Top Ten Thursday: Television Theme Songs for the Ages

It’s Fall, and Fall is somewhat synonymous with television. New series are starting up for the first time, old beloved series are picking right back up where they left off, and some series that have over-stayed their welcome are still sticking around to push us even further over the edge. In any case, every show has a theme song, and here are some of our all time faves:

10. Monday Night Football

The greatest sports program theme song on television. Powerful, catchy, and the introduction to a good Monday night (as long as the Chicago Bears are playing).

9. Saved By the Bell

Iconically 90’s. Even more so that the 15 pound cell phone Zach Morris hauls around with him throughout the series. It’s arguably the catchiest song in citcom history. Hear the song one time, and its in your head for the rest of the 90’s.

8. Mad Men

Smooth, slick, sly, and sexy. Could not be any more fitting for the show to follow. Composed by RJD2 with almost as much as intelligence as R2D2 (Star Wars humor).

7. The Muppet Show

Jim Henson created a race of the most lovable, most humorous, most entertaining sock-puppets known to man. And believe me when I tell you, those socks could sing.

6. Sanford and Son

Quincy Jones in his heyday. If you are any type of horn player, you have probably attempted to play this song at some point.  Set the tone for one of the most beloved TV series of all time.

5. The Wire

Season 2 featured Tom Waits in the intro. This should probably be higher then huh?

4. The Simpsons

Danny Elfman composed what is one of the most recognizable score tracks in the world. Light, airy, and classically timeless.

3. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Both struggling artist at the time, this song gave Will Smith and Quincy Jones the shot in the arm they needed.  Who knows where they’d be without it … ok seriously though, if you were watching television from 1990-1996, chances are you were watching Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Thus, if you watched television from 1990-1996, you knew every word to this song (short version at least). Luckily there wasn’t even a full year hiatus until Will Smith jumped from everyone’s TV set to everyone’s disc-man with Big Willie Style.

2. Wonder Years

You know you are about to watch an excellent television show when you could bawl your eyes out before the program even begins. The emotional power that is induced by listening to Joe Cockers voice singing lyrics by The Beatles while looking at Fred Savages face … is enough to make the entire cast of “The Expendables” weep like new-born babies.

1. Cheers

Sometimes you want to go —- (my guess is that you’ve sang the rest of the song by now)
Songs that didn’t make it the list that broke the rabbit-ears to our hearts:

Austin: NBA On NBC

Watch the above video all the way through, and you will understand.

Wes: Dexter

To spare anyone from having to watch any scenes from the actual show Dexter, I picked a YouTube clip that played the song over photos.  You’re welcome.

Todd: Frasier

Scrambled eggs all over my face.

So there’s the list. Let us know what we unforgivably missed, got right, or just rip on us in general.

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Author: Todd

I dig musics ...

2 thoughts on “Top Ten Thursday: Television Theme Songs for the Ages”

  1. Well I guess I will start by just ripping you in general, I think making a top 10 of the ages was a tough ask of yourself there are a lot of iconic shows I thought of that obviously aren’t on here cause you can only have 10. And what’s the basis for the selection, is it based on how good the show was or how the theme song held up as a song on its own or how it captured the mood of the show. Because I thought Nip/Tuck was a below average show but the theme song was pretty sweet. I think the Sons of Anarchy theme song perfectly captures the mood of the show and is a good song as far as theme songs go. And Frasier!?!? seriously Todd what a queer pick. Austin I love the NBA them pick but I would have went a little more like this for my personal pick: P.S. its amazing how much more i like the Mad Men theme song than the actual show.

  2. I think Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young” as the intro to NBC’s Parenthood will eventually belong on this list. It perfectly captures the melancholic hopefulness of the show.

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