Say Uncle: Television’s 7 Greatest Uncles

When it comes to uncles, forget about it. Uncles are a mixed bag and we’ve seen all kinds. Crazy Uncle, Drunk Uncle, Drifter Uncle who shows up every few years in need of a warm bed. So many more. Mustache Uncle. I had an uncle in Colombia who insisted on walking around in his underwear, even when company was over.

Uncles are sometimes fathers, too, but only to their own. Unless things got complicated—like pops was a double agent murdered by assassins—in which case one was fathered by sweet Uncle Ben in the Forest Hills neighborhood of Queens. For nieces and nephews, uncles are the middle ground; somewhere between dad and a friend. As in life, uncles have held a prominent place in television. And their depictions have been as weird and complex as they’ve been endearing.

Here are some of our favorites. —Juan Vidal