THE San Francisco Giants Blog

70’s Sit Com Theme Song Time

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 9, 2016

Because I don’t want to talk about what happened yesterday or what’s going to happen today, here’s an off topic thread for the blog:

I got into a pretty heated debate with a buddy yesterday about what was the best 70’s sitcom theme song of all time. He went “Welcome Back Kotter” hands down. I was like “Uh, I’ve got 2 hands up and I will debate the shit out of this with you”. I carefully laid out my argument that it had to be Three’s Company because you have to factor in EVERYTHING not just the song. Three’s Company had it all. John Ritter on a boat in those brilliant white pants. Lana tripping him on the pier trying to score some quick dick. Furley holding on for dear life to a barely moving ferris wheel stick while Jack did casual tricks next to him. Larry making a move on a random chick in the bumper car ride only to find out it was a dude. There was so much more. Could they have possibly packed more good times hilarity into 60 seconds??????

70’s sitcom’s were and still are the best. Their theme songs were the real deal. Night Court. WKRP. You never missed one. They were almost like mini rock concerts….

You be the judge. Feel free to post your favorite in the comment section. And no *wise guy* M*A*S*H uploads. That song always made me want to kill myself.

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  1. Bozo said, on May 9, 2016 at 6:15 am

    My all time favorite TV theme song is Quincy Jones’ “the Streetbeater” for Sanford and Sons. Love that bass line.

    • chipower9 said, on May 9, 2016 at 9:27 am

      Ha! I posted before looking at any comments. I too picked Sanford and Son and also mentioned the funky bass line (and harmonica licks, and Hammond B3)…great minds think alike!

  2. Flavor said, on May 9, 2016 at 6:25 am

    Clown, you are the music man and I should just blindly defer to you but may I submit this base line for your review? Plus that show had Markie Post, the most famous Lewis and Clark alumni next to me and Monica Lewinsky:

    • Bozo said, on May 9, 2016 at 6:32 am

      I forgot about Night Court, that is a good one. What about Barney Miller?

      • Flavor said, on May 9, 2016 at 6:36 am

        Oh HELL yeah! By the way, to Flappers far and wide, this thread is gonna have lots of youtube posts in it so if you don’t like that, look away……

  3. Bozo said, on May 9, 2016 at 6:36 am

    This got me wondering if the best theme songs were only on sitcoms? Or maybe that was pretty much all I watched back then, hmmm.

  4. willedav said, on May 9, 2016 at 6:51 am

    Bozo you’re batting 1.000 btw Sanford and Barney Miller.

    Yesterday is good to leave behind, bummer right from the start. Rox score and then SF flubs scoring chance. But it did bug me that Panik hit a flyball to LF after Blanco single/SB—you have to hit the ball to the right side and move him over. One of a few good hitters that had rough weekend.

    And yeah the pink is flat awful–shoes bats wristbands whatever. I watched the start of the A’s-O’s game and saw Oaktown in gray with weird lettering and said wtf? Their game was worse than Giants–they went up 3-0 in first vs. Tillman and then gave up a 3 HRs. O’s hit 6 I think and A’s C wound up getting last 2 outs of the game.

  5. James said, on May 9, 2016 at 7:04 am

    Why this one, of course

    • Flavor said, on May 9, 2016 at 7:09 am

      I can’t believe this show wasn’t more popular. lulz.

      • James said, on May 9, 2016 at 7:10 am

        Blame it on the rising popularity of the NFL.

  6. eddacker said, on May 9, 2016 at 7:35 am

    Big Papi is on fire. epic. I was watching the game, they were tied in the nineth Han, with a chance to win, the UMP calls a low pitch a strike. Manager thrown out, Ortiz comes back out of the dugout and gets ejected. Yesterday he hits 2 more bombs.
    It’s what you do when each day a piece of the puzzle doesn’t fit and your team is playing 500 ball.
    Where is the 750 team I signed up for?

