Danny is left to raise his three young daughters (Michelle, Stephanie, and "D.J." Tanner) after his wife, Pam, is killed in a car accident caused by a drunk driver. In the first season of the show, he works as a sportscaster for the Channel 8 News. Later, in season two, he is chosen to work as a co-host for the station's morning talk show, Wake Up, San Fransisco. While Danny's co-host, Rebecca Donaldson, is on maternity leave, Danny falls in love with her replacement, Vicky Larson. The two start dating and end up getting engaged. Vicky ends up getting her dream job of anchoring network news in Chicago, but since a long-distance relationship doesn't work out, the two break up.
Much of the humour in Danny's personality is his obsession with cleanliness. Other targets for humour would be his quirkiness and "uncool dad" personality.
At times, Danny acts overprotective of his daughters. He tends to spoil and baby Michelle. He also appears to have much authority over his daughters.
Danny is skilled at pool, darts and guitar, as seen in the show. Like many other characters in the show, he generally cannot stand his neighbor, Kimmy Gibbler.