Happy Days (ABC, 1974-1984)
Tom Hanks fights the Fonz.
TOM HANKS FIGHTS THE FONZ!
Uncle Buck (CBS, 1990-1991)
Jacob Gelman, you are no Macaulay Culkin. But I’m sure you’ve already figured that out.
PS: Kevin Meaney, I hope you made a lot of money, because you are better than this.
With TV ratings declining year after year, networks have gotten rid of theme songs in an effort to squeeze in just one more commercial. However, they’re overlooking just how a powerful a hook the theme song can be, especially to the long-term remembrance of a show.
Besides if Louie does it, everyone should be doing it.
David Leisure starred on Empty Nest as the annoying neighbor Charley Dietz.
He landed the job after gaining national exposure as the character Joe Isuzu in a long series of wacky commercials for the Isuzu automobile company in the mid-80s.
A career arc I’m sure Isaiah Mustafa is looking to duplicate.
FUN THING TO DO: Imagine Empty Nest stars David Leisure and Richard Mulligan playing golf together.
I mean, “Leisure” … and “Mulligan.” Come on people, these jokes write themselves. (What? I don’t get it. There was no joke.)
Family Ties (NBC, 1982-1989)
Billy Vera, who we just learned sang the theme song to Empty Nest, is actually best known for the song being played in this clip.
Truly one of pop-culture’s greatest moments.
And if you don’t know, betta axe somebody.
Empty Nest (NBC, 1988-1995)
Life Goes On - Performed by Billy Vera, Written by John Bettis* and George Tipton
FACT: In addition to being a spin-off of The Golden Girls, Empty Nest was also an adaptation of a British comedy series called, Father, Dear Father.
Pretty original stuff, huh?
*Loyal Readers will know that John Bettis also co-wrote the Growing Pains theme.
227 (NBC, 1985-1990)
There’s No Place Like Home - Performed by Marla Gibbs, Written by Ray Colcord
Although Jackée Harry actually won an Emmy in 1987 for her performance as the outlandish character Sandra, it’s this theme song, sung by the show’s star Marla Gibbs that truly stands the test of time.
Alright then. What do you need to know about 227?
Umm … it revolved around the people that lived in an apartment building, the aforementioned 227. Uh, there was a crazy old lady. Regina King played the main character’s daughter. Um. It wasn’t nearly as good other similarly themed shows, like The Cosby Show (black people) or Melrose Place (apartment building). OK, if I’m being honest this show probably isn’t really worth watching this late in the game. But from what I remember, I liked it better than Amen, which I think aired on the same night.
But yeah, sorry for even bringing it up. My mistake.
Head of the Class (ABC, 1986-1991)
Of all the cast members of Head of the Class, it’s the two wearing the sunglasses that have had the most post-show success.
Brian Robbins (right) has directed a number of films, including Varsity Blues, and his production company, Tollin/Robbins Productions, has brought us such shows as Smallville and One Tree Hill. Cool, right? Well, he’s also produced the movies Wild Hogs and Old Dogs, and directed the Eddie Murphy films Norbit and Meet Dave. Not so cool.
And well, Dan Schneider (left) … What is there to say about Dan Schneider other than he is now an industry. The New York Times called him “the master of a television genre” and “the Norman Lear of children’s television.” He and/or his production company, Schneider’s Bakery, Inc., has been the creative force behind nearly every successful non-Disney kid’s show in the last 15 years including, All That, Kenan & Kel, What I Like About You, Drake and Josh, iCarly and so many more.
Meanwhile, Arvid wrote a book.
WKRP in Cincinnati (CBS, 1978-1982)
I’m currently watching Season 1 of this show on HULU and, simultaneously, falling in love with Bailey Quarters.