The Japanese have  a word: “natsukashii”.  There’s no direct English equivalent but the closest I can come up with is “nostalgia”, a fond remembrance of things past.  They say that smell is one of the biggest memory triggers – which is why I dedicate a different cologne to each chapter of my life: John Varvatos Vintage for my visits to Japan, Tuscany by Aramis for Montreal, Boss Pure by Hugo Boss was my last season on SGU, Le Male by Jean-Paul Guathier was last year in Toronto (may I never smell it again).  Sight is an obvious trigger as is taste (nothing takes me back to my youth like a spoonful of Nutella), but one sense that is oft-overlooked is sound.  Nothing says summer evenings sitting in the backyard with my parents like the symphony of mosquitoes sparking against a bug-zapper punctuated by the occasional extended sizzle of a nice juicy moth.  But for a real flashback to my youth, it has to be those old t.v. themes that carry me right back to those Saturday mornings I would wake up early to watch a cavalcade of cartoons or those weekday lunches when my sister and I would come home from school to smoked meat sandwiches or Kentucky Fried Chicken.  These, ladies and gentlemen, are my Top 10 Natsukashii T.V. Themes:

THE BANANA SPLITS

Sure, in retrospect the characters are kind of creepy, but at the time they were infinitely cooler than those earnest know-it-alls on Sesame Street.  They make great use of this theme in an ultra-violent sequence in Kick-Ass.

SCOOBY DOO

I think the show went through a bunch of theme songs, but this was the one that would greet me every Saturday morning.  I’d wake up just before 8:00 a.m. so that I could be downstairs in time to catch the first in the long line of cartoons.  The earlier shows were always the best and, as the morning would wind down, the animated offerings would give way to those Sid and Marty Krofft puppet shows I could never get into.

THE FLINTSTONES

Every weekday during our elementary school years, my sister and I would walk home for lunch.  While my father played cribbage with his boss, we’d go downstairs to eat our smoked meat sandwiches (or Kentucky Fried Chicken with Bubble-Up!) and sit through Max the 2000 Year Old Mouse (a brief necessary evil) to get to The Flintstones.  This show was such a cornerstone of my childhood that I took the later watered-down remakes – and, worse, the live action films – as a personal insult.

SPIDERMAN

What the hell were these guys on when they made this show? Extended still frames, endlessly recycled crowd sequences, and hallucinogenic backgrounds all accompanied by a cool Jazz score – it was altogether bizarre and I loved it growing up.  “Welcome friend, he’s a yorg”?  “Action is his reward.”  My writing partner Paul enlightened me once but I can’t remember.

GILLIGAN’S ISLAND

This was must-see viewing in the late afternoon hours between our return home from school and dinner.  Even at a young age, I recall being outraged by the fact that, in the original version of the opening theme, they couldn’t even be bothered to mention the professor and Mary-Anne, running through the other characters and then lumping them into “and the rest”.  The rest?!  The guy made a radio out of coconut shells for godsake!

GET SMART

Unlike Gilligan’s Island, this is a show that still holds up for me. Someday, I’m going to sit down to a marathon viewing of the entire series.  Who’s in?

BATMAN

This show was the only bright spot in the otherwise bleak landscape that was Sunday morning television.  I used to wake up extra early to watch back to back episodes from 7:30 to 8:30 before the channel gave way to morning ministries and reruns of old Westerns.  While the new Batman movies are certainly an improvement over what came before, the Adam West version remains my favorite.

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

After watching football all day Sunday (and I do mean ALL DAY – FROM THE 11:30 pre-game show to the final seconds of the Sunday night game), I’d go to school and then, after dinner, do my homework – while watching Monday Night Football.  It didn’t matter what loomed the next day – an exam, a presentation, the deadline for a paper – it all took a back seat to MNF.  I include two opening themes here, both great, as is the one by Hank Williams Jr. and the new one by Faith Hill.  And, yes, now that you mention it, I AM ready for some football.

HOGAN’S HEROES

Another part of the weekday afternoon line-up, I absolutely loved this show as a kid.  I’m not sure why, but I think a lot of it had to do with that lovable Sergeant Schultz.  One of my biggest pet peeves growing up was not knowing what happened to him after the war.  I liked to think that Hogan put in a good word for him and he ended up living out the rest of his days peacefully somewhere in Austria.