  7. zumiee said, on May 9, 2016 at 7:51 am

    Night Court debuted in 1984.

    • Flavor said, on May 9, 2016 at 7:52 am

      I know. Same ballpark tho

    • zumiee said, on May 9, 2016 at 7:54 am

      Great show.

  8. Flavor said, on May 9, 2016 at 8:02 am

    How ’bout some HKF?

  9. blade3colorado said, on May 9, 2016 at 8:14 am

    I liked the first Happy Days theme song, where they used Bill Haley and his Comets “Rock Around The Clock” for the first two seasons. No Scott Baio at that time, which was good.

    However, for my money, the Futurama theme song was quite cool. Great song to kick off the adventures of Fry and Scruffy . . . This is the extended version.

    • zumiee said, on May 9, 2016 at 8:31 am

      Awesome show! Nowhere near the ’70s, though. 🙂

      • blade3colorado said, on May 9, 2016 at 8:32 am

        Yeah, I know. I need to stop running with scissors too.

  10. zumiee said, on May 9, 2016 at 8:14 am

    Regarding Night Court, Markie Post was good, but some of us preferred the first blonde, punk rocker, Ellen Foley.
    By the way, she can be heard singing on the Clash’s “The Hitsville Hit UK.”

  11. alleykat69 said, on May 9, 2016 at 8:22 am

    Not a sitcom but Hawaii 5-0 was a good as it gets with their theme song!

  12. unca_chuck said, on May 9, 2016 at 8:25 am

    Good Times . . . Chico and the Man . . . Get Smart as well. . .

  13. unca_chuck said, on May 9, 2016 at 8:29 am

    Then there’s this slice of awesome:

    This and the Ventures Hawaii 5-0 are the tops.

    • blade3colorado said, on May 9, 2016 at 8:34 am

      Good one Chuck. You must run with scissors too. lulz

    • chipower9 said, on May 9, 2016 at 9:33 am

      Great one! I must run with scissors, too!

  14. Lurker John said, on May 9, 2016 at 8:36 am

    Several come to mind and Welcome Back isn’t one of them. The theme to Taxi was always a fave due to it’s melancholy tone, not to mention it’s arguably the best sitcom of the era, perhaps ever. It finished in the 80’s but started in the 70’s.

    All in the Family. Not an original song but a classic sitcom opener nonetheless. Happy Days also falls into this category as well, not to mention that it introduced a new generation to Bill Haley and His Comets (Rock Around the Clock).

    Someone mentioned Night Court and that’s a great selection also. Seriously underrated show also, IMOFO.

    Barney Miller, yes.

    Please note that these are all shows that I loved and classics in the sitcom genre back when they were really, really good.. Welcome Back Kotter was okay but never struck a chord with me.

    • Irish Kevin said, on May 9, 2016 at 12:10 pm

      Uh greatest sitcom ever? MASH was considered a sitcom, for me that was the greatest. IMO

      • Lurker John said, on May 9, 2016 at 4:23 pm

        MASH wasn’t considered a sitcom, it was a sitcom. Everything I stated was my opinion.

      • Irish Kevin said, on May 9, 2016 at 7:27 pm

        It’s cool, wasn’t trying to start something.

  15. Lurker John said, on May 9, 2016 at 8:52 am

    My ex bought me the Barney Miller series on DVD, That show thrived mostly on a single set format and deadpan delivery that few shows have ever tried, let alone succeeded at. Steve Landesberg, Ron Glass, Jack Soo, the venerable Abe Vigoda were all hilarious. Landesberg, in particular, could bring me to tears with his wisecracks.

    It was so basic in many ways, but the writing and talent made it one for the ages.

  16. Lurker John said, on May 9, 2016 at 9:06 am

    GO WARRIORS! ICE THE BLAZERS!

