Finally, TV's 'Dolt' Dads Get To Evolve

In Modern Family, writes Hanna Rosin, dad Phil Dunphy, played by Ty Burrell, is "the center of joy and fun in his household." i i

In Modern Family, writes Hanna Rosin, dad Phil Dunphy, played by Ty Burrell, is "the center of joy and fun in his household." Peter "Hopper" Stone/ABC hide caption

itoggle caption Peter "Hopper" Stone/ABC
In Modern Family, writes Hanna Rosin, dad Phil Dunphy, played by Ty Burrell, is "the center of joy and fun in his household."

In Modern Family, writes Hanna Rosin, dad Phil Dunphy, played by Ty Burrell, is "the center of joy and fun in his household."

Peter "Hopper" Stone/ABC

"Starting from the birth of sitcoms, fathers are pretty much universally morons," writes Hanna Rosin in a piece for Slate.com. The latest crop of sitcoms, though, showcases dads who are a stark contrast to the bumbling Stu Erwin, on The Trouble With Father, or Fred Flintstone, or even Homer Simpson, she adds.

Newer shows present happy stay-at-home dads, or successful businessmen who are more than just a source of comic relief. Some even depict mothers in the bumbling role usually reserved for fathers.

NPR's Neal Conan talks with Rosin, the founding editor of Slate's Double X blog, about the evolution of fathers on screen and what those changes reveal about our society.

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