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[California Seething] 2016. Ugh.

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Once upon a time, when I was a ambitious young know-it-all moron in New York, I worked at the Strand Bookstore. The slogan for the bookstore was Eight Miles of Books (no cal-seething-010317-strandrelation to the Eminem movie. I know, I was disappointed too). My job was to shelve books along with an army of other ambitious young know-it-all morons. The Strand was constantly buying used books for resale. Every day New York’s Desperate Class would line up with hungry eyes, hoping to trade books for cash and, like an eight-mile long coiled python, the Strand would spit out loose change, devour the books and deposit them in some corner of its endless belly. Our job was to help the serpent digest.

Every day we walked in to work with dreams in our hearts and crumbs in our beards and were assigned a section of the store. No matter what the section was, there was a waist high stack of books lining the aisles. Our job was to find room for these books in the alphabetically correct position on the already bulging shelves. After a few hours of this, when we were about half way through the stack, we’d go to lunch. And when we returned 30 minutes later, the stack was exactly as high as it had been in the morning and while there were more crumbs in our beards- the dreams were gone. When I asked my boss if I could put “Sisyphus” on my nametag, her cold, dead eyes told me that she’d heard that joke. A lot. I didn’t last.

Anyhow, I bring up this unpleasant chapter of my work history as way of explaining why I haven’t written much in 2016.

Every day last year, I woke up with my head crammed full of information in various sections- Family Tragedy, Syria, Celebrity Death and, of course, Election.  And just as I was in the midst of formulating a coherent (by my standards) reply- another load of horrible news would be dumped in the section I was working on, and I had to start over. And so my mind is filled with fragments of posts that chart the mood of 2016- grief, numb horror, outrage, frustration, exhaustion, cautious optimism, fleeting hope, crushing disappointment, grief, daily mortification, rage, terror, grief, grief.

And now I find myself wanting to write something funny and wise or at the very least comprehensible (again, by my standards) which will wrap up this terrible year- but what to say? Usually, one can rely on Top 10 lists in these situations- but what kind of list would suit 2016? “Top 10 Deaths that Ripped the Heart Out of My Chest Still Beating Temple of Doom Style”? Or maybe “Holy Crap! These 10 People ACTUALLY Survived!” or maybe the “Top 10 Totally Inappropriate Tweets that Demonstrate the Terrifying Degree to Which Trump is Not Suited to be President Sent Since 3:35 This Morning”?

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I mean, sure- all good- options- but I think I’ll cut right to the chase and go with the “Top 10 People or Groups in 2016 Who Can Seriously GO FUCK THEMSELVES”cal-seething-010317-trumpcave