  17. Macdog said, on May 9, 2016 at 9:14 am

    I liked the Bob Newhart one:

  18. chipower9 said, on May 9, 2016 at 9:25 am

    I have not looked to see what any other Flappers posted (want to be totally unbiased).

    I have to go with the theme song for Sanford and Son. Just the music in that was great…Hammomd B3 organ, some nasty harmonica licks in there, funky bass lines (Lisle), etc. I would give an honorable mention to “Good Times.” Dynomite!

  19. chipower9 said, on May 9, 2016 at 9:36 am

    BTW, Flav. Great thread! Just what the doctor ordered after yesterdays debacle.

    Hoping like hell that Peavy and Cain surprise us (in a good way!)…

  20. unca_chuck said, on May 9, 2016 at 9:39 am

    This one’s pretty cool as well.

  21. Bozo said, on May 9, 2016 at 9:51 am

    I know we’re not doing dramatic series, buit if we were I’d have to go with “In The Heat of the Night”

    • chipower9 said, on May 9, 2016 at 11:07 am

      Good one, Clown.

  22. gianthead said, on May 9, 2016 at 9:56 am

    First of all people..Night Court was not a 1970s sitcom….but good side story. As a teenager, my parents took us on a summer trip to LA and we were cruising around Beverly Hills and we drive along side this classic convertible caddy. And there is the bald actor who played Bull. Of course we are shocked and start waving and he loved the attention (obviously a fairly well known actor cruising in an old convertible in Beverly Hills must like the attention) and waived back with a big smile. He seemed like a genuine friendly guy…

  23. unca_chuck said, on May 9, 2016 at 10:06 am

    OKC and the Spurs are playing a real nice series. OKC just tied it up at 2-2. Home field in b-ball is very important. Which is why I think the Dubs take this one tonight, without Steph, and win out on Wednesday.

    The Dubs rarely play 2 games in a row that terribly. The Dubs sucked across the board, yet were still in the game till the end.

  24. gianthead said, on May 9, 2016 at 10:07 am

    Now for my argument of best theme song and why it is not Three’s Company. All fine points Flav about the opening credits and the homage images of the show (the Roepers were much better when they were on), but the sheer crapness of the song itself eliminates Three’s Company as best sitcom theme song.

    Instead, the best song (and maybe the best show) was the theme song to the Mary Tyler Moore show!!!! As a 4-5 year old, I was in love with Mary Tyler Moore. She defined the modern woman in the 1970s and that who as a little kid with a crush wanted to pursue as a woman. You just knew Mary Tyler Moore would bang you as a single modern woman.

    Of course, as a kid we could watch reruns of the Dick Van Dyke show and be that much more in love with Laura Petrie aka Mary Tyler Moore. And that may have been the best sitcom of the 60s.

    How great of a theme song is it? Listen to Husker Du’s cover of the song from the 1980s and be amazed.

    Winner winner chicken dinner….

    • gianthead said, on May 9, 2016 at 10:12 am

      Honorable Mention to the Jeffersons….

      • Flavor said, on May 9, 2016 at 10:35 am

        Great call on the Jeffersons

    • gianthead said, on May 9, 2016 at 10:20 am

      If I was not so technically inept I would add the Husker Du version but how the hell do you do a cut and paste with a you tube video???

      • chipower9 said, on May 9, 2016 at 11:10 am

        Just paste the URL…

      • gianthead said, on May 9, 2016 at 2:29 pm

        Via mobile device does not look like that is an option via you tube

  25. unca_chuck said, on May 9, 2016 at 10:12 am

    The wipe out reel is worth the price of admission . . .

    • blade3colorado said, on May 9, 2016 at 10:15 am

      I think I said this before . . . Everyone at our school at Kaimuki intermediate high hated that little fucker (about 13 when I knew him, but he probably filmed this when he was 12). By the by, this was made in 1968 or 1969.

      • unca_chuck said, on May 9, 2016 at 10:16 am

        What little fucker? Jack Lord?

