Franklin Sherman is Jay's adoptive father and Eleanor's husband who speaks with a thick "Locust Valley lockjaw," wears slippers and always has a glass of brandy in his hand no matter where he goes. His mental health is uncertain, and he often acts quite erratically. His family claims that he had a stroke (to which Eleanor adds "He didn't really. We just say that to explain his personality"). A few of his oddities include burning down the house (this is explained by him forgetting to turn the oven off), becoming stuck to an ice sculpture, gluing the dog and silverware to the ceiling (The silverware was to keep it from being stolen), dressing up as the Energizer Bunny, rubbing his behind on the dinner plates, wearing underpants on his head at the dinner table, and sticking a banana in his ear which he claimed was an attempt to lure the monkey out of his head.
Franklin Shermen is well known for dressing up as the New Year's Baby for the year 1937 and has destroyed both Picasso's Guernica and Michelangelo's The Creation of Adam via monster truck and helicopter respectively.
He is a former governor of New York in the 1950s, as well as a former ambassador, Cabinet member, a Rhodes scholar and a heavy contributor to the Republican Party. He was also U.S. Secretary of Balloon Doggies. When told by President George Bush that the position is a ridiculous figment of his imagination that Congress will no longer provide funding for, Sherman vehemently claims, "I didn't ask to be Secretary of Balloon Doggies, the balloon doggies demanded it." Franklin was Duke's running mate when he ran for president, though Duke tried to remove Franklin after a disastrous Vice Presidential debate, in which, among other gaffes, he claimed to be the first black female head of the Ku Klux Klan and that "America stinks!"
Despite his behavior, Franklin proves to be competent in some cases. In the episode "Marathon Mensch," he trains Jay to run in the New York marathon. Also in the episode "Frankie and Ellie Get Lost," much to his wife's surprise, Franklin proves that he can be a problem-solver and an apt handyman by building a shelter, a signal fire (to demand more rum from passing pilots), and training an ape as a butler. In "Sherman of Arabia," he manages to get the president to lead a rescue mission for Jay due to his support for the Republicans. In the episode "Lady Hawke," it is revealed that gin is to Franklin what spinach is to Popeye the Sailor.
It was also revealed during a period newsreel from "Frankie and Ellie Get Lost" that he was completely sane and had never had a drop to drink in his life until Ted Kennedy spiked the punch at his wedding.
It is also revealed that Franklin was the President of a trucker's union at one point in time.