“Sweet niblets!” I exclaim as I’m approached by a group of impressionable young teens. They flock towards me like London Tipton on a shopping spree in Paris: excited and with purpose. It seems I can’t go anywhere these days without people stopping me on the street, begging me to share my ranking of the Disney Channel dads. I guess knowing every single word uttered in Good Luck Charlie season four by heart or having all of the spells from Wizards of Waverly Place memorized makes me an “expert” or something. Compared to the far more developed Disney Channel mom trope: wears three inch heels to fold laundry (go off, queen!), wants to be famous but never quite caught her big break, overly nosy, and no more than 30 years old, Disney Channel dads are pretty much given a pair of khakis and a pat on the back from the Disney Channel overlords. So, without further ado and for the first time ever, I finally share with you all my definitive ranking of the Disney Channel dads.
6) Lester Dawson: This man was the most frugal human being I have ever seen in my entire life. I literally think there was an episode when he wouldn’t give Ally a nickel… A NICKEL, but then he was always off at some accordion convention or something. Listen, bestie I get it, save your coin but also your daughter is the songwriter for pop sensation Austin Moon, so either you’re just the stingiest sucker in all of Miami or your daughter is horrible at negotiating contracts. Either way, if I had a penny for every Disney Channel dad that was above him on this list, I would have five pennies which, you guessed it, is a nickel.
5) Kurt Martin: Despite being undeniably cool in a toxic bad boy musician way, Kurt here was largely absent and left our girl Carey to hold down the fort and raise Zach and Cody on her own while also singing seven nights a week at the Tipton Hotel. Did he have some redeeming qualities like how he had his own tour bus and helped deliver a baby in the Tipton’s elevator in the Christmas episode? Of course. But, at the end of the day, anyone can help deliver a baby inside an elevator, it’s not like it was inside an ice cream truck.
4) Bob Duncan: Good luck Charlie? Teddy, dear, Charlie will not need any luck because Bob Duncan is her father. This brick house of a man really woke up every morning to go to work killing bugs in the greater Denver area just so he could put food on the table and clothes on the backs of his five shenanigan-loving children. The CEO of Bob’s Bugs Be Gone never once complained when Amy didn’t let him sing with her, delivered his son Toby inside an ice cream truck (take that, Kurt!), and even cried real, actual tears when Teddy got her driver’s license. MVP of the show honestly. Unfortunately, through no fault of his own, we did have to dock Mr. Duncan here a considerable amount of points on account of marrying Amy Duncan, who is an anti-va**er IRL.
3) Victor Baxter: Two words: Chill. Grill. Raven and Cory’s dad Victor was not only the culinary genius behind the Chill Grill (the hottest restaurant in all of San Francisco), but he also shared genuinely good and empowering advice with his kids. It’s no wonder President Martinez wanted Victor to be the White House Head Chef — the man is a king. Victor was always there for his kids and even brought Cory with him to live in the White House (goals). I just had a vision, and it’s of VB taking home the bronze medal on this list of Disney Channel heroes. Well deserved, sir. Well deserved.
2) Jerry Russo: No one was doing it like this guy, no one. He was just cool? And funny? and a good dad? I literally can not find one flaw. First of all, you just know that Waverly Sub Station was ridiculously good. You can just tell it was bussin’. Not to mention he loved and supported all three of his kids regardless of what they wanted to do in life. Bonus points because he basically was Harper’s father too and let her move in when her family was moving. Best of all, Jerry taught his kids the ways of magic and how to be a wizard but GAVE UP BEING THE FAMILY WIZARD HIMSELF SO THAT HE COULD BE WITH TERESA! I literally have chills.
1) Robby Ray Stewart: Yeeeeeet doggy. Welcome to the #1 slot, Robby Ray. Truly I do not know where to start. This man was the total Disney Channel dad package. He was hilarious and had silly little catchphrases and things that he said like “say whaaaaaa,” “yeeeeeeet doggy,” and “sweet niblets.” He was not only the father of teen pop sensation Hannah Montana, but also her manager. Credit to Robby Ray for being a savage in the disguise department, too. He really threw on a mustache and sunglasses, and nobody ever knew that he was Hannah’s dad, manager, and secretly just Robby Ray Stewart. He was a famous singer on his own but never made anything about him and always wanted what was best for Jackson and Miley who, if you recall, he raised on his own. He knew the value of a good hair care regiment and wrote bops only. As he once wrote, “nobody’s perfect.” But Robby Ray Stewart came pretty close.