      • blade3colorado said, on May 9, 2016 at 10:22 am

        I have stories about Lord too, i.e., he chased my brother and I after we threw rocks at his trailer when the asshole wouldn’t give us an autograph. The kid at 28 or 29 seconds of the clip.

  26. unca_chuck said, on May 9, 2016 at 10:15 am

    Hey, any bangable girl driving a Mustang was alright with me.

    • blade3colorado said, on May 9, 2016 at 10:29 am

      At this apartment we rented – mostly college kids lived there – our next door neighbors – two gorgeous blonds “adopted” Mike (my brother) and I. One of them had a convertible Mustang and would take us on trips around the island . . . The Supremes and other Motown songs blaring. Great times. In fact, we moved into another place, where my brother and I would bar tend for parties at our next door neighbors house – 4-5 college students. A couple of whom had been in Vietnam before ending their tours and going back to college. Unbelievable stories . . . They would kick us out of the parties when things got . . . umm, a bit “steamy.” My brother and I would do our peeping tom routine with milk crates. Sheesh, at 12 years old I saw things I wouldn’t revisit until I was in my 20s. The missionary position was one of the most mildest scenes. Ha. 🙂

  27. sandog said, on May 9, 2016 at 10:36 am

    I’m gonna have to go with Good Times. The call and response of “Temporary Lay-offs!” “Good Times!” etc was awesome. If I remember correctly, Happy Days and Good Times were both on at the same time. I want to say Tuesdays at 8:00. I was a Happy Days only guy, but I remember my neighborhood friend Marty Jones said he would alternate the shows from week to week.
    I’m not a huge fan of the Welcome Back Kotter theme. Catchy of course, but doesn’t do much for me. It gets referenced a lot at my high school as our current principal is a graduate of the school and just came back this year. Plus, our Government teacher likes to refer to his 3rd period class as “The Sweathogs,” and claims he has to use a totally different teaching style for them.

    • sandog said, on May 9, 2016 at 10:37 am

      Its actually pretty funny hearing him go on and on about it. He even identifies which is kid is Vinny Barbarino and Freddie Boom Boom” Washington etc and his match-ups are pretty much dead-on.

      • Flavor said, on May 9, 2016 at 10:55 am

        I heard the Welcome Back Kotter song hit #1 on billboards top 100 back in ’78. Is that true?

  28. unca_chuck said, on May 9, 2016 at 10:53 am

    Markie Post went to myson’s (and wisco’s as well), LasLomas in the Creek.

    • ewisco said, on May 9, 2016 at 1:45 pm

      markie post was the main reason I watched night court. that woman had a pair to draw to.

  29. Irish Kevin said, on May 9, 2016 at 11:11 am

    I have to go with welcome back kotter or Laverne and Shirley.

    • Flavor said, on May 9, 2016 at 11:14 am

      Shameel shamoozal?

      • Macdog said, on May 9, 2016 at 11:22 am

        Re Welcome Back: 40 years ago to the day yesterday:

        https://weeklytop40.wordpress.com/1976/05/08/us-top-40-singles-week-ending-8th-may-1976/

      • chipower9 said, on May 9, 2016 at 11:40 am

        Elvin Bishop in the top 10…whoop! (Not even close to one of my favorite Elvin Bishop songs, but WTF.)

      • Flavor said, on May 9, 2016 at 12:02 pm

        blows my mind that the Kotter tune hit #1. People in the 70’s had it so bad in terms of things to do.

      • Irish Kevin said, on May 9, 2016 at 12:15 pm

        Yeah cheap drugs and cheap booze, we had it really rough!! Lutz

      • Macdog said, on May 9, 2016 at 12:28 pm

        Re your M*A*S*H comment: Did you know the name of the song is “Suicide is Painless”?

