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Can You Name Sitcoms With Your Favorite Theme Music? (Survey)

by Cynthia Reid
June 3, 2011 7:40 AM
22 Comments
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Everyone usually has more than a few favorite television sitcoms from the past but what about the music for sitcoms? Do you have a list of musical sitcom tunes that, whenever you hear them, seem to bring a smile to your face?

I'm sure intro tunes from top hit shows like Good Times and The Jeffersons might be on your list but would they be in your top three? I have a few like Phoebe Snow's version of A Different World but, believe it or not, "Welcome Back" from the Welcome Back Kotter show would be my number one pick. The song became a #1 hit in 1976 for singer John Sebastian.

The Moonlighting theme song with Al Jarreau on vocals would follow that as well as the Family Ties intro song "Without Us," sung by Deniece Williams and Johnny Mathis.

So tell me, what's on your list? Would the Queen Latifah rap song from Living Single be on there or maybe Different Strokes? Don't forget 227, Family Matters, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Lavern & Shirley, Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air, Save By The Bell, Amen, etc...

Below are the Moonlighting and Family Ties songs.

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22 Comments

  • Dankwa Brooks | June 6, 2011 10:44 AMReply

    Hey I’m still around. I LOVE this site. It has become required morning reading next to Google Entertainment News. It so similar to a concept I started in college of blogging about African American Entertainment News called Cool Black’s Media Madness now just Cool Black Media ( I would put a link, but if you’re so inclined- Google it). Plus I get a ton of hits, but not much reader comments so I think any feedback is cool. A lot of people don’t have the time or impetus to really say anything. I try to comment on all kinds of sites and never with any animus that is for jerks with no life who live in their parent’s basements and often type with one hand. No time to feed off of negativity.

    Anyway, BACK to the task at hand.

    My favorite theme songs pretty much correspond to my favorite sitcoms.

    Sanford & Son- Quincy Jones is the illest

    Good Times-Any song that can incorporate “temporary layoff” into a swinging tune has GOT to be on the list.

    Taxi-Classic instrumental. If you like that check out Taxi by Tweet a really nice slow jam.

    Cheers-Fun. Exemplifies what the show is about without even mentioning the characters

    Golden Girls-One of the most thoughtful theme songs EVER. One of the BEST ensembles EVER. The chemistry was there from DAY ONE. Especially after they got rid of the male gay housekeeper (pilot only)…not that there’s anything wrong with that LOL. NO that kitschy theme is NOT on the list.

    A Different World-Aretha and Boyz II Men versions. Never really cared for the 1st season version.

    Facts of Life-Fun. Great lyrics

    Diff’rent Strokes- Also fun. Great lyrics

    Gilligan’s Island-Great! Classic!

    It’s a shame that to procure more advertising dollars the theme song has been pretty much null in void. The Friends theme song while fun is also NOT on the list, but that’s the last one I can remember to use a traditional theme song.

  • CareyCarey | June 6, 2011 10:25 AMReply

    "It sounds like culture clashes that are more in depth than Jumpin Da Damn Broom, and I believe it would be very well received. Just don’t tell nobody else about it!!—:-)"


    Well Blu, of course I am highly biased, but you're right, none of that over the top Jumpin' Da Damn Broom mess. On several levels, I say "no no nanette" this is not your regurgitated slap stick... Mr. Brown and Madea and the usual B-line jokes, Nope, no vengeful over the top momma-in-law, nor the actress whose name I will not mention.

    The key is finding the right actors who can act without looking like they are acting. That’s no simple deed. Expository facial expression will be one of the keys to this sitcom. Action speaks way louder than words. Anyone can say a line but humor is very hard to project (deliver).

    But having said all of that, do you have your actors card, and don’t worry about the cloths. When this jumps off , you will be able to have your own boutique.

