Even if you can't remember your own kids' birthdays, we're betting you can recite every lyric to
Heck, as far as we're concerned, the composers of the best TV theme songs have purposely designed them to be so catchy, and so unforgettable, that they push more important memories right out of your head. So you can hardly be blamed for missing little Freddy's birthday last week!
Here's 10 more of TV's most memorable theme songs, just in case Freddy isn't buying your "Gilligan's Isle" excuse:
#1. 'Green Acres'
It's almost impossible to hear the last two notes of the "Green Acres" theme and not pound a fist on the nearest solid surface, but that's probably what composer Vic Mizzy intended. After all, Mizzy had success with a similar formula (two punctuated final notes) when he wrote the snappy theme to "The Addams Family" a few years earlier.
There's a reason the theme from "Rawhide" still gets stuck in your head after 50 years, and it's not just because it's fun to sing in the shower: It was penned by Ned Washington and Dimitri Tiomkin, the songwriting duo responsible for the Oscar-winning theme to "High Noon" and the Golden Globe-winning theme from "Town Without Pity."
#3. 'The Facts of Life'
After you take the good, you take the bad, and you take 'em both, what are you left with? A fairly catchy theme song, that's what. In fact, we'd be willing to bet that Mindy Cohn has had that same melody stuck in her head since 1979. (She can blame writers Al Burton, Alan Thicke and Gloria Loring for that.)
#4. 'The Golden Girls'
"Thank You for Being a Friend" was a minor Billboard hit for Andrew Gold back in 1978, but it took on a whole new life in 1985 when it was re-recorded for "The Golden Girls" by Cindy Fee (a commercial jingle singer whose voice you may have heard in this Hoover Vacuum commercial, this Wheaties campaign, or this Pontiac ad).
#5. 'All in the Family'
According to legend, series creator Norman Lear asked Carroll O'Connor and Jean Stapleton to sing the show's theme song after realizing he didn't have enough in his budget to hire professionals. That's not to say the opening credits suffered; "Those Were the Days" is just as charming and unforgettable as its rough edges.
#6. 'The NBA on NBC'
As he explains in the video below, composer John Tesh (yes, that John Tesh) wasn't near a piano when he first thought up the theme for NBC's weekly basketball presentations, so he called his own answering machine and simply sang the melody that was bouncing around in his head. Consequently, "Roundball Rock" has been bouncing around in our heads for the last 25 years, even after NBC stopped covering the NBA in 2002.
#7. 'Saved by the Bell'
Because he hated the name of the show, (more on that ), producer Peter Engel originally commissioned five different theme songs and instructed each composer not to incorporate the sound of ringing bells. But when writer Scotty Gale presented his song, which literally begins with a ringing school bell, Engel changed his mind. "My staff thinks I'm going to kill him … [but] I go, 'That's it!'" he recalled.
#8. 'The Beverly Hillbillies'
Written by "Hillbillies" creator Paul Henning and performed by Jerry Scoggins (with musical accompaniment by The Foggy Mountain Boys), "The Ballad of Jed Clampett" is not only catchy, but it lays out the entire premise of the show in under 30 seconds. It was so popular, that the show's sponsors (Kelloggs and Winston) sometimes even paid to tack on another verse touting their products.
#9. 'The Greatest American Hero'
ABC's "Greatest American Hero" ran for only three seasons in the early '80s, so you'd be forgiven for forgetting the plot, the characters, the actors, and maybe even the title of the show. We're guessing you remember the theme song, though — especially if you've ever called up George Costanza's answering machine.
#10. 'Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?'
If you were parents to a small child in the early '90s (or if you were a small child in the early '90s), you know this song. But what you probably don't know is that the co-writer Sean Altman was originally trying to emulate the rhythm of the 1990 Jane's Addiction song "Been Caught Stealing" with his voice, but it "came out sounding very doo-wop."