STAR TREK

Come on.  Did you actually think it wouldn’t make the list?  Next to being stranded on a deserted island with Ginger and Mary-Anne, I couldn’t think of a better life than going on that five year mission.

Okay, now it’s your turn.  What are your top natsukashii t.v. themes?

63 thoughts on “March 22, 2012: Top 10 Natsukashii T.V. Themes!

  1. Those are all really great, and I would probably include just about all of them. Other ones I really loved. Add these to your list, Joe, and this is a pretty great TV theme song playlist!

    The Courtship of Eddie’s Father
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCF7Dnov8vA

    S.W.A.T.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Iwp1d7eKbA

    The Monkees
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzA_qmJkmLY

    Love American Style
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3DpTs-iV7U

    WKRP in Cincinnati
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgEuxG5GZ-U

    Captain Kangaroo
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3w7w58CREY

    Battle of the Planets
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acOnskcyrtA

    Battlestar Galactica (the ’80s one)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHD1uPVkyk0

    I Dream of Jeannie
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XELze7CXKjk

    Green Acres
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mbk81X6WHA4

    The Beverly Hillbillies
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZuWdfMoVBA

    The Jetsons
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyinD6ZDqeg

    CHiPs
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAidnO64NE4

    The Munsters
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ik8T2rlwz58

    Lost in Space (early John Williams!)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llNnlE6Hbuc

    Mission: Impossible
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iq-YeD4L-bg

    Hawaii Five-O
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXfyhqXxf3E

    Pink Panther
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wy0ZoiJVmQk

    The Odd Couple
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEjNdcPh3Z0

    Taxi
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kzhwx8aOO0A

    Josie and the Pussycats
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IUT820fpO0

    Speed Racer
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auszi9bUr3o

    Love Boat (Written by Paul Williams! Sung by Jack Jones!)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_wFEB4Oxlo

    The Rockford Files (sorry, couldn’t find the real intro video, but this is the song)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9C8EUrtEhfM

    and last but most certainly not least, the theme from…

    Barnaby Jones

  2. I found many of your favorites to be some of my favorites too. Some others to mention would be He-Man, Transformers, and GI-Joe. That’s how I spent many days aftergrade school at my grandparents. Race to their home and watch them. Not that there was any sngning, but the Knight Rider theme was always an attention grabber when I was a kid as well. In fact, if I catch the beginning of a re-run on TV these days, i’ll sit and listen to the introduction before going back to flipping channels.

    On another note, we share a similar love of the TV series “The Shield” and you seem to be somewhat intrigued by “Sons of Anarchy” as well. I’m curious if you ever got involved with any of my other two favorites: Highlander The Series and La Femme Nikita (TV)? While they both kind of suffered through their first seasons as the writers/actors of both shows tried to establish how they wanted the main characters portrayed, the subsequent seasons where some of my favorite TV pleasures during that time. Any opinions on those shows?

    P.S. I see the SyFy channel has decided to not pick-up the latest Battlestar TV Series. They will run the piolt, but chose to pass on having it as a series. It seems that “space-based” shows aren’t of interest to that channel anymore. With that being said, where do you imagine your Dark Matter Series finding a home?

    Thanks!

  3. That sounds pretty much my childhood line up to the show. I would add the “The Bugs Bunny” show to the list though, which was must see TV here at 5:00pm on Saturdays. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-t8PngHgWY I STILL sing this song just before any stage performance in which I’m involved.

    There’s been a few times lately that I’ve spent (wasted?) an entire afternoon on YouTube looking up old TV themes and thinking that TV shows today are really lacking in good opening theme music. I suppose it cuts into too much commercial time, sadly. I feel that it’s kind of the appetizer to the main course, so to speak, or like a fanfare for what’s to come, building anticipation.

    Hey, if you’re up for Get Smart, so am I!

  4. Thanks, Joe. Now I have the Spiderman theme stuck in my head.

    But you and Lou hit most of the high points. But you left out “The Addams Fa-mi-ly” *double finger snap*

  5. Hi Joe, you and Lou covered most of them, but many of Lou’s came a bit later for me and don’t have the same natsukashii. Don’t forget Lost in Space! For you, smoked meat sandwiches or KFC, and for me, pan con frijoles (Guatemalan refried black bean sandwiches) with queso de capas (something like queso blanco, only better) and chiltepe peppers (THE hot pepper of Guatemala). Oh, horchata, too! That’s some serious natsukashii! I think a trip to the Latin market is in order now. 🙂

  6. Holy crap, between you and Lou Zacaro, you’ve hit nearly everything I watched as a kid. I loved Hogan’s Heroes too. I had a crush on Bob Crane. Then, when one of my older brothers told me he’d been murdered horribly, I had a hard time watching it after that. Knowing that handsome, clever, wise-cracking guy was dead (in such a violent way) disturbed me too much. I was probably a little too young for my brother to be telling me something like that.

    Y’know what’s odd, though? Throughout my adult life, I’ve met tons of people who sing that Banana Splits song and expect that I know what they’re referring to… AND I DON’T! I’d never ever heard of that show until after I was out of university. Even watching your clip, it brings back exactly zero memories. Maybe it didn’t play in Detroit? (Although I find that nearly impossible to believe. Why would it not?) I feel certain that if it had been on the air there, I’d at least recognize the song. My brain grabs hold of any tune and locks it in — I can hum instrumental commercial jingles note for note (Bank of America, circa 1994; Motel 6, in the Tom Bodett era, for example), although it’s been nearly 2 decades since they last played on TV. But Banana Splits is not in there.

    With Courtship of Eddie’s Father, I can say I know the theme well, but I don’t really remember the show all that well. This is an example of where the theme is better than the program itself.

    I would add these:

    Family Affair:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uc6lSUuZEOM

    Magnum P.I. (still love this show; I should buy the box sets):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CquMO3vJvo

    Simon & Simon (or Simón y Simón, as I like to call it): I was so in love with Jameson Parker as a kid, but now when I watch it, it’s Gerald McRaney I adore.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDhz_mVcVCQ

    The Friendly Giant:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxDfrT5zIY4

    Mr. Dress-up:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vc1rOXravM

    And one of the all-time best-written theme songs ever: Scarecrow and Mrs. King
    I had a crush on Bruce Boxleitner through my middle school and teenage years, and then after university, I found myself working on Babylon 5 — right next to my Crush Object!!!! I can’t express how stoked I was to have that job. My expression gave nothing away, though, however much my heart was fluttering wildly. But then one day we got into a discussion about the movie “Mars Attacks!” He didn’t think it was funny! I was so sad that he appeared not to have “gotten it” or understood what a brilliant film it was. I realized, soberly, that he was no longer the Crush Object for me.

  7. ROFLMAO– okay on all those, except
    ::: but at the time they were infinitely cooler than those earnest know-it-alls on Sesame Street. ;;;;
    Sorry, they were creepy and really NOT COOL even at the time.
    And meh on football.

  8. most of mine are sci-fi;
    all of the star treks (but not ENT. i like the ending credit music better) stargate: sg-1 😀 quanum leap, macgyver, magnum P.I.

  9. Way back when, one of our local stations had a program that ran horror movies at 10:30 on Saturday night: Creature Features. It had the most wonderful, creepy theme music – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AN3PL0_ZJa0&feature=related

    When my parents would go out, my older brother and I had to wait until the my younger brother fell asleep, then we were allowed to sneak out of bed and go watch TV. Staying up late to watch Creature Features was kind of a rite of passage into adulthood for me. Dang. I haven’t thought about that in years. Natstukasii indeed.

    1. Just copy and paste the link. The actual video doesn’t show up until you hit “Post Comment”. Until then, it’s just the text of the link that you see.

    2. Huh. If I’d known posting videos would make loading this page choke my browser, I’d have just posted links instead. But I don’t know how to make the links just stay links, rather than embedding the video in the comment. Maybe Sparrow_hawk could enlighten me on that.

  10. Most of your favourites are my old favourites as well.
    One banana two banana three banana four… But Fred Flintstone? He was a real jerk. 😉

    On a completely different topic. Today I nearly cried. After a month of getting a second hand hot tub (given to me) moved to my house, getting a crane,finding six people to help move it, setting up a pad, fixing leaks, buying parts to repair the parts family members broke when moving it, washing and cleaning it, and then carefully wiring it up, spending money I can hardly afford to spend because both me and my wife are on disability (me with arthritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis), I plugged it in and got ready for a nice hot soak. But the water level was just a bit too low, the heater kicked in while it was air locked.

    Without any water in it, the water heater melted a hole in itself. THEN water was able to flow which immediately dumped water all over the motor.

    It is likely the motor and control unit is ruined. I really just feel like screaming, or crying or hiding in a dark corner.

    Sigh.

    I finished my Stargate SG1 rewatch. I’m onto Stargate Atlantis. I think I like SG1 better. I tend to want to skip over SGA episodes less often (mostly the Tayla is a spy episodes), but this might just because I watched SGA fairly recently. It might just be too soon.

    I really like SGU most of all, but because of its short run it failed to create the feeling of comradery that SG1 was able to create so well.

    I’ve noticed you’ve done a number of different things on the show, from writing to various producing jobs. There sure seem to be a lot of different kinds of producers. Have you ever mentioned online what the differences are? What your favourite jobs were?

    Thanks for letting me vent.

    Mike from Victoria

  11. Pretty much spot on!

    Being in Australia I didn’t get to watch NFL as a child. 🙁

    However I would have the other nine in there along with Doctor Who (right near the top) and the Monkees.
    Love them all – couldn’t pick one to remove to make a top ten!

  12. I’d have to add M*A*S*H in there somewhere, if it is not there already. I’m totally with you on Hogan’s Heroes. I LOVED that show. And also Hong Kong Phooey. Though now I’m not really sure why. I would wake up at the crack of dawn Saturday to watch it and then go back to sleep.

  13. G’day Joe

    I used to watch and love Mr Squiggle
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IWlOtJ5X_k

    My favourite was of course The Flying Doctors, terrific Aussie drama. Although not really my youth, teens to early 20’s :-p

    Yes, Yes, Yes I am so up for a viewing of Get Smart, problem no.1, I do not have any on DVD, bugger. One of the best and you are correct, the show still holds up after all this time. As does Hogans Heroes.

  14. Pretty much everything mentioned by you and in the comments, plus The Jeffersons. Moving on up… 🙂

  15. I had the Green Acres theme song stuck in my head just the other day! I think most of my favorites are already mentioned. I’d add Happy Days and Secret Agent Man.

  16. @Joe:

    How could you forget the Jetsons? (His boy Elroy…) Or Speed Racer? (Go Speed Racer Go!) Does anyone remember Ultraman? (Ultraman, Ultraman, here he comes frome the sky…).

    Man, I better stop there as I am really dating myself and my kids are now looking at me funny.

    @Tam Dixon:

    Thanks for the second! 😀

    @slyvia and Sparrow_Hawk:

    A first annual Chicagoland foodie tour? I like it! Maybe we should start posting suitable restaurants? Any suggestions? I have a couple I’d like to try (Alinea, L20?) See:

    http://gochicago.about.com/od/chicagorestaurantseats/tp/top_restaurants.htm

  17. Batman and Hogan’s Heroes were must see TV for child me even though it was two and a half decades after they began airing. Wild Wild West was another one (and none of that Will Smith bulls**t). My parents were kind of weird about what TV shows I was allowed to watch so I missed the He-man and Ninja Turtles bandwagon of my peer group.

    For audio triggers there are two biggies. The first was a musical audio book of the Cabbage Patch Kids origin story. It ended up on a Cracked article a few months ago and the YouTube video was like being transported back to elementary school. The second was the theme song for the BBC version of the Chronicles of Narnia. I still have the VHS tape recorded from PBS and reduced to static from all the times I watched it.

  18. Awe natsukashii . . .

    10 Mission Impossible
    09 The Monkees
    08 Dick Van Dyke Show
    07 Star Trek
    06 Gunsmoke
    05 Outer Limits
    04 Twilight Zone
    03 Gilligan’s Island
    02 Bonanza

    and coming in an easy first place,

    01 I Love Lucy

  19. My favorites are
    Miami Vice
    Hill Street Blues
    MASH
    LA Law
    MAry Tyler Moore
    MAcGyver
    Mod Squad
    StarGate SG1 (of course)
    Star Trek – all of them especially Voyager)
    and a silly guilty pleasure from when I was a teeny bopper
    – The Partridge Family 🙂

  20. One thing this post and the followup comments make clear to me is that I watched WAY too much TV as a kid!! Other than a few random shows mentioned, I watched just about ALL of these. I have a strong memory of theme songs, too, so I either know the theme songs just from seeing the opening screen shots, or remember them after the first few bars of music. Growing up in the Pacific NW, I had the advantage of seeing both the US shows and some of the CBC ones, as well. I loved Gentle Giant and Mr. Dress Up (thanks for the memories @Kathode!).

    I would add to the list:

    J.P. Patches (local Seattle show)
    Land of the Giants
    Land of the Lost
    Incredible Hulk

    I was incredibly happy to find the entire set of Gilligan’s Island episodes available on Amazon Prime. I am now introducing my daughters to this classic of American TV. They are finding it hilarious!

    Awesome memories, Joe! You’re absolutely right about the way sound triggers memories. My co-workers are always kidding me about how much of my brain is taken up by theme songs from 70’s and 80’s TV shows!

  21. Omigosh Joe! All those themes! That’s my childhood! 😀 “Hawaii Five-O” (original) was always my favorite theme. The tune would always get stuck in my head. I was always humming that theme. In fact…to this day…sometimes I find myself humming that “Hawaii Five-O” theme. Of course can’t forget “Love Boat”…I think I may still know the words to that theme. I always sang along. 🙂 “Scooby-Doo” was always fun to sing. CHiPs was awesome! I also love the “Facts of Life” theme. That…I knew all the words and always sang along. 🙂 Love “Speed Racer” too! I also have always loved the Sesame Street theme…and I mean the old version. 🙂 Taxi was a good show. Loved the theme. Of course…can’t forget “Cheers”….”Where Everybody Knows Your Name”. See…Joe…now you got me started…and I just go on forever. Yes…also love “Jose and the Pussycats”. 🙂

  22. The ones I really remember from young childhood were Batman, MASH, The Jetsons, Step by Step, The Nanny, and My Little Pony. Growing up to a little older, the ones that make me nostalgic are definitely the themes to Sister Sister, Fresh Prince of Bel Air, So Weird, Goosebumps, Are You Afraid of the Dark, and The X-Files.

    I guess that’s more than 10, oops! I also started in the supernatural genre early, I see. I’d forgotten how many shows like that I watched as a kid (besides The X-Files which I still love). I do, however, remember having to sneak away to watch them. The X-Files and Are You Afraid of the Dark will forever remind me of my grandparents’ homes because they didn’t care what I watched, unlike my mother.lol

    Glad to see you got to meet up with some Stargate friends! Always good to see their smiling faces on your blog.

  23. The Price is Right, Woody Woodpecker, Hogan’s Heroes, He-Man, CHiPS, Star Trek, Doctor Who, Hee Haw, Cosby Show, Jimmy Swaggert, Morton Downey Jr., Phil Donahue, SNL back when we still called it Saturday Night Live

    I don’t claim to have enjoyed every one of those shows, but some were just all that came in way out in the country with no satellite dish.

    In showing some shows to my kids, I realize just how screwed up some of them were.

    Woody Woodpecker was no hero. What a scoundrel. He posed as the tax man and took his neighbor’s house, then hid the stolen food and gave him a log to eat when he came begging – was that a statement about government? Anyhow, Woody was still a criminal and cruel. He had a “swinging” pool party… and that’s where we stopped the video since we didn’t know how much further this show was going to go.

    And the Tom & Jerry DVD had a disclaimer at the beginning about its racist content. The disclaimer had the nerve to passive-aggressively imply that I was just as bad of a racist if I objected to the content not being cleaned up because that would be “pretending it didn’t exist” (use of past tense theirs).

    No, you should still be able to buy stuff that’s cleaned up, then tell your kids when they’re ready why shows need to be cleaned up and nothing about that is “pretending it didn’t exist”. If racists don’t spoil your choice of when to have that conversation with your kids, that is. I’m not saying kids will get the racism in T&J (only the sexism is presented on their level), but come on, don’t pull passive-aggressive crap on me when I just want my kids to enjoy a nice afternoon of watching Tom and Jerry try to kill each other.

  24. Transformers
    Knight Rider
    A-Team
    Airwolf
    And although I didn’t watch this when I was young, the Dr. Who theme is TV’s all time best theme.

  25. Arigato gozai mashita , Joe San,
    (Apologies for spelling) – for the wonderful trip down the natsukashii memories lane.

    Collectively you all named my favs..INCLUDING the Hawaii 5 0 theme which was good then and is good now.

    Sound – is powerful. After I moved, I had the windows open and heard for the first time the wind blowing through the trees and was immediately wrapped in a wonderful short period of my life. To hear the wind/trees is so powerfully calming. I had forgotten that. Now I look forward to being able to open the windows to listen to my natsukashii symphony.

    @JeffW, Sparrow_Hawk, Tam and others in the Chicagoland area.
    Sounds like a good idea. Somehwere I have a list of places – actually prepard by someone else for the area. Include as JeffW did with his list. To be honest, those look pretty good.

  26. OH…OH…how could I forget….derrrr.
    The Peanuts theme…Lucy and Linus and the wonderful Snoopy happy dance.
    arrrrrggghhh…. Can’t forget that!

  27. I pretty much watched from 9am to noon all the classic cartoons. The ones you mentioned, and also that really tiring Rocket Robinhood. Out of maybe half an hour one would get about 12mins worth animation – the rest were commericals or repeats of what happened 2 mins earlier!

  28. @Lou Zucaro:

    Count me in on a Chicagoland foodie tour. Would you all be up for any type of restaurant, or only upscale? There are many great less expensive restaurants around, too!

    I’m open for just about anything. For example, my wife and I have enjoyed this restaurant in Crystal Lake:

    http://www.1776restaurant.com/

    It’s one of those places that you have to watch for specials, since the menu changes often. The last meal I had there included Alligator, Ostrich, and Bison. But it may be too far from Chicago for some though…

    @sylvia

    Maybe we could put together a list and vote on it? I could put up a picture on flickr (which allows comments) to start so that we can avoid tying up Joe’s comment section with this discussion. I’ll do that tomorrow and post a link.

    Goodnight, everyone!

  29. Wow. All these shows really bring me back. I guess the Rockford Files was the one I always made sure I tried to watch. I couldn’t remember most of them until I saw them listed. Saturday morning, the one I recall most is
    “The Land of The Lost”.
    I really enjoyed the movie, I thought it was pretty funny.

    The one smell that always gets me is the smell of an elementary school. It’s a very particular smell, it seems to be the same no matter what school, my old elementary, my sons, my daughters. They all smell the same. Old sandwiches, chalk, paste glue and floor wax.

    Mike from Victoria

  30. Well, I was going to say that mine would be too many to list, but so far my childhood has been well represented with everyone else’s posts. While I am a child of the seventies, we had a station in town that reran a lot of shows from all the previous generations great shows. I got to watch everything from Addams Family to Leave it to Beaver to I Dream of Jeannie to Get Smart to I Love Lucy and eveything in between. I surely could not list every show I used to watch, but I also get nostalgic with game show themes, too. Some of those really take me back.

    I’ll spin this in a new direction: TV themes from the ’90’s that either aren’t in reruns or just started reruns that you have heard since they last went off the air. Recently G4TV started rerunning Quantum Leap. Great theme song to a great show. Lots of story, just enough sci-fi, great mix of humor and seriousness, great show.

    Honestly, the other one I’m thinking of is SG1. In all seriousness, everytime I hear the theme song I think of a time when a new sci-fi show was just starting up on Showtime and I was just finishing up with college. I thought it made perfect sense as to the Stargate going more than just one place, I liked the movie, why not give it a shot. Besides, it was on Showtime, I figured that meant they’d throw good money at it. Plus it was a whole new spin(pardon the pun) on star travel and it was based in the present day.

    I’m glad I decided to start watching that little show.

    -Mike A.

  31. Wow. Just thinking about all those themes brings me back to my youth.
    Most of my favorites (Hogan’s Heroes, MacGyver, A-Team, Star Trek) were already mentioned but what I really loved were those cartoons from the 80s and early 90s:

    Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWOA1TtK2YY
    Galaxy Rangers
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3o3YZkNzgI&feature=fvst
    Thundercats
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uA8yIXcY8HI
    Captain Future
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcjhpETolG0
    Gummi Bears
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2z8V2yL5P0
    Duck Tales

  32. hi Joe- Many of yours were also mine as I am just a few years older than you. But here is a tidbit you may already know- The director of Superman 1 (Richard Donner) got his first directorial job on the Banana Splits.

    I could add
    Felix the Cat:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2YJduDyFA4

    Gigantor:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNEKhxvEvlc

    The Brady Bunch:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ou-FeOoKDq4

    The Ghost and Mrs Muir:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkBSO4pZEnA&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PLB3D221E6256FEA00

    The Paul Winchell Show:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QH_xfQaQ2gw&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PLC81BDD27505899BA

    The Hobo Kelly Show (local Los Angeles kid’s show):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knnz9rBtW_E

    Romper Room:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0aFlgq48AU

    There are more, but that’s enough for this old lady…

    –Gina

  33. Wow! There’s a lot of memories there.

    Here’s a few from an Australian/English point of view that trigger very strong memories from my childhood:

    Danger Mouse:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UE7WrEidvyY

    The Goodies:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raHNSIWOG4k

    Skippy The Bush Kangaroo:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HRZLMePW0U

    Definitely up for a Get Smart marathon! Although I think if we do that we’ll notice that they just use the same jokes every single episode!

  34. We’re about the same age, you and I and my list is exactly the same!

    A little Banana Splits flashback: When I was little, they made an appearance at a local amusement park and I was thrilled to go. As I got closer and actually got to meet them, I was CRUSHED when I noticed one of them had hair hanging out of the back of their costumed head. And that’s when I knew: the Banana Splits were NOT real. They were just people in really disturbing costumes. It really upset me. I think I was 5 or 6.

  35. Great choices all. May I also recommend http://www.televisiontunes.com/index.php to listen to hundreds of great themes. Found this site and I absolutely love to listen to the stuff of my childhood. And just to add a few of my faves:
    Fireball XL-5 (or just about any Gerry Anderson show)
    SG-1 and Atlantis (naturally)
    Brisco County Jr.
    Hogan’s Heroes (talk about in need of getting the Big Screen treatment)
    Speed Racer
    Space Battleship Yamato (aka Starblazers)
    well, the list could go on, but those themes always stuck with me.

  36. Joe, I agree with all that you mentioned, and man, was my work laptop slow to load this post with all the vids!
    I will add to your’s and Lou’s, Man from U.N.C.L.E. and Bonanza and Here Come the Brides!

    Everyone have a great weekend!
    2cats

  37. Posted these early-ish last night, but something ate them. Trying again. 🙂

    ——————————————————————-

    Good choices, Joe, and everyone. So many favorites are pegged already. But I have more! Ahem, yeah, I probably watched too much T.V. 😀

    Definitely favored action and comedy. In no particular order:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxTOze30SCA
    Johnny Quest

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJ9yAV8uQ7g&feature=related
    The Muppet Show

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8w9xk4hUKoQ
    Mr. Rogers

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfjU3e1X74M
    Little House on the Prairie

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUEu79-3tOE
    Bewitched

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRa9uhiAPBs
    Baretta

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GN1grF2rXpM
    Starsky & Hutch

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPaed8I3V1A
    Welcome Back Kotter

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mM95AwDgask
    Good Times

    Lastly, one I found in re-runs and loved. Cameraderie & an ensemble cast. Kinda like the regulars here on the blog. Here’s to Natsukashii, y’all. 🙂

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eiW3pyMdp3w
    Mary Tyler Moore

  38. Did you know that Gene Roddenberry wrote lyrics to the Star Trek theme song. I came across them a few years back. Here they are:

    “Theme from Star Trek” Lyrics by Gene Roddenberry from The Making of Star Trek by Stephen E. Whitfield and Gene Roddenberry)

    Beyond
    The rim of the star-light
    My love
    Is wand’ring in star-flight
    I know
    He’ll find in star-clustered reaches
    Love,
    Strange love a star woman teaches.
    I know
    His journey ends never
    His star trek
    Will go on forever.
    But tell him
    While he wanders his starry sea
    Remember, remember me.

    PS: I was always partial to The Adams Family theme song. – Jennifer

  39. Those clips bring back memories! Hubby was singing along with the videos. I’m not familiar with Banana Split but the characters look familiar. Maybe they had an American version or something. Oh and later they did include the Professor and Mary Ann in the theme song. I could sing it for you both way but I’m sure NO one would want that! You and Lou did a great job compiling natsukashii shows. The only thing not included were those School House Rock Videos. We have all of them disk now. My hubby will still break out in song with those dittys. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TI8xqLl_-w

    Sylvia: Thanks but I’m in the TN/MS area. I was just putting in a plug for JeffW 😉 . Unless Mr. M. wants to eat a plethora of fried foods or BBQ, he probably won’t take a food tour through here. I’m actually surprised he hasn’t made any trips to the New York area. They are known for fine dining.

  40. Stargate question for you… With our ‘moon base’ having its spiffy blue-chevroned stargate, and presumably still having our older-model one in the SGC, or perhaps now the Pentagon, would the Pegasus gate still block the Milky Way gate on Earth? And if not, would it be feasible for gate travel between Earth and the Moon?

