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[Kicking Back with Jersey Joe LIVE] What is Your Favorite Christmas Movie?

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Jersey Joe and his friend Pete chat with patrons at O’Hara’s Downtown in Jersey City, New Jersey about their favorite Christmas movies.  Did yours make the list?

THE 411

What: Your favorite Christmas movie

Where: recorded at O’Hara’s Downtown, Jersey City, New Jersey

JERSEY JOE RECOMMENDS:

What is your favorite Christmas movie?  Join in on the conversation now @JerseyJoe50 on twitter!  Did yours make the list?

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[Kicking Back with Jersey Joe] Jersey Joe’s Top 100 TV Themes (Honorable Mentions)

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It’s been a great summer counting down my top 100 TV themes.  It was a task that was harder than it looked!  I chose my top 100 based on theme, style, and if the credits properly demonstrated to viewers what the series was about.  There were many more than 100 that I wanted to feature, so here’s a few honorable mentions that came close to making my list.

 

ENTOURAGE

 

 

The Entourage opening credits featured a great theme and cool shots of the actor’s names as neon store front signs in LA.  The final overhead car shot was pretty neat, too!

 

WILL & GRACE

 

 

Will & Grace get bonus points for having one of the most unique opening credits sequences I’ve ever seen.  Whoever designed this did a great job of interspersing a few funny clips inside layers of the show’s logo, something no one else has really done.  The piano theme is pretty cool, too!

 

MISTER ROGERS NEIGHBORHOOD

 

 

Everyone who was a kid in the 70s – 90s can probably sing this theme song!  When I was a kid, I always wanted that traffic light in Mr. Rogers’ house!

 

Only people from Western Pennsylvania have probably ridden the Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood trolley at Idlewild Park in Ligonier, PA.  Sadly, that ride has closed and will be re-themed as Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and will reopen in 2015.

 

SESAME STREET

 

 

Sesame Street is really much more hi-tech now then when we were all kids, right?

 

ER

 

 

Man this was a big show back in the day… and George Clooney, wonder whatever happened to him?

 

CAGNEY & LACEY

 

 

The saxophone solos in the second version of the Cagney & Lacey credits was the best!  Much better than the jazzy theme from the forgetful first season with Meg Foster!

 

TJ HOOKER

 

 

I am so glad they are rerunning this on Universal HD… William Shatner jumping over the hood of cars, YES PLEASE!

 

THE BRADY BUNCH

 

 

Here’s another song that everybody knows.  This was taken from an early second season episode.  They would have to reshoot the opening each season as the kids grew older.

 

STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE

 

 

The second version of the opening credits to this series was the best!  I love how they added all the little ships and activity going on around the space station.

 

THE 411

 

What: TV Theme Songs

 

Use: themes used to open a TV series or cartoon

 

Purpose: introduce main cast and introduce audience to the theme of the series

 

Numbers reviewed: Honorable mentions

 

JERSEY JOE RECOMMENDS:

 

So, here are a few that I wish I could have squeezed into my top 100 list.  There are loads more that we could have gone over and everybody has their opinion, but these few really needed to be added to the list.

 

I hope through my top 100 and these bonus additions, that I was able to help you take a walk down TV memory lane.  I also hope that I got a few of your favorites on my list!  If there’s any you think I missed – I’d love to hear about it!

 

I don’t own any of the rights to these, nor did I upload them to YouTube.  This blog is presented for educational and informational purposes.

 

Image credit – Howard Walfish

[Kicking Back with Jersey Joe] Jersey Joe’s Top 100 TV Themes (41-50)

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Here it is!  We’ve made it to the top 50!  All summer long, I’ve been counting down my top 100 favorite TV show themes.  We’ve had everything from current hits, to kid’s shows, to obscure classics.  Let’s keep the list going and see what’s in store for the next set of 10!

 

#50 KNIGHT RIDER

Airdates: 1982-1986 (NBC)

 

 

I can’t tell you how bad I’ve always wanted to drive this car!  I recently re-watched the pilot on DVD and was shocked at how graphic it was for the 80’s.  The pilot shows our hero, Michael Knight, getting shot in the head as a cop and then is nursed back to health with no family, no identity, and goes to work for the Foundation for Law and Government.  Basically, they go after the bad guys, when the cops can’t!

 

Michael’s talking car, KITT (perfectly voiced by actor William Daniels) was a super computer on wheels.  This car is far more advanced than anything we have on the road today.  This car could drive 150 MPH on auto-pilot through city streets, had an early form of GPS, a computer database that could look up just about anything, and a TURBO BOOST button that caused the car to jump high in the air.  Why hasn’t our military developed this?

