If ever there was a radio station that played nothing but television theme songs, it's safe to say that's where I would permanently set my dial. Now, I'm not saying that television theme songs are better than all the other music out there, but there is definitely something about them. They are catchy, they are fun, and they take you back to memories that other songs can't.
From the sing-along-tune of The Brady Bunch to the piano playing of Hill Street Blues, television theme songs are a part of our lives, whether we like it or not. The following is our list of the best TV theme songs ever written, songs that made shows as much fun to hear as they were to watch.
Laverne and Shirley: Schlemiel, schlemazel, hasenpfeffer incorporated… You know a television show is going to be good when it begins with the main characters skipping down a sidewalk street while linking arms. In the opening song to Laverne and Shirley, sung by Cyndi Grecco, we are introduced to the show's premise: two women determined to follow their dreams and make them come true. From the start, we are fair warned that this duo was going to do it their way, even if their way was often laden with clumsiness, absurdities, and trouble. A show that was all about fun, the theme song from Laverne and Shirley will be recognizable for decades and decades to come.
Cheers: Not only did this show make us feel better about going to the bar every day, but it also made us long for a place where everybody knew our name. The opening song, "Where Everybody Knows Your Name" by Gary Portnoy, talks about life's troubles, with the complete lyrics discussing a husband who wants to be a girl as well as getting left at the altar by a third fiancée. These lyrics, coupled with the opening pictures of past political movements and celebrations, makes the theme song to Cheers particularly memorable and oddly moving. There is something almost nostalgic about it, something that will make everybody know its name for a very long time.
The Jeffersons: If any show made us wish we were moving on up to the East Side to a deluxe apartment in the sky, it was The Jeffersons. A show that portrayed an upper-class African American family who moves to Manhattan's Upper East Side, The Jeffersons made us all laugh, think, and long for a piece of the pie. The opening theme, "Movin' on Up," was sung by Ja'net Du Bois and a gospel choir. Though the song was short and quick, it remains highly well known: it has been over two decades since The Jeffersons went off the air, and yet it's still hard to hear the expression "moving on up" without thinking of Sherman Hemsley and Isabel Sanford .
The Dukes of Hazzard: A show that followed two troublemakers as they evaded the law in rural Georgia and drove around in a modified Dodge Charger, The Dukes of Hazzard was a show that did two things: it made every little boy in America name their toy car the General Lee, and it left a theme song in all of our heads. The opening song, "The Good Old Boys," was both written and performed by Waylon Jennings. Jennings, in addition, had a role as "The Balladeer" and provided the narration for the show.
Greatest American Hero: A show in a genre you just don't see enough of – a superhero, drama-comedy – the most memorable thing from Greatest American Hero is most likely the theme song. "Believe it or Not" was written by Mike Post and Stephen Geyer and performed by Joey Scarbury. Not only did this theme song become popular during the show's short run, reaching number 2 on Billboard's Top 40 in August of 1981, but it still remains one of the most popular and beloved television songs of all times. "Believe it or Not" is easy to sing, enjoyable to remember, and that episode of Seinfeld where George Costanza parodied it on his answering machine brought it from fun to absolutely hilarious.