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October 8, 2015

Chuck Lorre's old career had a lot of Turtle Power

by Joel Keller, posted Jul 30th 2008 1:04PM
Chuck LorreWhen I was talking to Carter Bays and Craig Thomas at CBS' TCA party, they told me about how another reporter mentioned that Chuck Lorre, creator of Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory, is also known for writing and performing the theme song for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon. None of us could believe it, and we were intent on spreading this little rumor to whoever we could find. But, in my role as "tenacious entertainment reporter," I wanted to find out from the man himself. So when I spotted Lorre later on in the evening, I made a beeline for him and asked him. When he confirmed the rumor, I whipped out my voice recorder, dumbfounded at the news.

"I was a musician for 17 years before I got into television," said Lorre. "I was just a working musician, and I was trying to get a break as a songwriter. And back in the '80s I got a shot to write the music for this six episode trial run of this weird little animated thing, based on a garage comic. You know, a black-and-white little comic book. And we said 'Absolutely! We'd love to! We'll take any shot.' "

Lorre continued by mentioning the appropriately-named sixties group that got first crack at the theme. "In fact I think Flo & Eddie of the Turtles were offered it and they passed, so we took it, and turned it into something."

Shockingly enough, Lorre's contributions to TMNT went beyond the theme song. "In fact I'm on the original ... I'm the voice of the turtles on the original (episodes). I did all the voices. I sped up my voice (to play the various turtles). I said to the producer, 'You're going to replace me with the actors, right?' and he said, 'Nah, that's fine.'"

Now, I could have gone back to the hotel and looked up Lorre's IMDb profile; it's all there. But I think this was more fun. He even worked on a TMNT movie called The Turtles Awesome Easter, which was right before he started working on Roseanne. I wonder if, during those years he was getting yelled at by Roseanne Barr, Brett Butler and Cybill Shepherd, he was longing for the days when he was the voice of Donatello, Michelangelo, Raphael and Leonardo. Maybe that's a question I'll ask him during the next press tour.

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This information was on one of Chuck's end title cards where he writes things on an episode of 2 and 1/2 men.

July 31 2008 at 8:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Martin's comment
Joel Keller

Good to know. But I still liked hearing the story from Lorre personally. I figured that since it was on IMDb, it wasn't exactly "news."

July 31 2008 at 8:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

charlie performs and took credit for this song in chuck lorre's show, "two and a half men."

July 30 2008 at 3:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Wow that makes him super hip (at least in my little world)!

July 30 2008 at 2:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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