Editor’s Note: This list was originally published in 2011. With great TV theme songs coming out left in right like Patrick Carney’s Bojack Horseman theme, the auto-tuned Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt masterpiece or True Detective Season 2’s use of Leonard Cohen’s “Nevermind”, it’s really a golden era for TV theme songs.
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.
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.
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.
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.