    And, don’t worry, nobody is reading this, so my thang is safe. Besides, you know most of S & A’s visitors are the cheese, bread and wine crowd, that wouldn’t be caught dead having anything to do with a comedy. New black screenwriters are too busy writing the next great black indie flick. They wouldn't try to steal this concept. Plus, they wouldn't know what to do with it. But if they did give me a holler, I’d show them how to advance their careers and put a knot in their pockets and their bank accounts.

    Now pssst, don’t tell nobody, but can you see other scenes in which this green acres could bring a load of laughs? Picture a role and actress like Clair Olivia Huxtable, opps, did something just fall on my head? Anyway, picture her persona as the wife/grandmother,


    Btw, I loved that line about the short haired sister and your family. I’m gonna steal it. Let’s see, your friend comes to visit you in Iowa, and the whispering begins because it’s a legal same sex marriage state.

    The characters are not set in stone. I have to think about the Creole slant. I don't know how long I could run with that. But there will be fun and conflict regarding some racial issues with the grandchildren. One of them likes everything about Iowa, including it’s white women/men..

    But all in all you caught it. Fred Sandford-Cliff Huxtable-Archie Bunker, and Grandpa, rolled into one, who is living in Iowa. Although he once lived there, and has now found his way back home, he has been many places in his life, so let the fun begin. Mr Cornell is not the "steretypical" image of a black man from Iowa... whatever in the hell that is. :-)

    Uuuuum, more ideas/visions?

    careydarnell@yahoo.com

  • BluTopaz | June 6, 2011 7:33 AMReply

    CareyCarey I would be honored to co-star in your Black Green Acres. Just plz understand that my contract says I get to keep my wardrobe.

    I think your sitcom idea is wonderful, esp with this 21st century Black folk migration and we never hear about Black people in the midwest. I have relatives in Chicago and they think my NYC experiences are scandalous and I'm like come on ya'll -my friend is not my lesbian lover just because she cut her hair short and has tats--r u serious?!! And it's funny, this thread got me thinking about the 70's and how many of those shows would not be allowed on the air now. So I can see your lead character getting his Archie Bunker/Fred Sanford on with all his non-pc approaches to dealing with his family. And his trying not to be hinckty wife--great idea, will she be Creole? It sounds like culture clashes that are more in depth than Jumpin Da Damn Broom, and I believe it would be very well received.

    Just don't tell nobody else about it!!-- :-)

  • CareyCarey | June 5, 2011 4:07 AMReply

    JMac said, “I’ve gotten into the habit of stopping at page 4 or 5 then say f*** it. Not gonna spend 30 minutes checking on a two sentence response I made who knows how many days ago and that search engine’s a joke”

    Well, I believe your sentiments are shared by many. The new format is simply not conducive to follow ongoing conversations. On top of that, a new comment is frequently lost in space because it’s nearly impossible to know whose/which comment it’s replying to. And like you said, flipping and flopping around to what’s going on, can get troublesome.

    But it’s probably, or should I say, obviously working for those who manage the site. And don’t get me wrong, as I’ve always noted, there’s thrills for everyone’s ills because the site puts out a load of information, but sometimes I’d (and I am nobody) like to see more feedback on posts like the ones MsWoo did on Cannes, and I can’t help but think she would to. It’s always good to know that others appreciate what you do, and the time and effort it takes to write one simple post, let alone one that takes hours or days to put together.

    But as another person who visits this site said to me (through e-mails) they’re getting some form of payment through advertising dollar, and the site is basically an output information site. So maybe ongoing comments, conversation, and reader interactions are not at the top of their must do list. Besides, in a real sense, those that comment are in the minority when compared to lurkers. I mean, if one considers the number of hits this site generated last year compared to the comments, the lurkers would dwarf those that drop a comment. But having said that, I can’t help but believe hardy conversations drive (in some way) more hits. Well, after I read the 5 or so new posts that hung on the blog, which might take a total of 15-20 minutes, I might come back to read ongoing comments, but if there is none, as you noted, a person will get tired of flipping pages to see what “may” have transpired in earlier posts. But again, it appears as if the readers, and those who like to discuss the posts presented, are basically the only ones that are losing out.

    re: Green Acres. It’s ripe for the picking’s for several reasons.

