptive brother Darwin, genius sister Anais, workaholic mother Nichole, and lazy father Richard.

Richard is not a traditional wise father nor is he a typical stay-at-home dad. He is a pink and overweight rabbit who spends most of his time eating, sleeping and watching TV. Since 1983, he has been recognized as “the laziest person in Elmore.”

The Amazing World of Gumball - The Watterson Family
The Amazing World of Gumball – The Watterson Family Credit: Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.

Now wait, how can this man be the Father of the Day? Breathe, let us explain. His antics are concerning and put his parenting skills into question. Between the children’s mischief and his own lack of judgement, there are moments the terms “neglect”, “endangerment” and “irresponsible” come to mind. Throwing those judgements aside and taking the show for what it is, you can see his shining moments. Beneath his squishy exterior lies the heart of a father.

Richard Watterson’s Heartfelt Song About His Journey As A Father:

Richard is proof that children need fun in their lives. Though misguided and childlike at times, he provides both humor and comedic relief for his kids. On days when it’s hard to send them to school with a smile on their face, he offers comfort in the form of a “wonder hug,” a hug filled with all the love and happiness in the world. A wonder hug sounds like a silly concept, but the meaning behind it is powerful and effective, as exemplified by the colorful mushroom cloud it creates as well as Gumball and Darwin’s positive change in attitude.

Being an adult doesn’t stop Richard from learning from his children. They’ve gone out of their way to help him believe in magic and work through personal struggles, such as the abandonment issues he developed when his father walked out on him as a kid. Richard held onto the belief that his father had gone out for milk well into his adulthood, however, it was shattered when his mother’s remarriage came up and the truth came to light. After a flood of tears, his family was there to help him through it. Despite what his own father did, Richard welcomed him back with open arms. They’ve held a relatively healthy relationship including family visits and weekend stays.

He’s had to play bad cop, learn to say no, and also embarrassed his children on many occasions. Despite his flaws, he’s shown that love is what it takes to be a good dad.

Bonus:

The voice actor for Richard gives his own insight into the character.

June 8th – Hugh Test, Johnny Test

Presenting Hugh Test from the American-Canadian cartoon Johnny Test- a meatloaf loving, clean-freak who deals with the daily antics of his children.

Johnny Test is a show about the adventures of a young flame-headed boy named Johnny Test. He’s the personal test subject for his genius twin sisters, Susan and Mary. Along with his genetically engineered, talking dog, Dukey, everyday is a wild experiment. With a businesswoman mother, Lila, and a stay-at-home dad, Hugh, this is quite a unique family.

Hugh is the caregiver of the household. Meals are cooked on time. The house is cleaned. Dealing with his children’s shenanigans are a regular past time. His daughters conduct explosive scientific experiments, which often results in either their lab blowing up or government agents knocking at the door. Then comes his daredevil son. This rambunctious eleven-year-old seems to attract trouble like a magnet. Why put up with this amount of chaos? Because as a father, he knows it is his duty to help his children grow and not to stifle their potential.

With daughters that are geniuses, it’s illogical to ask them to stay put and solve equations at their desks. Known qualities of a genius include being prone to boredom and constantly requiring a challenge. These young girls not only attend a prestigious institute but also lend a hand to the U.S. military. They are the type that’ll one day cure the common cold or tackle world hunger. Sure there will be the occasional robot revolt or time traveling president, but why stand in the way of progress?

Dealing with Johnny is another challenge. With personality traits of a typical boy, Hugh is kept on his toes. Homework reminders, school visits, school projects to review and teeth brushing inspections, familiar tasks of actual parents. Johnny has a video game obsession that’s on another level. Literally, this child has gone into actual video games more than once, and it’s Hugh’s duty to set limits. He is mindful that his son actually spends time outside away from television and video games. Despite the trouble Johnny gets into, Hugh knows Johnny means no harm. But he does reprimand Johnny in hopes he grows to become a fine adult.

Hugh is not only a supportive figure to his children, but also his wife. Knowing she works hard hours at the office, he wants her to come back to a peaceful home. Whether it’s putting out fires or checking homework this stay-at-home dad takes on his fatherly role, groundings and life lessons included.

 

What’s next in our celebration of father figures? We’re giving some well-deserved props to legendary fathers of our childhood, The Father of Video Games and Father Christmas. Check it out!