The men on this list do not do the sitcom dad schtick. These are talented practitioners of the televisual arts, envelope-pushers and visionaries who are willing to try new things that might not work. They not only help the Golden Age of TV stay golden — they make sure there’s a place for nuanced, emotionally developed men within it.
Cool Dad Job: Chaotic Neutral.
Latest Cool Dad Achievement: Netflix smash hit I Think You Should Leave
Long relegated to the writers room at Saturday Night Live, Robinson did a little work on the show then spun off to make Detroiters with his best friend Sam Richardson (best known as Richard, the only good person on Veep). From there, he bounced to Netflix with an idea of a hyperkinetic, bizzarro sketch show. That became I Think You Should Leave, which achieved cult classic status nearly instantly. Why? Robinson has a knack for writing sketches that become earworms (“Has this ever happened to you?” and, “Yeah, we’re all trying to find the guy who did this!” come to mind.) This father of two is rapidly becoming a comedy mainstay. That’s good news for everyone who didn’t protest the Michigan lockdown.
Cool Dad Job: SNL Lifer
Latest Cool Dad Achievement: Being the rock of SNL
During a recent episode of SNL recorded during the lockdown, Kenan Thompson played a beleaguered pastor out of his depth on Zoom. It was a pretty predictable gag, but Thompson brought his whole being to it, squeezing genuine laughs from the basic idea. This is something he does with almost alarming ease. Thompson is SNL’s elder statesman, having been there since 2003. The crazy thing is that it’s not even reflective of how long Thompson has been crushing sketches. He was an original cast member of All That, Nickelodeon’s “SNL For kids” and then Kenan & Kel, Nickelodeon’s “SNL for Tweens.” His commitment to character work has truly spanned his whole life (Pierre Escargot in the bathtub, anyone?). And when he’s not performing, he’s raising two adorable daughters with his wife Christina Evangeline. He makes them laugh too.
Cool Dad Job: Host
Latest Cool Dad Project: Some Good News
During the first weeks of coronavirus lockdown, when the news threatened to bury Americans under a wave of horror, Krasinski took it upon himself to become a much-needed source of positivity with his web series “Some Good News.” Filmed in his home, the show, which is basically Weekend Update but nice, was the coronavirus counterprogramming we needed. Featuring celebrities, wholesome interactions, and, well, lots of good news, it cemented Krasinski’s status as the heir-apparent to Tom Hanks. A father of two with wife Emily Blunt, Krasinski probably talks too much about his happy kids and his happy marriage. Good for him.
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