    Many are complaining about Tyler Perry’s brand of humor and the same old mess they show of BET (“who’s daddy is doing who” “living the highlife in the hood” “the nonsense called The Game” and other such “black” sitcoms) and this sitcom is far removed from any of that. It’s also not a black green acres, because it’s set in Iowa and the mother is nothing like Zaa Zaa Gabor’s character. And the grandchildren have mixed emotions about living in Iowa. The sitcom is driven by the husband/grandfather who is sort of a mix of Bill Cosby and Kingfish, with a hint of Archie Bunker. He’s gregarious and funny, but nobodies fool. Oh no, he is certainly no Mr. Brown, nor a Curtis Payne. He is just an old school brother that’s trying to show his family the right way to live. However, since he is old school, he has mixed emotions about interracial dating (lot of white folks in Iowa and his grandchildren (ages not set) will be part of the mix). Iowa is also one of the first states to legalize same sex marriages, of which, he might have a few problems. Also, some of his family lives nearby but do not live out in the country (on a farm) as he has chosen to do, so many exchanges occur that leads to all kinds of mad camp humor. Iowa... well water and hayrack rides are not for everyone. “Spin the bottle” with both sexes sitting around with smiles on their faces, does not set well with Mr. Cornell. Also, can you see his face when he tries to please his wife by going to a Catholic service? There are all black Catholic services in New Orleans - with a little sparkle and a kicking choir, but not in Iowa.

    In short, this is not a “typical” “black” sitcom. There’s a tremendous amount of material/situations to work from. And we’re dealing with a new generation of TV viewers, who know little or nothing about Green Acre, nor Eddie Albert and Ms Gabor. This is something never seen before on TV, which I believe will be a huge hit.

    And... "I’m hoping the nice weather has something to do with the slow down here. Sucks that this blog received so much attention and now there’s crickets chirping. Come back home people!"

    JMac, I believe they are still around but are experiencing the same quandary that you/we've mentioned.

  • JMac | June 4, 2011 12:38 PMReply

    Ha! Didn't think you'd see that question it was so many pages back. I've gotten into the habit of stopping at page 4 or 5 then say f*** it. Not gonna spend 30 minutes checking on a two sentence response I made who knows how many days ago and that search engine's a joke. Sure do miss those frequently commented posts links the old site had... not that I'm complaining. :)

    Anyway, for some reason I thought you did a bit of creative writing on the side unless I'm mistaking you with another poster. I'd watch a black version of Green Acres. Believe it or not I was a hard core Nick at Nite fan when station first premiered so I got two of your references below. Had to google that Winston jingle though and of course it's on you tube. It's a miracle more people didn't suffer from lung cancer back then. Dad tells me about the "good ole days" when he'd "borrow" granddad's cigs and try to roll it correctly but end up burning his lip every time. Typical 13 year old shenanigans.

    I'm hoping the nice weather has something to do with the slow down here. Sucks that this blog received so much attention and now there's crickets chirping. Come back home people!

  • Nadell | June 4, 2011 9:36 AMReply

    Living Single
    The Cosby Show
    Moesha
    Golden Girls
    Smart Guy
    All That
    Good Times
    The Jeffersons

  • CareyCarey | June 4, 2011 4:52 AMReply

    ATTN: Before y’all read my next comment, this one will set it up.

    Since it’s quiet as a church mouse up in here, and as Tambay mentioned in the last pod cast, many are not commenting as much as they did at the old site, I think I’ll highjack another thread.

    “Oh no CareyCarey, not another S & A Broadway production like the one in which you put us all on blast”

    Well my quizzical black friend, not exactly but you’re close. Now check this. JMac said, “Carey, you’re such a nut! :P When are you going to unveil your secret project here? Looking forward to it”

    Well, I don’t know if JMac has been peeping in my windows, but I have a few things on the table. I’ve always believed (and learned) that a relationship stays strong when each party in that relationship has things they do (passions) that does not include their mate. I mean, I don’t know about y’all but nothing gets in my crawl more than someone looking in my face as if asking the question, “what ya gonna do to entertain use”. Listen, when me and my baby get to making love or do what we do - together, the worlds alright with me, but the periods we are apart are a necessary ingredient to our love and survival as a couple. So I think it’s important that both person’s of the relationship have their hands in many fires, or it’s my belief and experience that the relationship could die a slow death of boredom. And the burden and/or the responsibility of bringing entertainment and/or something new (conversation, hopes and dreams, etc) into the relationship, should not rest at the feet of one person.

    You know, a person could be a preacher, but who wants to talk about heaven & hell, 24/7? I love watching movies and conversing about them, but not all the damn time. A little bump and grind eases my mind, but I can only do that for... ah, well... you know :-).

    Having said all that, to address JMac question; although I don’t know exactly what she’s referring to, my comment, following this one is related to one of the thangs that’s on my plate.

    Picture a sitcom in which a newly retired older black man decides to move back home to his to his roots. His wife was raised a catholic and he, a Baptist. She was born and raised in the big city. He was born and raised in the corn fields of Iowa. They met in college and fell deeply in love, and stayed in a big city to further their careers. but upon their retire (he took an early retirement, and she lost her job to downsizing) the husband decides they should leave the bright light, hustle and bustle of the big city life. OH LORD!

    It’s off to Iowa and the things we do, and a couple of grandchildren have to come along. Picture the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, but they’re not in California, they’re on a farm in Iowa. Pigs, cows, horse poop, and a bunch of white folks.

    Now things are a little different in many parts of Iowa and the wife and grandchildren are going to find out the hard way. Well, not the hard way, but things will be quite different. The wife is not snotty, but there’s no way in hell she can understand fine dining in the form of a pig’s feet, his nuts and a loong internal(s) thang that stops at his booty hole. Yum Yum.

    Not to mention stuffing the kids - in their pj’s - in the trunk, so they don’t have to pay to get in the drive-in. Yes, there are still drive-in movies - out door - movie theaters in Iowa.

    The husband is right at home and all his old buddies have never left. Uncle Doon Doon, who has a small barber shop in his basement, is still their, selling moon shine on the side, and the husband could never resist a nip of some of that good ol’ “stomp hole“. Yep, it will stomp a hole in yo ass, if you play with that.

    And oh lord, will the wife ever get comfortable with the Old Black Church, and some of them old black preachers that love to hug waaay past the 3 second mark? And who walks to church, in high hells, down a dusty road, that the husband says... “is right around the bend, down by the old oak tree. Yeah, can we talk about a country mile. :-)

    Well y’all, those scenarios and many more are what’s on my mind, and serves as my lead-in to my next comment (2 down)

  • Yoshi | June 4, 2011 3:19 AMReply

    The 90s shows are everything to me.

    Living Single had my favorite intro!! Too bad my mom thought the show was to "adult" for me to watch back then :(

    The All That theme show makes me smile and also cry cause the current show will never measure up to the original not to mention I miss TLC.

    And really anything else from 90s Nickelodeon.

  • free | June 4, 2011 3:09 AMReply

    My niece use to watch Proud Family and I was always struck with how cool the theme song was. Solange sings lead with Destiny's Child picking up the background vocals. Take a listen below.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mret0XCrP0o

    And yeah, the Family Ties theme song has always been incredible.

  • B | June 4, 2011 2:37 AMReply

    Okay, I should add The Wire (especially season 4's version), but it's not a sitcom I guess. But, hell, SS mentioned Oz. :)

  • B | June 4, 2011 2:35 AMReply

    4. A Different World
    3. All That
    2. Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
    1. Living Single - U.N.I.T.Y!!! In a 90s kinda world, I'm glad I got my girls!

  • BluTopaz | June 4, 2011 2:23 AMReply

    CareyCarey: I used to get your first show (I won't say it) mixed up with Green Acres, remember Zsa Zsa throwing it all away in that one?

    ditto for many of these mentioned, also:

    1) Sanford & Son is my fave, amazing how an instrumental can sound like a character

    2) Chico and the Man uptempo version, always loved Jose Feliciano and the opening intro with LA Latinos was groundbreaking at the time-hell i guess it still is

    3) not a sitcom but Fat Albert--tmi time--i kept my Fat Albert dolls well into college

    Thanks for the post, ya'll have brought back great memories

  • James Madison | June 4, 2011 1:20 AMReply

    Always dug "A Man Called Hawk" -

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zge345LB5ZM

    Bionic Woman (Very Jazzed out)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBj5ZdTpU_4

    The SuperFriends -

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqRxWAqnQ_g

  • CareyCarey | June 4, 2011 1:08 AMReply

    "CareyCarey: I used to get your first show (I won’t say it) mixed up with Green Acres, remember Zsa Zsa throwing it all away in that one?"

    Yeah Blu, when I think about that sitcom, I can see me and you in the leading roles.

    You know, I'm a country boy raised in the corn fields of Iowa, and you, well you're the city girl. So, I try to get you to come to the country and raise pigs and cows. The theme song comes on, I say,,.

    "Blu Baby, green acres is the place for me. Farm livin' is the life for me. Land spreadin' out so far and wide
    Keep Manhattan, just give me that countryside"

    Then you say....

    "Carey, I'll lay down my life for you, but New York is where I'd rather stay. I get allergic smelling hay.
    I just adore a penthouse view. You know I love you but give me Park Avenue"

    Then I put my foot down and let you know who wears the pants in this family... and say...

    "You are my wife, so say good bye to city life. Green Acres we are there. So packup our sh*t and jump in that truck..... baby baby please"

    Now, I don't know what happens in the next scene, you'll have to write that part.

    Well, I know my vision, but I think we may differ. *smile*

  • CareyCarey | June 3, 2011 12:28 PMReply

    Okay, I guess I'll show my age. It was a time in which we only had 3 stations. So, I think I'll just sing the tune and those that know it, can join in.

    Here we go... 1-2-3... Come and listen to a story bout a man named Jed, poor mountaineer nearly kept his family fed. Then one day he was shootin' at some food and up from the ground came a bubbling crude. Oil that is, Texas "T".

    Okay, raise you hand if you knew the song and the program?

    And see, back in the day, the theme song was attached to the sponsors of the show. So if we watched a show on a weekly bases, the show and the jiggle could be forever etched in our minds. Now, lets play musical chairs. Here comes a theme song. if you know the show, sit down. if not keep on standing because another is coming. !-2-3...

    "See the USA in your Chevrolet, America is asking you to call. Drive your Chevrolet through the USA
    America's the greatest land of all. On a highway, or a road along the levy. Performance is sweeter, nothing can beat her. Life is completer in a Chevy. So make a date today to see the USA. And see it in your Chevrolet. Traveling East, Travelling West, wherever you go Chevy service is best, Southward or North, near place or far, there's a Chevrolet dealer for your Chevrolet car.

    I see Sergio sat down in 3 notes :-)


    Now, the next one was banned from TV. This one brings back great memories because every time my momma heard it. she would reach in her purse and give me 50 cents to get her something from the store, and I would get to keep the change. Okay, here we go... 1-2-3...

    " Winston tastes good like a cigarette should, winston tastes good like a cigarette should.Winston gives you full flavor, full rich tabaco flavor, Winston's easy drawing too, the filter lets the flavor through"

    Okay, if you're still standing or wear a hearing aid, I am going to turn up the volume for the 40 year old crowd. Well, maybe late 40's crowd. Here we go, name that show... 1-2-3...