 

I don’t know who voiced over the original intro (there was no voice over for the first few episodes), but he sounded like he really needed to stop smoking.  It was all he could do to get the show’s title out of his mouth before being winded.  Listen to him gasp for air!

 

Want to hear a scarier version of the intro?  Listen to this guy from the Danish version:

 

 

I still say the show’s greatest episode was when KITT was challenged by his evil twin KARR.  Kind of reminds me of Data and Lore from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

 

While the show was awesome in the 80’s (and including several made for TV movies), it has been brought back twice since.  One ran for two seasons in syndication as Team Knight Rider and in 2008 for NBC starring Val Kilmer.  The 2008 version was a disaster all around.  They changed the car into a Transformer and even recycled some of the original series plots.

 

 

#49 THE DUKES OF HAZZARD

Airdates: 1979-1985 (CBS)

 

 

The only way to follow Knight Rider in my count down is to go with another of TV’s greatest car show ever, The Dukes of Hazzard.  You can’t tell me that there’s ever been a funnier cop to watch on TV than Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane!

 

A bunch of country hicks that run around in a car with the doors welded shut, getting arrested over and over.  That was the plot for the series that skyrocketed in the ratings week after week.

 

As the show grew with fans, so did the cast’s egos.  First, James Best as Roscoe walked off the show and was replaced for three episodes, followed by Tom Wopat and John Schneider (Luke & Bo Duke) who walked off for most of season 5 and were replaced by their nearly identical and yet somehow related counterparts Coy & Vance Duke, until everything was settled.

 

Take a look at the opening credits and teaser with the Coy and Vance replacements.  Remember them?

 

 

#48 FRAGGLE ROCK

Airdates: 1983-1987 (HBO)

 

 

This was back at the time when pay cable channel, HBO aired kid’s shows.

 

Created by Jim Henson and is part of his Muppets franchise, the Fraggles lived underground and ate candy scaffolding created by ant like creatures known as the Doozers.  Fraggles played, while the Doozers just worked and worked.  They were constantly trying to avoid the Gorgs, who are farmers that live at another tunnel exit and consider the Fraggles pests.

 

Sound crazy?  This would probably never hit the air today, but back in the 80’s, it was great for both kids and adults and still has a loyal following.

 

#47 FAMILY MATTERS

Airdates: 1989-1997 (ABC) 1997-1998 (CBS)

 

 

So, what’s missing from the season 1 credits?  Steve Urkel! The nerdy neighbor would be the show’s star after the first season, but here Jaleel White was only an occasional guest star until everyone loved his character.

 

Another of ABC’s family sit-coms, the show dealt with the problems of work, school and growing up in a Chicago suburb.  Somehow, this show was a loose spinoff of Perfect Strangers.

 

The show moved to CBS for the final season, when they tried to create a family friendly Friday night of programming to take some of the thunder from ABC’s similar programming strategy.  It failed and this show along with a few others that moved to the network were gone in less than a year.

 

Here’s a look at a syndicated set of opening credits that have been cut down for time:

 

 

#46 SCRUBS

Airdates: 2001-2008 (NBC) 2009-2010 (ABC)

 

 

A bunch of interns at a teaching hospital learning the ropes of working in a medical center.  These guys knew how to make medicine, funny.  Some of the show’s greatest moments would be the classic daydream cutaways!

 

Just like many other shows, the opening credits got shorter and shorter as the series went on.

 

 

This show probably would have been on the air for several more years, but star Zach Braff, decided he wanted to leave and many of the original cast followed.  The show was rebranded Scrubs: Med School for the ninth season.  A new set of credits were created, but without most of the stars everyone knew (some of the cast did hang around for a few episodes), the experiment was a flop.

 

 

#45 DR. WHO

Airdates: 1963-1989 (BBC) 2005-present (BBC)

 

 

The theme song and opening credits have basically been the same for this classic sci-fi series for more than half a century!

 

Mostly aired on PBS in the United States, Dr. Who tells the story of a time traveling humanoid alien who helps to right wrongs, fight for the human civilization, and help ordinary people.

 

The series currently holds the Guinness Record for the Longest Science Fiction Show.

 

Dr. Who has become a part of pop culture in the United Kingdom and numerous attempts have been made to bring it across the pond to the United States.  In 1996, FOX aired a movie pilot that was not picked up to series.  Most recently, new episodes have been airing on BBC America.

 

The Doctor has changed numerous times over the years, but the premise of the show has not.  When the Doctor is near death, he re-energizes himself into a new host.  A changing sign of the times, the Doctor’s ship is actually a vintage police call box.  They were plentiful on London streets in the 60’s, but are all but gone now.