  30. sfsarge said, on May 9, 2016 at 11:30 am

    Barney Miller was probably my fave. I only have vague memories of shows that were already syndicated when I started watching them. It’s funny I just had a conversation with a friend last week about how theme songs are dead and the 80’s shows were the best. (We’re both in our late 30’s, no disrespect to the 70’s but we were still babies)

  31. chipower9 said, on May 9, 2016 at 11:53 am

    As hard as it is to do, given that we will have Peavy on the bump tonight, I was curious so I took a look at some team stats.

    Jays are hitting as follows: .234, .317, .392, .709. With all of their big boppers, they are not exactly setting the world on fire right now.

    Their team pitching numbers look better. Collectively, their ERA IS 3.47 with a team WHIP of 1.24.
    On the flip-side, our boys come in at 4.33 and 1.35. Both teams have given up 31 round-trippers.

    Maybe that back-end 40% that makes the Flap Universe cringe surprises us the next two nights.

    Hoping to see the Sharks close-out Nashville tonight, and for the Warriors to get a W, so they can close out the Blazers on Wednesday at the Oracle.

    Speaking of the Oracle…anyone heard from Twin lately?

    • Bozo said, on May 9, 2016 at 12:06 pm

      I thought about Twin when I noticed we were on the Ray Scott Highway somewhere in Alabama. Turns out t was named for a different guy, but still…

  32. zumiee said, on May 9, 2016 at 11:59 am

    I never “got” Barney Miller. I just didn’t connect with it.
    Re: Welcome Back, Kotter theme song, some of you might know that John Sebastian was the lead singer in the band The Lovin’ Spoonful.
    Here’s that Husker Du cover of the Mary Tyler Moore show theme. Husker Du recorded it because of the Minneapolis connection. They probably used it as a “b” side to a single. I agree it’s a terrific theme song to a terrific show. Husker Du was mentioned the other day on the Flap when we were talking a lot about Prince.

    • zumiee said, on May 9, 2016 at 12:04 pm

      I previously posted a tribute from Husker Du lead singer Bob Mould about Prince.
      The song video has a clip of the First Avenue club that was mentioned about Prince and the Minneapolis music scene.

      • gianthead said, on May 9, 2016 at 2:41 pm

        I will look for that Prince tribute. Bob Mould is an interesting dude. Some time after his solo career seemed to be ending or at least that he was deciding to disappear, he moved to DC and started DJing on dance nights at the great nightclub 9:30. Then some after that he came out of the closet…

    • gianthead said, on May 9, 2016 at 2:32 pm

      Thanks Zum…how awesome is that version???

    • gianthead said, on May 9, 2016 at 2:38 pm

      If I remember, the cover was at the end of another Husker Du song. So as the first song ended, it would flow into Love is All Around.

      At times I would just play the cover part of the son on air at our campus station at SJSU mid-late 80s….

  33. Irish Kevin said, on May 9, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    Now if we were talking just about television shows not just sitcoms, my all time fav theme song is Hill Street Blues.

    • Bozo said, on May 9, 2016 at 12:19 pm

      A Mike Post tune. He did a lot of the cop show theme songs including my favorite cop show of all time “The Rockford Files”. The theme song for it was OK but I loved watching Rockfish smoking, boozing and getting the ladies while cracking the case (no puns intended there).

      • Irish Kevin said, on May 9, 2016 at 12:28 pm

        He also did Magnum PI, and that was pretty good too

  34. Irish Kevin said, on May 9, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    Of course Miami Vice was fun to watch the opening credits, the song was okay http://youtu.be/jswHsTJQL_c

  35. unca_chuck said, on May 9, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    Irish, your 12:15 had me laughing. No shit to that! Back then, $15 bucks could get you a ticket to see AC/DC, Pat Travers, UFO, Foreigner, Cheap Trick, Peter Frampton, and Lynyrd Skynrd. Plus a free pass to the 3rd base dugout when you passed out.

    They didn’t call ’em OD on the Green for nothing!