  1. Who Else? The most dangerously underqualified person to ever be elected to any public office in the entirety of human history since Og beat Zog by a landslide promising to “make cave not stink again.” Even though Og failed to keep this promise by constantly farting in the cave, his supporters called his shameless flatulence “refreshing” and said “his butt say what people are thinking”. And he was still soooo much more qualified than the brainless hateful demagogue who won. And so before he fucks the country like he wishes he could fuck his daughter- he should go fuck himself.
  2. The idiotic idiot racist idiots who voted for Trump and are also idiots. Now – I know that you Trump voters resent us coastal liberal elite types for looking down on you and thinking you’re dumb. But the only reason we  think you’re dumb is that you actually are.  And the way we know for sure you’re dumb is that you’re TRUMP VOTERS.
    Also – I know that you get upset when we accuse of being racists- but….I mean…..you did vote for the dude who was endorsed by the Klan. Which cal-seething-010317-fluttershyis….you must…admit…kinda racist. I mean, if he was endorsed by My Little Pony, I’d say you were Futtershy fans, but it’s the fucking KLAN. And it wasn’t just some half-assed, obligatory “oh, I guess he’s the lesser of two evils for the white race” kind of endorsement. No- they gave Trump their full throated, whole hearted support. Hell, if the Berniecrats supported Hillary like the Nazis supported Trump we would have WON THIS GODDAMN THING. So- yeah- I’m calling you racists and worse. Cause if you walk like a duck and quack like a duck and Sieg Heil like a duck and degrade women like a duck and support conversion therapy like a duck and rip of Hijabs like a duck and deface synagogues with feces and Swastikas like a duck AND VOTE LIKE A DUCK then yes, yes you’re a misogynistic, xenophobic, gay bashing, hate mongering, anti-Semitic RACIST ASSHOLE DUCK and that’s exactly what I’m gonna call you (also- I’d like to apologize to ducks- not sure why I dragged you guys into this). Oh- and- yes- as I mentioned earlier- you’re also quite dumb.And don’t give me any of this cutesy-pie “Alt-Right” nonsense. This isn’t “Alt Country”. You’re not Wilco fans- you’re Nazis and you should all go fuck yourselves. Oh- and- right- did I mention already that you’re all very dumb?
  3. Anyone over the past few months who uttered the phrase “Clinton and Trump are basically the same”- especially if you didn’t vote or voted third cal-seething-010317-cokeparty.I know that in America we’re often asked to choose between two products that are basically the same- but let’s be very clear- Clinton vs Trump was NOT Coke vs Pepsi. No- Clinton vs Trump was Coke vs shoving your face over a streaming geyser of raw sewage and holding it there with your mouth forced open by Kellyanne Conway for four years – taking breaks only to go bobbing for bullshit in a tub full of Mike Pence’s puke. Boy – I bet that can of Coke sounds pretty refreshing right about now doesn’t it, sugar, carcinogens and all? Well- it’s too bad- you didn’t think it mattered- so it’s sewage for everyone! So- yeah- thanks a lot. When nobody has healthcare, Russian tanks roll over Europe, Exxon is drilling in Yosemite, Muslims are rounded up, Planned Parenthood has been replaced by a wire hanger and a punch in the gut and you shake your fist at the heavens (Facebook-wise) and say “oh- if only there was something I could do to stop all this!” – just remember- there was – and you didn’t. So go fuck yourself.
  4. Hillary bashing liberals. Hey guys- remember the Primaries? Weren’t those fun! Posting all those memes about how lame Hilary was, spreading right-wing Clinton basing propaganda repurposed for the left, crucifying her on Facebook because she gave a couple of speeches to stock-brokers and GASP helped raise money for Malaria drugs, cal-seething-010317-hilarymemelambasting the DNC for being annoyed with your petulance. Sigh. Good times. So many fine memories to look back on between waterboarding sessions at the internment camp. Oh- but wait- I forgot- you’re a white, straight male- so you won’t actually experience any consequences for the reckless role you played in destroying American democracy. Why your 401(k) might even go up! Hell, the closest you’ll come to internment camps  is reading about them while you’re in the doctor’s office waiting for the free physical that comes with your employer sponsored health insurance. But boy you sure will be outraged when you find out about them! You’ll sign all sorts of petitions on Change.org and share links from USUncut and DemocracyNow! And all your little Bernie Bro Buds are just gonna be so impressed with you that they won’t be able to resist responding to your post with Outrage Face Emoji. There’s sticking it to the man! The power elite is simply shaking in their boots thinking about how many Likes you get from your skinny-jeans friends and I can’t wait to hear all about it while I’m busting up rocks in Jew Camp and thinking just how much you should all really go fuck yourselves.
  5. The thieves who steal email, the crooks that put them up to it, the sleezeballs who publish the emails and us suckers for lapping it up. So- you know how like 44 years ago a couple of burglars broke into the DNC headquarters to steal some documents and the nation was so aghast when we discovered the President was involved that he had to resign in shame? I know right- how adorable we were! Clearly we hadn’t yet learned that the right way to react when confidential information is stolen cal-seething-010317-julianis to scrutinize it for petty, irrelevant nonsense scandals while totally ignoring the criminality of the act committed and rampaging corruption behind it.
    Let me put this differently- let’s say your credit card number was stolen and used fraudulently. Which of these two responses would you prefer?

    1. Bank contacts you immediately asking to confirm charges. If you can’t, the account is closed and flagged in case there are any future uses, the fraudulent charges are reversed and a new card is sent out with an apology.
    2. Credit card thieves publish your entire purchase history which is promptly scrutinized by everyone in America. Outraged imbeciles share click bait headlines with fake scandals (“These FIVE purchases by Eric will PUT HIM IN JAIL FOR SURE!” like there’s some law in this country against a 44 year old man visiting the American Girl Store and Build a Bear Workshop which of course there only is in North Carolina and we’re hoping it gets repealed). The credit card company does nothing cause they don’t want to seem like sore losers and the scumbags who ripped you off are hailed as folk-heroes and “whistle blowers.”
      Oh, shut up, you would pick A and you know it. But that’s not the choice we made during the election, is it? We chose to be outraged by the stolen emails so now we get to be terrified by Donald Trump’s tweets- lucky fucking us. And for that we should all go fuck ourselves.
  6. James Comey. Oh, go fuck yourself
  7. Vladimir Putin. