Friday, June 10, 2005

Peep and what followed

As the parents of two preschoolers (ages 2.568227 and 4.357185 as calculated by the trusty Detailed Age Counter), Mrs. Captnkurt and I are usually up at the proverbial crack of dawn, getting ready for work and getting the boys dressed and ready to be dropped off at daycare. Usually, there is about a 15-minute window that allows the kids to check out their current morningtime favorite cartoon, Peep and the Big Wide World".


The show is pretty cute, but the theme song is great! Now most kid's show theme songs are either embarrassing (think Teletubbies), cloyingly nausea-inducing (a la Barney's "I Love You, You Love Me" soul-sucker) or just plain forgettable (such as...uh, I forget).

But the theme from Peep is none of those things. The first time I heard it the other morning, I thought, "Man, that guy sounds a lot like Taj Mahal", which in fact is who it turned out to be. Bouncy and full of fun with banjo, bass and handclaps, I am actually sorry that it's only 45 seconds long. Check it out for yourself and see what I mean.

Speaking of TV theme songs, the fine minds at Retrocrush have compiled The 100 Greatest TV Themes. Chock-fulla details, samples and links to fansites, it's a long but worthy read. Hey! Where the hell is the theme from "60 Minutes"?! Hee hee hah!...


That was a joke, people. You see, because "60 Minutes" doesn't even have a th... ah, fergeddit.

On to even more theme-y goodness!

Slate recently had polled its readers on what they thought were the most incongruent songs for an ad campaign. The winner was Caribbean Cruise Line and its use of Iggy Pop's "Lust For Life". Because, as one Slate reader put it, "Nothing says maritime comfort like a song about shooting up junk."

From the Theme-Songs-You-Probably-Didn't-Even-Know-Had-Lyrics Dep't.
Lorne Greene singing the theme from Bonanza.

Theme from Star Trek, sung by Uhura and ending on a note that may kill every dog in your neighborhood.

Theme from M*A*S*H (couldn't find a direct link, but you can hear the first bit here on AllMusicGuide's page).

I would be remiss if I did not give a tip 'o' the ole TV theme cap to Mark Little's, which seems to have every TV theme song ever made and maybe some that shouldn't have been made. Where else are you gonna find the theme songs from "Hello, Larry" and "Land of the Lost", complete with terrifying Sleestak SFX?

Lastly, a parody of a former network jingle, which are kind of like theme songs. A little. Come on people, work with me here... Anyhoo, it's from the When Announcers Go Nuts section of

"NBC, in third place in 1980, went to Joey Levine Crushing Enterprises who wrote the Proud as a Peacock jingle for them - a high energy, catchy "BIG" promotion campaign. This was at the direction of Fred Silverman (who had just recently taken over programming duties at NBC)."

"From that season came such disasters as "Supertrain" and the 1980 Olympic Games were boycotted by the U.S., so there was no coverage - despite the huge sum of money NBC paid the Games Committee."

"NBC continued to slide - but, on the air, they were BIG, BIG, B I G - And PROUD! This lead to an internal lampooning of the 'Proud As A Peacock' campaign - the recording of "We're LOUD," a severe parody of the "We're PROUD" campaign song."
- Dan Ferreira

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