 

I’ve seen this show off and on over the years and I’m fascinated at how they’ve kept the character fresh and relevant through all these decades.  I’d like to see some of the original black and white episodes, but nearly 100 of the early shows were erased and the tapes were recycled.

 

If you really want to see some TV history, check out what this fan did.  They’ve edited together every opening credit sequence since 1963!

 

 

#44 THE FALL GUY

Airdates: 1981-1986 (ABC)

 

 

Another great 80’s action show, The Fall Guy was the story of Colt Seavers (played by Lee Majors) who was a Hollywood stuntman by day and private investigator at night.  It was ABC’s answer to The A Team!  The show featured amazing stunts, great plot lines, and a pre Night Court Markie Post!

 

I have no idea what country this other intro is from, but take a look at Ein Colt fur alle Falle.  The Fall Guy – aired overseas.

 

 

#43 HAPPY DAYS

Airdates: 1974-1984 (ABC)

 

 

It’s the show that brought us such phrases as “sit on it” and “jump the shark,” Happy Days was TV gold in the 70’s and early 80’s.  Set in the 1950’s, the series focused on Richie Cunningham (Ron Howard) and his misadventures with friends and family as they made their way through the decade.  He often sought the advice of his bad boy, leather jacket wearing friend Fonzie (Henry Winkler,) who would become the main focus of the show after Richie joins the army and leaves.

 

The famous Happy Days theme song, was the not the series first.  For the first two seasons, Bill Haley’s famous Rock Around the Clock opened the show.

 

 

The series featured many cast and format changes over the years.  The first happened in season 3, when the sit-com went with a multi-camera setup and was taped in front of a live studio audience.  The set was changed to allow for the modifications, so the Cunningham’s house seemed to undergo a little renovation over the summer hiatus.

 

The Chuck Cunningham syndrome, as it came to be known, was the sudden and mysterious departure of the older brother Chuck.  He appeared off and on during the first two seasons as the older, athletic brother, but never returned after season 2.  Later scripts make no mention of him and even refer to the main character Richie as the only son.

 

Later, Richie would leave the series and the plot lines would focus on Fonzie and his new role as auto shop teacher at the local high school.  While still popular, the series was on the air for far too long and the writers were running out of things to do with the cast.  New characters were being constantly introduced, while many of the main cast ended up with spin-offs of their own.

 

 

The result was a very different looking show by the time they got to their last season.  The cast didn’t even look like they belonged in the 60’s, anymore.

 

#42 THE X FILES

Airdates: 1993-2002 (FOX)

 

 

As soon as the dark whistle theme kicked in, you know you were about to battle aliens and government conspiracies.

 

The X Files was one of the last powerhouse shows on FOX’s Friday night, before moving to it’s final home on Sundays, where it aired for several more years.

 

Agent Mulder (David Duchovny) and his partner Agent Scully (Gillian Anderson) initially started off with a rough relationship, as Scully was always the skeptic when it came to investigating the paranormal.  11 seasons and several movies will change that; as the two finally hooked up, got married, and had a kid!  The whole romance thing never worked for me as it took away from the mystery that was the core of this show.

 

It spawned one spin-off, The Lone Gunman, based on a trio of nerdy informants the FOX burned off after 13 less than exciting episodes.

 

#41 CSI

Airdates: 2000-present (CBS)

 

 

I’ve been to Las Vegas a zillion times and I’m grateful that I’ve never needed the services of CSI!  All kidding aside, it’s one of TV’s most popular shows and with The Who’s rocking theme, you get one awesome show open.  Although for the first couple of seasons the credits were a lot less flashy.

 

 

14 seasons later, only a few of the original cast is still part of the show, but current star Ted Danson is absolutely perfect in his role as team leader.  Sure, the series gets gory at times as they try to solve murders, but they’ve been able to keep most of the scripts fresh and the plots are constantly taking crazy turns!

 

THE 411

 

What: TV Theme Songs

 

Use: themes used to open a TV series or cartoon

 

Purpose: introduce main cast and introduce audience to the theme of the series

 

Numbers reviewed: 41 – 50

 

JERSEY JOE RECOMMENDS:

 

We’re now past the halfway point in my countdown and the best is still to come!  I wanted to add Unsolved Mysteries and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego at number 41, but I couldn’t find any good show intros online.  Most of what I found was either remixes or parodies.

 

Check back next week when we take a look at numbers 31-40.  We’ve got America’s favorite game show, the cruise ship everybody wants to be on, and the show about nothing!

 

I don’t own any of the rights to these, nor did I upload them to YouTube.  This blog is presented for educational and informational purposes.

Image credit – chrisinplymouth