Ever heard of “The Andy Griffith Show”? Of course you have. Now, can you name the plot of a single episode? Probably not…but I’ll bet you can still whistle the theme song. Short, catchy, and simple, the theme was perhaps even more memorable than the show itself. Here are 10 other shows arguably overshadowed by the opening music.
Good Times (1974 – 1979)
Combining the perfect blend of uplifting gospel and economic depression, the theme for Norman Lear’s “Good Times” played support for one of the staple black sitcoms of the ’70s, acting as a platform for Janet Jackson, Jay Leno (in an episode about STDs), Gary Coleman, and Jimmie Walker, whose catch phrase “dyn-o-mite!” propelled him into starring roles in Big Money Rustlas and SyFy’s Super Shark.
DuckTales (1987 – 1990)
“DuckTales” served as part of the holy trinity The Disney Afternoon programming block, including “TaleSpin” and “Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers.” Wars have been fought as to which show has the best theme song, but “DuckTales” edges the others out because of seniority and because Scrooge McDuck paid us to say so.
The Adventures of Pete & Pete (1993 – 1996)
This show proved to be the definition of a cult classic, spawning many memorable moments and featuring a definitively ’90s soundtrack, with songs from The Magnetic Fields, Luscious Jackson, Syd Straw, and The Apples in Stereo. However, it was the show’s house band, Polaris, that created the opening theme, a dreamy tune that somehow perfectly encapsulated the innocent seduction of Little Pete’s dancing arm tattoo.
The Muppet Show (1976 – 1981)
As with everything created by or associated with genius Jim Henson, “The Muppet Show” theme is a fixture of pop culture, acting as the perfect way to ease viewers into the crazy world of his numerous puppet creatures. Over the years, the theme has continued to evolve, resulting in several newer versions, including a memorable entry from OK Go.
Perfect Strangers (1986 – 1993)
Fans of the theme from “Perfect Strangers” are like undead monsters, incapable of feeling pain and roaming the countryside, eyes milky with Chicago nostalgia, broken jaws mumbling “Nothing’s gonna stop me now” through rotting gums and lips as they march into the darkness. This game is pretty good though.