Important, world-shaking question: what's the worst theme song in TV history?
I've been going through Retro Junk and Sitcoms Online looking for really terrible theme songs (Retro Junk has the main title sequences for many TV shows; you click on a show, scroll down and watch the intro), but I've frankly been a little disappointed. Most shows have songs that are more annoying than terrible; I mean, the "Diff'rent Strokes" theme is evil -- as you would expect from any song co-written by Alan Thicke -- but it's not exactly bad. What are some TV theme songs that are just plain terrible?
I think I might nominate "Hello, Larry" as the worst-ever theme song. It's not just that the song is dumb; lots of dumb shows have dumb songs. There are two things that make it stand out as particularly bad. One is the fact that it has backup singers repeating "Hello, Larry, Hello, Larry" all through the song. If you took a shot every time they sing "Hello Larry," you'd be smashed in less than the minute it takes to sing the song. And second, the lyrics are the most on-the-nose, dry, unsubtle lyrics ever. My favourite bad line in a TV theme song lyric may be "Portland is a long way from L.A." Yes, it certainly is.
The theme song of "Charles in Charge" isn't actually all that terrible, but the arrangement (in the infamous syndicated version, anyway) is the ultimate in '80s cheese and fully deserves a place in the pantheon of bad.
I would also put in a good/bad word for the Garry Marshall atrocity "Blansky's Beauties", though it's hard for me to say whether it's the theme song I hate or just the whole title sequence. One way or another it's one of those inappropriately uplifting theme songs for a truly crass show -- kind of like the way the "Laverne and Shirley" theme tried to convince us that the show was some kind of feminist statement.
And while it's not exactly a theme song, I think there's a case to be made that "The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang," which has been called the worst cartoon series of all time, also has the single worst title sequence of all time.
Update: Some other suggestions received are:
- "Joanie Loves Chachi" -- still another entry in the Scott Baio Hall of Shame.
- "It's About Time" (a Sherwood Schwartz production that proved that he did not, in fact, have the magic touch when it came to theme songs).
Update 2: How could I have forgotten "Small Wonder?"
Update 3: Sarah reminds me that we both hate Billy Goldenberg's theme song for "Rhoda."
And there's something deeply wrong about the theme song of "The Ropers."