  41. Seven or eight of your ten are on my list. Never have been a football fan, vaguely remember the Banana Splits, and while I remember the Spiderman theme, I don’t remember much of the show.

    Can’t really add much to the list, though. When you begin making up your own stories when you’re a kid, you kind of tune out a lot of things going on around you.

  42. Great post. It was “natsukashii” for me. We seemed to have has similar weekend viewing habits. Ha. One addition I would make would be HR Puffenstuff, with Witchiepoo and the magic flute. I could still sit down and watch some of those shows. Your mention of Monday Night Football is great to remember when it was the event of the week. Today with ESPN, Thursday Night Football, it is just another game.

  43. I’m pretty sure my top 10 theme songs would have to be

    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
    Chip ‘n’ Dale Rescue Rangers
    DuckTales
    The X-Men Cartoon
    the original Scooby Doo
    Sailor Moon
    ThunderCats
    Star Trek: The Next Generation (my Dad and I used to watch this all the time when I was growing up)
    The X-Files
    MacGyver

    They each hold a distinct part of my childhood up through high school in their opening theme song. Pretty typical for a kid growing up in the 80’s and early 90’s.

  44. I’m just slightly younger than you, so your list is pretty much my list (with the exception of Monday Night Football (I’m not a football fan) and Banana Splits). To that list, I would also add:

    Brady Bunch
    The Monkees (not a fave, but I would watch it)
    Beverly Hillbillies (which I find unwatchable as an adult)
    Six Million Dollar Man
    BionicWoman (I had the lunchbox!)
    Wonder Woman
    Charlie’s Angels
    Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys Mysteries
    MASH
    Mary Tyler Moore
    Bugs Bunny (which my young kids now LOVE)

  45. Great, Line Noise, now I’ve got “Skippy the Bush Kangaroo” in my head, and I’ve never even seen the show.

    “Skippeeeeeeeee, Skippeeeeeeee,
    Skippy the Bush Kangarooooooooo.
    Skippeeeeeeee, Skippeeeeeeeee,
    Skippy, our friend ever true!”

    Thanks a LOT!

  46. I know waaay too many of those theme songs. Between the years I spent watching TV and the years I spent listening to TV theme songs from another room while my kids watched cartoons…

    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, heroes on the half-shell – Turtle Power!

    Thanks IggyMing – now I’ll spend the rest of the day with that one on the brain! 😛 Or maybe I can get Secret Agent Man to displace it if I try hard:

    There’s a man who lives a life of danger…
    To everyone he meets, he stays a stranger…

    There that’s better.

  47. G’day Joe

    Just a few more

    Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, a must view for living in Australia and it had a helicopter, really cool.

    Hart to Hart and The Love Boat turned me into the die-hard shipper that I am today.

  48. My “Nostalgia” themes are:

    1) The old James Bond theme song complete with the quintessential target tracking on Bond sequence. It’s just great! Actually it’s my Christmas season movie marathon, pre-Daniel Craig Bond films, I love ’em.

    2) The theme for STAR TREK Voyager. I’ve watched Trek since I was four and saw The Next Generation premiere. It’s a tough choice for between this one and Deep Space Nine’s theme, but this one still reminds me excitedly of the moment when Voyager goes into warp at the end of the whole sequence. I’m an engineer at heart and watching those nacelles angle into place then the ship go into warp is still awe-inspiring. I can’t help but love it even though the show wasn’t my favorite Trek series.

    3) And of course, there’s the Awards Ceremony theme song at the end of STAR WARS A New Hope. How can you not wish to be in that scene? The music is so stirring. What a payoff at the end of that film.

  49. Gosh I remember a lot of those you and others here have named and they’ve definitely hit the nostalgia button hard. Hogan’s Heroes and Speed Racer were my two not to be missed TV shows as a kid. I also loved Emergency! But the theme songs/music from Gilligan’s Isle, Beverly Hillbillies and Lost in Space actually make me cringe. I just never liked their humor and had to watch too much of them. A rather strange but happy “natsukashii” sound trigger for me is anything to do with Lawrence Welk. My parents loved it. The whole family would sit around the TV and watch it every week….

  50. Aww I loved all those shows (except the football) especially the Banana Splits. I thought they were hilarious. What a fun blast from the past.

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