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August 30, 2014

On the 11th day of Festivus, TV gave to me

by Adam Finley, posted Dec 6th 2005 9:25AM

get smart... 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.
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Lacey

Um, what about Angel? In my opinion, BEST instrumental theme. I would also add Buffy and Battlestar Galactica

December 09 2005 at 2:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dr. Funbags

Simon & Simon Theme - http://home.comcast.net/~linkman00/tv/Simon_And_Simon.mp3 It does Rock.

December 06 2005 at 2:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gudlyf

Someone keeps telling me Simon & Simon should be on the list, but I don't remember how that went.

December 06 2005 at 2:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mike

The theme from Riptide. Another gem from Mike Post. Look him up on imdb.com and you'll find he created a ton of the most memorable themes on tv.

December 06 2005 at 2:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mike

The theme from Riptide. Another gem from Mike Post. Look him up on imdb.com and you'll find he created a ton of the most memorable themes on tv.

December 06 2005 at 2:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dr. Funbags

MacGyver Midi : http://www.macvs.com/mm/macgyver.mid Quantum Leap Midi : http://calwestray.tripod.com/images/quantum_leap.mid ahh the memories!

December 06 2005 at 2:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Elliott

Tales From the Crypt

December 06 2005 at 1:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bex

How can you leave out Miami Vice? It had a Jan Hammer music video and everything! Keyboard guitar, people, keyboard guitar. And, can you count MASH? I know that it really is Suicide is Painless from the movie, but as a theme song, no words. And what about Seinfeld? I mean, there would be no Festivus without Seinfeld.

December 06 2005 at 1:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Evadne

How about some, um, less iconic shows? I liked the theme from Cold Case ("Nara") I bought ES Posthumus's CD. I watched Two, this short-lived, syndicated, ponderous Fugitive rip-off that used to come on after the X-Files way back in the day, solely because of the excellent theme. I thought that any show with such good theme music had to get better eventually. (I was wrong.) The theme from Profiler still comes back to me every so often.

December 06 2005 at 1:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Andy

How could you leave out "Law & Order" and "The Simpsons"? Unforgivable. I'd also include "The West Wing."

December 06 2005 at 1:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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