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.
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.
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.
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.
Composer: George Aliceson Tipton
Holy crap. Rene Auberjonois was on this show?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!”
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.
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.
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.