Show: The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
On air: 1990–1996
"First things first rest in peace Uncle Phil / For real, you the only father that I ever knew." —J. Cole, "No Role Modelz”
Uncle Phil (or "Daddy," as his kids called him) is the greatest black dad in TV history because 1) it's true, and 2) because I said so and this is my ranking. Feel free to @ me. Anyway, back to my fave: Philip was the definition of a teddy bear. Tough and intimidating on the outside, but with a heart of gold on the inside. He loved and provided for his family, even though they worked his nerves regularly. On top of all this, he took in his wife's knuckleheaded nephew from Philadelphia — not because he was an orphan with no other options — but because they, especially Philip as a dad, were what Will needed as he ushered his way into manhood. Lord knows, Phil and Will butted heads regularly, but at the end of the day, Uncle Phil took care of him and loved him like a son. And honestly, the scene where Uncle Phil was there to take Will's anger, and then tears, after his deadbeat dad popped in and out of his life for the umpteenth time, is one of the most iconic scenes on black fatherhood in TV history.