On the 11th day of Festivus, TV gave to me
... Eleven instrumental themes a-playing.
After winning a combination egg toss/thirty kilometer run I was chosen to come up with eleven instrumental theme songs for our Festivus celebration. Originally I wanted to do this list as one of The Five we all love so much, but I was informed that eleven is actually more than five. Frankly, I'm sick of all these "rules" my tyrannical overlords keep trying to impose on me. "You're a loose cannon, Finley!" my boss bellowed at me just the other day, "I shan't have you inciting revolution by wantonly listing things greater than five! Now get out of my office! You'll never work in this Target again!"
"Oh yeah?" I retorted, "Well I don't even work at Target! And your health plan sucks! I was treated much better at Wal-Mart, which, I might add, I never worked at, either."
"This whole exchange is really confusing, and it's making me angry! Now hold still while I finish filling your cavities!"
"You're the worst librarian ever!"
Where was I? Oh yeah, instrumental theme songs. Here are some I really like:
- Kids in the Hall: This catchy little rock ditty by Canadian band Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet is actually called "Having an Average Weekend." I Tivo Comedy Central's late night showings of the program and never fast forward through the opening credits just so I can listen to this song.
- Taxi: "Angela's Theme," or "Angela (Theme From Taxi)" was written and performed by Bob James. Web scuttlebutt claims the song was actually written for the second episode but was quickly picked up as the theme song.
- The Odd Couple: Famous composer Neil Hefti wrote several great songs, but his most recognizable are the ones he wrote for The Odd Couple and Batman. We all remember how The Odd Couple theme went, right? "Da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da, da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da... Odd Couple!" Wait, I got them mixed up.
- The Bob Newhart Show: This theme was titled "Home to Emily." Ah, that's really sweet. The Bob Newhart Show was of course followed by Newhart (which also had a great theme song) and then later, Bob. He was never on a show called just The, though. Perhaps he should have been, it seemed like a natural progression. The theme was co-written by the late Lorenzo Music, who played Carlton the Doorman on Rhoda and later became the voice of Garfield.
- I Dream Of Jeannie: Could this be the most recognizable theme song ever? It's certainly one of the catchiest. The tune would later be lifted by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince for their song "Girls Ain't Nothin' But Trouble," which I believe is a standard at most weddings now.
- Bewitched: "Be-witched, be-witched, be-witchy witchy witched." There's no actual lyrics to this theme (that I'm aware of) but that's what I sing when I hear it.
- Get Smart: A better spy theme than Mission: Impossible or Peter Gunn? Sure, why the heck not? This song gets stuck in my head way more than those other two.
- Night Court: I can totally play that opening riff on bass. Actually, so could a trained monkey, it's not that difficult.
- Barney Miller: Like Night Court, the theme to Barney Miller was also written by Jack Elliot and opens with a recognizable bass riff.
- Hawaii Five-O: Despite the fact that I never watched this show, I can hum this song from beginning to end.
- The Twilight Zone: The spooky riff that always portends weirdness. It's a very simple tune on the surface, and yet it sticks in your mind like crazy glue.