    They're creepy and they're kooky, mysterious and spooky. They're all together ooky
    *** ***** *******
    Their house is a museum, where people come to see 'em, They really are a scream, *** ***** ******
    So get a witch's shawl on, a broomstick you can crawl on, we're gonna pay a call on *** ****** *******

    Okay, that's it. Not my top 5, but they're stuck in my head. And if you're still standing, don't blame me if your daddy was a rolling stone and y'all didn't have a tv.

  • SS | June 3, 2011 12:03 PMReply

    "Mary Tyler Moore"
    "Family Matters"
    "Fresh Prince"
    "Moesha"
    "Facts of Life"
    "Laverne and Shirley"
    "Step by Step"
    "Diffrn't Strokes"
    All the versions of "A Different World"
    "Full House"
    "Boy Meets World"
    "Taina"
    "Living Single"
    "Sister, Sister"
    "Growing Pains"
    "Reading Rainbow"
    "Arthur"
    "All That"
    "Oz"...for my token instrumental fave


    ...I can't choose a top 3 from those lol

    I tried to think of 2000s show songs I like...........I wish "Everbody Hates Chris" had something..."My Wife and Kids"..."Bernie Mac"...."The Game"... cool sounds, but something with words to sing along to when it comes on. I remember loving to just do the "Martinnnnnnn" and adlibs from "Martin"

    and I had no idea that Deniece Williams was the female on "Family Ties"...wow

  • Shanea | June 3, 2011 10:49 AMReply

    @JMAC... Golden Girls theme song is another favorite of mine too! Thanks for the reminder. So let me add that to the top 5 of my list lol.

  • Lynn | June 3, 2011 10:19 AMReply

    My top FAV theme songs would have to be:

    1.Reading Rainbow (Love this show!!!)
    2. All That
    3. Smart Guy Season 2
    4. City Guys
    5.Taina (Nickelodeon)
    6. Keenan & Kel (Coolio theme song)
    7. Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air
    8. Famous Jett Jackson
    9. Different World (Season 3)
    10. Cosby Show 90's theme song
    11. Ghostwriter
    12. Full House Season 3
    13. Cousin Skeeter
    14. Hey Arnold
    15. Proud Family
    16. Boondocks

    Oh, man do i miss the good old days. (Sigh)

  • Cynthia | June 3, 2011 9:16 AMReply

    Great listings so far! I love that Boondocks ending too. I can't remember the "Golden Girls" theme. I'll look it up http://www.televisiontunes.com/

  • JMac | June 3, 2011 9:04 AMReply

    Fun time.

    My top picks:

    1) Moonlighting - woooo Al Jarreau!!!
    2) Amen - Sherman Hemsley double-dutching to some down home gospel music. I never could double dutch.
    3) The Jeffersons, Good times, and 227 all come in third
    4 )Golden Girls
    5) Cosby Show - the second and third incarnations, not the first one.
    6) Cheers
    7) Just to be different (and since LOGO's been airing it lately): Ab Fab

    Honorable mention: The ending theme song for Boondocks with that hip hop flute playing for no other reason than I used to play the flute.

    Can't think of any others

    Oh - that theme song for the Greatest American Hero. I only tuned in to hear the song. I still don't know what the exact premise was. I think it was sitcom.

  • Shanea | June 3, 2011 8:03 AMReply

    My Favorite Theme Songs are from these TV shows:

    1. The Jeffersons
    2. Good Times
    3. A Different World - the Aretha version
    4. The Facts of Life
    5. Welcome Back Kotter
    6. Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
    7. Living Single
    8. Laverne & Shirley
    9. 227
    10. The Boondocks
    11. Diff'rent Strokes
    12. Mary Tyler Moore

    Probably forgetting some but those spring to mind. Great post. I really miss the theme song era of television.

  • juliette | June 3, 2011 7:46 AMReply

    I loved this post - my siblings and I are always bursting into them songs. And I appreciate the mention of Phoebe Snow's DW theme song - that and Dawnn Lewis were the only things I liked about Season One. I'll be singing the rest of the day!

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