Five crappiest network TV theme songs of the last 40 years

A couple of years back, we covered some of TV's worst theme songs, but the list was just too long not to revisit. In honor of the new TV season, let's take a second look at more of the worst that TV theme songs have had to offer over the years. Because when it comes to terrible TV musical openings, there's an embarrassment of riches.

5.Walker, Texas Ranger

The absolute power of Chuck Norris ("When Chuck Norris enters a body of water, he doesn't get wet... the water gets Chuck Norris") did not translate to the theme song to his inexplicably long-running television series, based primarily on kicking. Lots and lots of kicking. As lame as that sounds, it's not nearly as bad as this theme song, the name of which I'm not going to even bother to look up, since it's just that awful. I'm sure it has a name, but I can't summon the will to bother, frankly -- much like the theme's songwriter felt, I'd imagine. Let's just call it "Generic Guitar" and be done with it.


There's something charming about TV openings that tell you some backstory -- but this one from Alice's early years just doesn't make sense. Her car breaks down in Phoenix, so she gets a job and lives there? What is that? Poor planning, I'd say. It's certainly not a reason to choose a geographic region of the country in which to raise your milquetoast son, or joke with your new gal-pals who are either geriatrically slutty or mentally challenged.

3.BJ and the Bear

It's interesting -- this ridiculous song just doesn't fit this ridiculous show, somehow. It's one part Every Which Way But Loose, one part Convoy, a heaping handful of Wrigley's gum commercials, and a dab of Greg Evigan hair mousse. Maybe the whole thing is just setting viewers up for the end of the intro, when the semi drives through a billboard advertising the show itself, in a weird break-the-fourth-wall sort of move. At that point, you're sort of done with wanting any of it to make sense, which is sort of a perfect prep for the show that followed, come to think of it. 

2. Who's the Boss?
 "There's a path you take, and a path not taken. The choice is up to you, my friend." This Miyagi-lite advice brought to you by the too-mellow sounds of Connecticut sitcoms in the 1980s, where it's always Fall, there's lots of hugging, and everyone's grandma was oversexed and sarcastic. 

1.Eight is Enough

Watch this, and then imagine John Belushi's stealing the singer's guitar, smashing it to pieces against the stairway wall, and then shrugging and saying, "Sorry." It'll make everything okay, I promise.

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Teague Bohlen is a writer, novelist and professor at the University of Colorado Denver. His first novel, The Pull of the Earth, won the Colorado Book Award for Literary Fiction in 2007; his textbook The Snarktastic Guide to College Success came out in 2014. His new collection of flash fiction, Flatland, is available now.
Contact: Teague Bohlen