Thursday, June 10, 2010

Favorite Television Theme Songs

Whew! I am a lazy old heifer. I didn't write an blog post tonight on California politics. Instead, I'm offering much lighter fare. In no particular order, here are some instantly recognizably television theme songs that I love:

Bonanza - I LOVE BONANZA! I love, love, love it! I'm a little embarrassed to admit that even my two-year old son and my German Shepherd Dog (GSD) can recognize this theme song! The Cartwright men were always embroiled in some drama, the good guys were always honest, and justice was always served. I know that Little Joe (Michael Landon) was supposed to be the heartthrob on the show, but I personally prefer Adam (Pernell Roberts) or Pa (Lorne Greene). Even Hoss (Dan Blocker) had some appealing traits.

Gilligan's Island - I will not change the channel if The Ballad of Gilligan's Island is on the radio. I listen to Sirius and I have heard it a time or two.

The Brady Bunch - Those rascally Brady children and their unflappable housekeeper, Alice! How is it that the father was an architect and he couldn't design a house big enough for his brood?

Hawaii Five-0 - I have never watched a single episode. But I know the theme song from the first notes and I'll bet you do too!

Scooby Do - There were at least a couple of theme songs for this show, but I like both that I can recall. Looking back, I wonder if the entire crew of the Mystery Machine were totally high. Seriously, they not only thought their dog talked, but they looked to him for advice. They cruised around in their groovy duds looking for sweet gigs. At least one of them (Shaggy) would do stuff for dog snacks. And they were always seeing ghosts. It's, like, creepy, man!

Jeopardy! - Merv Griffin wrote this theme song as a lullaby for his son in about a minute. I read the other day that he has earned somewhere around $70 to $80 million dollars in royalties from this theme song alone. Having that kind of scratch sort of makes up for having the supremely crappy name "Merv."

Taxi - They were always so grubby looking, those cab drivers. I never really got the humor as a young child, but I thought this show was absolutely hilarious as a young adult.

Star Trek - I love the original Star Trek. Only Captain James T. Kirk could be so awesome as to kick ass all over the galaxy while sporting a pot-belly in his super-tight Federation-issued shirt.

The Twilight Zone - Rod Serling. Eye of the Beholder. People are Alike All Over. Monsters Are Due on Maple Street. This series was so awesome, so dark, so cynical, and the host's lungs were so filled with smoke. I love the Twilight Zone. I could watch an episode every single day and never tire of the series.

The Love Boat - I'm partial to Isaac or Gopher myself, but I guess it was the weekly guest stars who the viewership was supposed to lust over.

The Mary Tyler Moore Show - Mary Tyler Moore was so sweet and (ahem) perky, who could resist her charms? I love this show and it boasted plenty of television sweethearts besides the titular MTM: Ted Knight (Too Close for Comfort), Gavin McLeod (The Love Boat), Betty White (The Golden Girls), Ed Asner (Lou Grant), Valerie Harper (Rhoda), and Oscar-winner Cloris Leachman (Phyllis).

Hogan's Heroes - I wanted to hate this show. I really did. But it somehow made a WWII POW camp seem so hilarious and heartwarming. I'm totally not going to address Bob Crane's pervy proclivities. . .HOOOGAAAAAN!

Welcome Back Kotter - Weeeelcome back, to that same old show I laughed about. I don't know what Gabe Kaplan's done since this show, but I loved seeing the weekly exploits of Mr. Kotter and his Sweathogs. I guess the only other notable thing about this show is that it gave John Travolta his start. . .and somehow he took that to mean that he should record a music album. I do not recommend listening to said music album.

The Beverly Hillbilly's - The Clampett's. Guided by their mountain smarts, they were often wiser than those silly citified folks who had the benefit of book learnin'.

Rawhide - Rollin', rollin', rollin', keep them doggies rollin'. . .it's very recognizable, but I've never seen a single episode so I'm unable to comment on the series itself.

Bewitched - My husband tells me that he had a crush on Elizabeth Montgomery when he was a child. I don't know what to think of that, but I thought the show was okay enough to at least watch the opening credits.

I Dream of Jeannie - When JR Ewing was a young man, he had a genie named Barbara Eden under his command. Somehow he parlayed this good fortune to become an oil magnate in Dallas. ;-)

Fantasy Island - De plane, boss! De plane! Tattoo (Herve Villechaize) was kind of the star of the show, and it was typically a spooky show. But my 2nd grade self loved this show.

The Munsters - The residents of 1313 Mockingbird Lane are forever etched in my heart. They were such creeps, but they were so sweet & so cool. In his later years, Grandpa Al Lewis frequently visited the Howard Stern radio show and he was always a riot. Fred Gywnne was such a perfect Herman Munster that I'm sad to say that I imagine him as that character in every roll I've ever seen him in. Yvonne De Carlo was so lovely, the perfect Lily, and probably the reason I love both names (Yvonne and Lily) to this day.

The Addams Family - I don't like it. I realize it came out before The Munsters, but I always kinda think that The Addams Family is the Poor Man's Munsters. Sorry.

Batman - Bang! Pow! Whap! Adam West, prior to becoming a running punchline on a Seth MacFarlane television series, wore the Batsuit with campy pride. However, I have to say that the Catwoman stole the show. Thank you Julie Newmar, and posthumous thanks to Eartha Kitt, your character was so awesome that it inspired a feature film nearly forty years later. Smack!

Mission Impossible - Prior to Bono & The Edge mangling it, this theme song was totally bitchin'. Not that they totally ruined it, but they inserted themselves in the song altogether too much. Uh, other than the totally bitchin' theme song, I know absolutely nothing about this show.

The Andy Griffith Show - Very recognizable, even if you don't know Barney Fife, Opie, or Aunt Bea. Too bad I can't whistle. . .

So what have I missed? What are your favorite theme songs from television shows? I look forward to hearing your suggestions! :-)


  1. In re: Jeopardy!... Uh, I had no clue that that was an original song. Ever since I was a kid it has sounded like a thinly veiled rip-off of "I'm a Little Tea Pot." Just sayin'...

  2. Really? I guess that I've never made the connection. Perhaps I can hear it right now, but I've been drinking wine for the last few hours so I can't be certain. I'll check in once the lovely effects have worn off. . .hehe!