    • Irish Kevin said, on May 9, 2016 at 1:41 pm

      Ha ha yeah I wondered who, if anyone would read that!! Good times back then Charlie

  36. unca_chuck said, on May 9, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    Saw John Sebastian when he opened for Steve Martin at the Berkeley Community Theater. LET’S GET SMALL! Musta been around 77-78.

  37. James said, on May 9, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    The MTM theme was written by the same guy who wrote “I Fought the Law”

    • gianthead said, on May 9, 2016 at 2:30 pm

      I did not know that…great trivia

  38. unca_chuck said, on May 9, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    Got shit-faced drunk with Elvin Bishop (and Marshal Tucker) in Salt Lake City of all places . . .

  39. Flavor said, on May 9, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    this was fun you guys, thanks for playing along. I’ve had that damn Kotter song in my head all day tho. I’ll pop a game time thread up later so we don’t have to sift through all the bullshit.
    I don’t know why, but I have been feeling all day today that Peavy IS NOT going to get blasted. Like he makes it through 6, giving up 2, something like that. Hope I’m right.

  40. Macdog said, on May 9, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    I didn’t know Hector Sanchez was with the White Sox, but I just saw he got DFA’d now that Alex Avila has been activated off the DL.

  41. Irish Kevin said, on May 9, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    Macdaog, yes I know the song,

  42. Macdog said, on May 9, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    Parker up, Williamson down — perhaps a day late.

    Ooops, Kev, that was meant for Flav.

    • snarkk said, on May 9, 2016 at 6:47 pm

      I don’t get that. The guy barely has time to figure out where the toilet is, and he gets sent down. Fee Kreissakea give the guy two weeks or so at least to see if he can get in a groove at the plate…

  43. zumiee said, on May 9, 2016 at 4:17 pm

    The Courtship of Eddie’s Father started in 1969, and it had a nice theme song by Harry Nilsson, the guy who wrote several songs for “Midnight Cowboy,”- “Everbody’s Talkin'” being the biggest hit, and he had a big hit with “Without You.” His song for the sit-com was that “People let me tell you ’bout my best friend” song. It’s an excellent piece of songwriting, for what it accomplished in its 45 seconds to 1 minute running time. He was kind of under-rated, and messed up his career with alcohol abuse.

    • zumiee said, on May 9, 2016 at 4:22 pm

      And that gets to why the era of the great theme songs kind of faded out- as the time for commercials lengthened, some of that time was cut from the theme songs. Now shows really speed up the theme song process, to where the themes are often just quick little riffs.

    • djloo27 said, on May 9, 2016 at 4:57 pm

      My favorite Nilsson song is “Spaceman”…

  44. Lurker John said, on May 9, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    Gianthead, just click the share button below the video, then Ctrl C on your keyboard (copy). Then hit Ctrl V in the body of the post (paste). The video will embed in the post. If you’re on a Mac, substitute the command key for the ctrl key. Everything else is the same.

  45. zumiee said, on May 9, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    REM were big fans of David Letterman, and allowed Chris Elliott from the Letterman show to use an REM song as the theme song to his not-very-good sit-com called Get A Life. REM was probably appalled when they saw episodes of the show when it aired. I don’t think the show even lasted a full season.

  46. djloo27 said, on May 9, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    Strasburg extended: 7 yrs/$175 million
    Is Bumgarner’s agent paying attention?

  47. Flavor said, on May 9, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    Juego tiempo es aqui

  48. snarkk said, on May 9, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    Again I’ll raise a pet peeve — Pagan has been out over a week with a hammy, so they’ve been down one bench player sine they didn’t DL him. Now I hear he can probably PH now, but he’ll need a pinch runner. WTF? Why play down a roster spot to the oppo? I just don’t get it, especially in close games or extra inning tilts where bench players are needed to make moves. It’s total bull; I need somebody to tell me why it’s ok to go a week or more down a player to the other team…


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