#149 Cheesy theme songs from 90’s sitcoms

Down with reality shows.

Tossing strangers on a beach in Costa Rica, surrounding them with boom mics, and overdubbing dramatic music is starting to get old. I’m not saying sweaty cooking competitions, suspenseful scale weigh-ins, or watching people who think they can dance dance isn’t always fun. It’s just that flipping past a neverending series of teary camera confessions, backstage breakdowns, and envelope opening closeups is making our thumbs hurt.

It’s time to go back to the good ol’ days from the 80’s and 90’s when cheesy scripts, awkward situations, and big dollops of family values got stirred into thirty minutes of prime time television on Friday night. Take us back to nutty roommates, take us back to closing morals, and take us all the way back to the cheesy theme songs:

10. Blossom. Buried between Cosby Show style dance moves and constant wardrobe changes is a bit of solid self-help advice: “Don’t know about the future, that’s anybody’s guess. Ain’t no good reason for getting all depressed.” In addition to the philosophizing this sitcom wins the Most Strange Names Ever competition with Blossom, Six, and Buzz all on the final ballot. In the words of Joey Russo: Whoa!

9. Home Improvement. This must have been a low-budget show from the beginning judging by the “construction cut-outs scattered on a desk” opening sequence. That also explains why they couldn’t afford rights to show Wilson’s whole face or spring for acting lessons for the youngest son.

8. Married… With Children. Ol’ Blue Eyes croons about love and marriage as a grouchy Al Bundy gives away all his money on the couch. Let’s be honest — the dog never gets old.

7. Family Matters. One great thing about old-school sitcoms was when they suddenly had a wild non-sensical plotline requiring the viewer to suspend all disbelief. Let’s call it the Great Gazoo effect. The best of these was definitely Steve Urkel’s classic alter-ego Stefan Urquelle where Urkel transformed his DNA using “Cool Juice” to suppress his nerd genes in an attempt to win over Laura’s heart. Just beautiful. Now sit back on your rocker and enjoy this classic “every character just noticed the camera” opening montage.

6. Martin. If you know what they’re singing in this theme song you win a prize. It sounds sort of like “Martin”, but sort of like, well, not that. Of course, the most common question people asked while watching this show was: Is that Martin playing someone else? Of course, the second most common question was: What else is on? (Note to Martin Lawrence: I’m kidding, I’m kidding. Thanks again for reading this blog. Love your work.)

5. Roseanne. Feel that raging saxophone smack you in the chest like you just walked into a smoky blues club on the south side. Get a little dizzy from the long and slow dinner-table-wraparound camera shot. Let this opening hypnotize you and laugh along with the high-pitched giggle at the end.

4. Friends. Back when I was growing up in the burbs our group of friends didn’t always have much to do on Friday nights. Sure, there was movies, there was the mall, there was the food court, but sometimes it all got a bit old. I wish one of us had thought of dressing up in suits and dancing in a water fountain.

3. The Wonder Years. Joe Cocker’s strained crescendo-building ballad over grainy family videos of wistful summer barbecues gets me every time. Every relationship in the show is almost perfectly reduced to a couple seconds of cutaways in this opening montage. Pass the tissues and tune the heartstrings. We’re going in.

2. Full House. Everywhere you look… Michelle is mispronouncing ice-cream, Danny is cleaning the cleaning supplies, Jesse is writing commercial jingles, Kimmy Gibbler is going bananas, and Joey is telling everyone to just cut… it… out.

1. Fresh Prince of Bel Air. I think we can testify to the long-running greatness of Will Smith’s Bel Air antics. For those of you who missed this series let me summarize the two main jokes for you: 1. Uncle Phil is fat. 2. Carlton is short. Also, you want to know what’s rarer than seeing Bigfoot flying on a spotted owl while eating a Pizza Sub from Subway? I’ll tell you: Seeing the long version of this classic. Let’s break it down:

These days we may be knee-deep in reality TV but that doesn’t mean we can’t relive old favorites from yesterday. Grab a bowl of popcorn, pour a glass of cola, and curl up under the blankets as we all go back together to enjoy these great moments with old friends.

