The likably bland Dick Van Patten, who was the kind of easygoing actor that 20th Century sitcoms were made for and vice versa, has passed at age 86. Due respect. In this interview clip Van Patten says that his Eight Is Enough character, Tom Bradford, is “very much like me” in that “his family comes first and his career second.” What does that mean exactly? Could this be a Dick Van Patten bromide? If you’re lucky enough to have found a job or a calling that you really love, you’ll never “leave the office” at 5:30 pm so you can head straight home to your wife and kids. The only people who quit work at 5:30 pm are (a) Clint Eastwood and (b) people who aren’t really in love with their jobs. If you love what you do you’ll almost always stay a little bit later, and that’s basically a good thing all around — good for your income, good for your disposition, good for the family because you’re happy, an inspiration to your kids, etc. And if your wife or kids are any kind of perceptive they’ll understand this is a blessing. Because many (most?) people hate their jobs, and nine…okay, eight times out of ten job-haters tend to find solace in a bottle. Or in an affair with a co-worker. Which isn’t to say job lovers don’t have affairs also — life is never that simple. Sidenote: I’ve never watched a single episode of Eight Is Enough — not once, not ever.