"It's really important to tap into what's going on in people's homes, or the cards won't sell," Whyatt said. He added: "I'm careful not to make dad into a complete idiot."
Katherine Cerami, 28, of Bethesda, Maryland, said she bought such Father's Day cards when she was younger because they made her laugh.
"If I saw something about the couch or the [TV] remote or putting your feet up and relaxing, I'd get it," Cerami said. Her father, she said, "sort of has his chair and the shows and sports he watches."
But this year, she opted for a more serious "From your loving daughter" card. Now that she's older and out of the house, Cerami said, she didn't want something so "stereotypical" or "cheesy," and she couldn't find another kind of funny card that fit.
Greeting card companies are listening. Hallmark officials say their offerings will increasingly show more involved dads, just as they have expanded over the years to include stepfathers, single dads and more active grandfathers.
Matt Gowen, editorial director for Hallmark's humorous Father's Day cards, said Hallmark focused this year on appealing to millennial dads. One card shows a dad with a goatee juggling a baby and two small kids as coffee cups and a baby bottle swirl around him. Inside, the message says, "Only multi-task in fun ways today." Another shows two brawny men arm-wrestling. One says, "Gah! You been weightlifting?" The other answers, "Nope. Kid-carrying."
"It's the idea," Gowen said, "that Dad is there, he's plugged in and is a big part of the baby's and child's upbringing."