AWESOME!

Check out the full list of 1000 awesome things.

71 thoughts on “#149 Cheesy theme songs from 90’s sitcoms

  1. I would have loved this post regardless of what the rest of it said simply because the first line was so … yes.

    But then of course I read/watched the rest of it and loved it x’s a bazillion. Holy nostalgia! SO cheesy, yet so … awesome. So very, very awesome.

    You got it, dude.

    1. Total nostalgia.. what a blast from the past this was!

      And not only the theme songs, but the comments about each one.. Stefan Urquelle! MUHAHA! So great..

      As for the Joey Lawrence classic line.. my wife watches this TERRIBLE show on ABC family called “Melissa & Joey”, starring former sitcom stars Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence. I have (shamefully) seen some of the episodes, and they have recently have him use the line “whoa!” and then comment: “wow – it’s been a while since I’ve said that.. WHOA!” *groan*

      (side note: it’s never a good sign when a sitcom star needs to have their character name be the same as their real name.. Melissa and Joey above are obvious examples, but the real Hall of Fame actor in this character is Tony Danza.. a quick review of his IMDB profile, and he was played characters with the first name “Tony” no less than 5 times!! Tony Banta (Taxi), Tony Micelli (Who’s the Boss), Tony Canetti (Hudson Street), Tony DiMeo (the Tony Danza show), and once just a character named “Tony”.. it’s like the writers don’t have confidence that he will know other actors are talking to him if they call him “John” or something.. )

    1. OMG, what a blast from my past! I LOVED Maude! She was the coolest! I was exactly like this cartoon guy, singing, “And then there’s Maude…wait, “And then there’s Maude…” Laughing out loud at myself! Thanks for this one! I’m certain to kill the next half hour looking up theme songs on Youtube: Courtship of Eddie’s Father, Family Affair, James at 16…

  2. WHERE IS THE COSBY SHOW????

    Martin is one of the funniest TV shows of all time. Fresh Prince definitely has the best theme song. I’ve only seen the extended version on the Christmas episode.

    1. I remember the first time I saw the extended version, I was shocked, I thought my brothers were just making up all those extra words.

      The Cosby show was awesome, but it started in the late 80’s :)

  3. Man Full house was like the first sitcom I ever watched, and made me seriously (and unfortunately) addicted to all things Mary Kate and Ashley. At one point I new every episode of the wonder years by heart! And “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” was a routine joke at my house! A couple of those shows were shows my parents watched more than me, but I still remembered the song ;)!

    I’m kind of surprised “Boy meets world” didn’t make the list? and Considering Friends made the list, I’m surprised a few other late 90 sitcoms didn’t, still it was definitely a great end to a night to walk down TV theme song memory lane

    1. Oh, Boy Meets World! Another great show!
      Yeah, I was stuck inside Full House as well. Whenever I got in trouble as a little kid, my mom would take Full House away from me, not the entire tv, just Full House. Broke my heart every time.

  4. I loved Friends when I was younger but considering I was about 7 or so, I didn’t get any of the jokes or humor. Now my mother and I watch reruns and I am even more in love with it than I was before!

  5. The only ones I never watched that is on your list is Blossom, Martin and The Wonder Years. I absolutely love the rest of them!! Oh the memories you just flooded into my mind. And another great thing is that most of them are still being shown on tv. I watched a lot of Fresh Prince and Roseanne during my maternity vacation. Friends is always on and my daughter loves Full House too. I don’t see Family Matters on tv that much these days and I can’t find Home Improvement at all. These were most definitly some of my favorite shows growing up. And yes…. I can still sing along with all of them!

    1. Home Improvement is on TBS in the 11am – 1 pm timeframe around here :) I still catch it on a lunch break every now and then. good times :)

  6. “One great thing about old-school sitcoms was when they suddenly had a wild non-sensical plotline requiring the viewer to suspend all disbelief.” Absolutely! Especially in the case of Family Matters, where the middle daughter DISAPPEARS halfway through the series. I always wondered where she went.

