Original Theme Songs: 22, 21

22. Tiny Toon Adventures

Composer: Bruce Broughton, Tom Ruegger, Wayne Kaatz

So yeah, those guys won a Daytime Emmy for this song. Not sure what that means, really, but yeah this song’s awesome.

21. M*A*S*H

Composer: Johnny Mandel

While I’m crazy about this theme, I’m not a big fan of the lyrical version of the song “Suicide is Painless.” Funny thing, though, it was written by the 14 year-old son of the director of the movie, Robert Altman and the song made ten times more money in royalties for the boy than his dad did for the movie.

I suppose it’s not an original theme song in that it was taken from the movie, but eh.

Original Theme Songs: 24, 23

24. Diff’rent Strokes

Composer: Alan Thicke, Gloria Loring, and Al Burton

Artist: Alan Thicke and Gloria Loring

Robin Thicke’s parents could write and sing catchy tunes too. They also did The Facts of Life, which I like, but didn’t quite make the cut.

23. Babylon 5

Composer: Christopher Franke

Never seen the show, but like most space sci-fi shows, a lot of talent is put into the music.

Original Theme Songs: 26, 25

26. Talespin

Composer: Silversher & Silversher

Artist: Jim Gilstrap

Gilstrap is a funny name. Also, the Silvershers have done a lot of stuff for Henson, including writing some good songs for Sid The Science Kid and The Pajanimals, two shows my sons a fan of.

25. Benson

Composer: George Aliceson Tipton

Holy crap. Rene Auberjonois was on this show?

Original Theme Songs: 28, 27

28. Orange is the New Black

Composer: Regina Spektor

Artist: Regina Spektor

Already a pretty big fan of hers. “You’ve Got Time” probably isn’t even my top 10 of her songs, but it’s catchy without being trite and it fits the theme of the show perfectly. Here’s the full version.

27. 3-2-1 Contact

Composer: Tom Anthony

Oh, another show from my wee childhood. It totally got me jazzed for learning and stuff. I even had a subscription to their magazine for a short time.

 

Original Theme Songs: 30, 29

30. Perfect Strangers

Composer: Jesse Frederick and Bennett Salvay
Artist: David Pomeranz

Never seen the show (and I wish I would have, seeing that Bronson Pinchot stars), but of all the cheesy 80’s theme songs about love and family, this is easily my favorite.

29. Chip ‘N Dale: Rescue Rangers

Composer: Mark Mueller
Artist: The Jets

I had no idea this was performed by The Jets, nor did I know The Jets were from Minneapolis and performed The Star Spangled Banner during the 1987 World Series. Crazy.

Here’s the extended version of the theme song you don’t see on TV.

Original Theme Songs: 32, 31

32. NYPD Blue

Composer: Mike Post

The first of several entries in this countdown by Mike Post. The guy was good at his job. For the life of me, I couldn’t find just the regular opening credits sequence to this show anywhere on-line, so here’s an extended mash-up that ain’t too bad.

31. Whose Line Is It Anyway?

Composer: Philip Pope

The American version of the show is weaker in every single way (save Wayne Brady) than the British version. The British version had the funnier and less obtrusive host. They got more games into each episode. They had a wider variety of comedians that kept things fresh. It was less censored. And the theme song was miles better.

Original Theme Songs: 34, 33

34. Mad About You

Composer: Paul Reiser and Don Was

Artist: Andy Gold

Spookymilk mention that Saved By The Bell is the worst show where he’s seen most of the episodes. I might agree, though Mad About You has to be close for me. And for that matter, Caroline in the City and Wings. It’s a pretty inoffensive sitcom, but Helen Hunt can act circles around Reiser, making it hard to watch. But hey, I love the theme song! This is the full version.

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Original Theme Songs: 36, 35

36. All in the Family

Composer: Lee Adams and Charles Strouse

Artist: Carroll O’Connor and Jean Stapleton

That’s two songs in a row sung by actors in the show itself, so that’s pretty neat. There’s a charm in having the actors sing the song as if they were singing it in their own living room without anyone else listening.

35. The Twilight Zone

Composer: Marius Constant

This one is here just because I’m in love with Rod Serling’s voice. The intro from season 2 is my favorite. “That’s the signpost up ahead!”

Original Theme Songs: 38, 37

38. Seinfeld

Composer: Jonathan Wolff

Most Seinfeld fans already know that Wolff basically just synthesized 500 different sounds, including his own voice, to create this music. In fact, what sounds like a bass guitar is actually just the synthesizer. Crazy talented guy.

 

37. Frasier

Composer: Bruce Miller & Darryl Phinnesse

Artist: Kelsey Grammar

The long-version of this song is pretty bad, with backup singers for Kelsey that are pretty terrible. 40 seconds is the perfect length for this song that alludes to the theme of the show.

Original Theme Songs: 40, 39

40. Saved By The Bell

Composer: Scott Gale

Artist: Tom Weir

So who knew that the simple theme song for Kids in the Hall is not original?

Completely unrelated, I decided to throw Saved By The Bell in here. I just watched the Lifetime movie, which was surprisingly and unfortunately not as cheesy or stupid as the show. Great Saturday morning upbeat theme song which matches the tone of the show quite well.

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