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Pop Culture

If Tom Hanks is ‘America's Dad,’ who would be its ‘Cool Uncle’?

One actor clearly won the debate.

tom hanks, america's uncle, snoop dogg

"Weird Al" Yankovic, Matthew McConaughey and Snoop Dogg

Tom Hanks’ wholesome, relatable and reassuring on-screen presence has been said by many to have fatherlike qualities. Over the years, Hanks’ portrayal of genuine, honest characters in films such as “Sleepless in Seattle,” “Saving Private Ryan,” and “Cast Away” has etched him into the heart of many Americans, earning him the endearing title "America's Dad."

Further, Hanks’ off-screen personality closely tracks many of his “everyman” characters, solidifying his reputation as a father figure. And the fact that he’s maintained this reputation in the cutthroat world of Hollywood is a true feat, given the number of years he’s been in the limelight.

So, if Tom Hanks is “America’s Dad,” who in popular culture could take the role of “America’s Cool Uncle”? You know, the guy who gives you your first sip of beer, introduces you to great music and has conversations with you that dad was too embarrassed to discuss.



A Reddit user named Galactic Splurge posed the question to the AskReddit subforum, and over 6,500 people chimed in with their thoughts. “If Tom Hanks is America’s Dad, who would be America’s cool Uncle?” they asked.

So, to determine the winner of the great uncle debate, I looked at the number of upvotes each suggestion received and then ranked the top 15. It’s not the most scientific way of doing things, but it gives us a pretty good idea about who people think should win the award.

The funny thing is that the results weren't even close. Actor and musician Jack Black had around five times the number of upvotes over second place. Who else made the list? Here are the top 15 most popular responses for who should be America’s favorite “Cool Uncle.”

1. Jack Black

"This is the only correct answer." — _HuntressWizard

​2. Matthew McConaughey

"Like... Uncle Matt is DEFINITELY the guy to set up a bonfire for you when you're 16." — pm_me_your_clippings

3. Jeff Bridges

"That’s just like, your opinion, man." — Downvote4grammar

4. Robin Williams

"He is the fun uncle that you have sweet memories of as a child and teenager but then passed away. But every time someone brings them up, it’s never sad, it’s just 'remember when Uncle Robin used to….' and everyone laughs and smiles." — Sandvich48

5. Danny DeVito

"I was just going to say no he’s more like Nana's new friend we just call Uncle Danny," — sew_u_thnk_ur_a_hero

6. "Weird Al" Yankovic

"'Weird Al' is your mom’s wacky cousin who makes every party a good time." — KiribakuFriend

7. John Candy

"The good uncle who passes when you were little, John Candy." — itsearlyyet

​8. Snoop Dogg

"The uncle that you go on walks with during family get-togethers, same come back all bleary-eyed." — Bonnedraco

9. Keanu Reeves

"Rides motorcycles, plays with weapons, knows martial arts, is humble and genuinely kind. Definitely the cool uncle." — Phil_MyNuts

10. Bill Murray

"He's the uncle who seems really cool when you're a kid but once you're an adult, you realize that he's a drunk and there's a reason why he keeps getting remarried and divorced." — Yellow_Vespa_Is_Black

11. Paul Rudd

"I still feel like Paul Rudd is the corny friend you’ve known since childhood and comes up with weird nicknames like Jobin or City Slicka." — Sandvich48

12. Dave Grohl

"I was watching Dave Grohl interviews one day, my son was 10 at the time and I didn't realize he was paying attention to the TV. He asked me later that day, 'Can we please watch 'the nice man' again?' Dave is forever known as 'The Nice Man' in my house." — Background_Ad5873

13. Woody Harrelson

"I had a dream that he married my aunt and bought me a Nintendo during his ‘White Men Can’t Jump’ era. I’ve called him Uncle Woody ever since. This is the only answer." — DJTrpTrp59

14. Jeff Goldblum

"A lot of the other options here are 'goofy silly uncle who lives one suburb over.' Goldblum is more 'cool uncle who lives in the city and used to hang with rock stars.'" — Pylo_The_Pylon

​15. Danny Trejo

"He's the uncle that everyone thinks is intimidating as hell and maybe a gun-runner or something, but it turns out he runs a soup kitchen and reads to kids in the hospital." — Geminii27

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