      1. EXACTLY! Cathy, I used to always joke about how the middle daughter just disappeared. It was like insulting the viewing audience’s intelligence; like “no, no, there wasn’t really another daughter; you must be mistaken”. I loved the Steffan -Urkel transformation as well.

  7. This one is AMAZING!! I love (almost) all the shows you listed!! (I never got into Martin or Married with Children, but otherwise…)

    and I am forever grateful to Blossom for introducing the world to Mayim Bialik, now known as Amy Farrah Fowler on Big Bang Theory (and a fan of Roseanne for many reasons, including the introduction of Sarah Gilbert, who also makes guest appearances)

    Fantastic!

  8. Family Ties! “Bet you thought we’d be together for a bah, bah, (never was good about remembering lyrics) years….sha-nah-nah-naahh.”)

    Also, reading some of the posts made me realize how young some of you are and how old I’m getting. Gawd, I sound old just saying that.

      1. You seem to have an encyclopedic knowledge of this site…
        Yep, watched all of those ’80s shows. They were so good!

        1. Yeah – I really loved the 80’s ones.. I think that based on my age, the 90’s ones probably are supposed to be more in my sweet-spot, but I feel way more nostalgia for the earlier ones..

          Watching all of those clips is like a crazy time machine that transports me back to when I was a kid.. I love it!

  9. Yes, those were some great shows and we sure miss Frasier too!
    We wish a technology would be created to select any great old show we used to watch like Andy Griffith, Green Acres, Eddies Father, even Ed Sullivan….. and in his words…”Really, really great shows!”
    It is a challenge to pay for t.v. today!
    “The Middle”, “Raising Hope”, “The Big Bang Theory,” and “The Rick Mercer show” are the only good sitcoms today, but can’t say they have cheesy theme songs!

      1. Mr. Ed was the best “old times’ theme song ever!

        “A horse is a horse of course of course, and no one can talk to a horse of course, that is of course, unless the horse, is the famous mister ed!!!!” I mean it was about a talking horse!! That’s just crazy enough to be awesome :P

        1. Now I think you’re one of my sister’s under the guise of AA?!*
          Early 60’s, Mr. Ed and Petti-Coat Junction, her favorites!
          How about The Beverly HillBillies?!
          She too calls “today’s” post cinnabons! hmmmmm

          1. Lol I don’t know, but The Beverly HillBillies is Definitely one of my favorites!!! Petti-Coat Junction was pretty good too ;)

            1. ok now, sister likes to sneak emails in under the guise of AA,
              she uses “Lol”, “Definately”
              ; and !!! a lot!
              BUT my sister WOULD know, (and I think admit), she has a younger sister wendy!
              Fun and funny though, I’ve been wanting to ask for sometime. now I have, yet am no closer to the truth;) HA!

  10. A radio station around here switched formats recently, and for a couple of days, they were just playing old theme songs. It was absolutely awesome hearing Frasier, Mad About You, Seinfeld, Night Court, and several of the ones you mentioned (Fresh Prince, Blossom, Full House) plus many others. Love it!

  11. Don’t know if it counts but my mom and I still sing the “smelly cat” song… Smelly cat, smelly cat, what are they feeding you…

  12. We just got digital TV in regional WA and we flick past some of these old sitcoms every day, like Married with Kids and Roseanne, but I never watch them. Another one to add: The Nanny! Haha me and my best friend got obsessed with it two years ago, I used to know every episode by heart and have watch the series 2 1/2 times! :P Haha that Fran Drescher was a funny one.

  13. Soon as I saw the title I KNEW Married With Children would be somewhere on the list.

    Loved the theme song to this show.

  14. Wow. this is such a coincidence that I found this awesome post. just this morning I was humming and singing “The fresh prince of bell-air” song and got all the words right. Love watching that show with my siblings it hilarious. Old sitcoms all the way! I also love watching “Friends” when i have the chance, they have some pretty clever jokes. now all I want to do is watch television and sing.
    This is by far the best of all the awesomes.
    AWESOME!!! :D

    1. I don’t think this one is cheesy at all. It’s expression of a loving family:)
      Sharon, see #814…it’s #1:)

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