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17 TV and Movie Theme Song Facts that Might Blow Your Mindhole

By Dustin Rowles | Lists | March 2, 2011 |

By Dustin Rowles | Lists | March 2, 2011 |

  • The Last 10 Emmy Winners for Best TV Theme Song

    2010 — “Nurse Jackie” (Showtime)
    2009 — “Great Performances” (PBS)
    2008 — “Pirate Master” (CBS)
    2007 — “The Tudors” (Showtime)
    2006 — “Masters of Horror” (Showtime)
    2005 — “Desperate Housewives” (ABC)
    2003 - 2004 — “Monk” (USA Network)
    2002 — “Six Feet Under” (HBO)
    2001 — “Gideon’s Crossing” (ABC)
    2000 — “West Wing” (NBC)

  • The same person, Russ Landau, composed the theme songs for “SeaQuest DSV,” “Survivor,” and “Fear Factor.”

  • Alan Thicke, known to some as Jason Seaver in “Growing Pains,” and others as Robin Thicke’s Dad, composed the theme songs for “The Facts of Life” and “Diff’rent Strokes.” He also performed the theme song for “Diff’rent Strokes.” Moreover, he also composed themes for the game shows “Celebrity Sweepstakes” and “Joker’s Wild” in the 70s.

  • In addition to writing the theme for “The Simpsons” and “Tales from the Crypt,” Danny Elfman also wrote the theme song for “Desperate Housewives.”

  • Andrew Gold wrote the theme songs for both “The Golden Girls” and “Mad About You.” His was also the first voice ever “heard” on Mars, when the “Mad About You” theme, “Final Frontier” was the wake-up call for the Mars Pathfinder.

  • Gary Portnoy, who wrote the most celebrated theme song of all time, the theme for “Cheers,” was also responsible for the theme song to “Punky Brewster.”

  • Mike Post is probably the most prolific TV theme song writer. He wrote themes for “Black Sheep Squadron,” “Doogie Howser, M.D.,” “Hill Street Blues,” “Law & Order,” “Magnum, P.I.,” “Quantum Leap,” “The A-Team,” “Remington Steele,” and “The Rockford Files.”

  • W. G. Walden wrote five theme songs, for “Roseanne,” “The West Wing,” “Early Edition,” “My So-Called Life,” and “I’ll Fly Away.” He’s also scored numerous television shows, including “Friday Night Lights,” “Felicity,” “Sports Night,” and “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.”

  • The “Friends” theme song was originally supposed to be R.E.M.’s “Shiny Happy People,” but was changed to “I’ll Be There for You,” by the Rembrandts.

  • The theme song to “Fraiser,” “Tossed Salad & Scrambled Eggs,” was actually performed by Kelsey Grammar.

  • The vocals to the “Battlestar Gallactica” theme song contain a Hindu mantra, which can roughtly be translated to “May we attain that excellent glory of Savitar the God / So May he stimulate our prayers.”

  • Holly Robinson sang the opening theme to “21 Jump Street.” Johnny Depp and Peter Deluise sang the “JUMP!” back-up vocals.

  • The theme for The Breakfast Club,, “Don’t You Forget About Me,” was actually written for the movie. Billy Idol turned it down before Simple Minds recorded it.

  • The title of the Robert Downey, Jr. movie, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is a reference to an unused theme song to the James Bond movie Thunderball.

  • Cyndi Lauper sang the theme song to “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse.”

  • The creators of “How I Met Your Mother,” Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, are also members of a band, The Solids, which performs the show’s theme song, “Hey Beautiful.”

  • The theme song to Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show” is called “Dog on Fire.”

    Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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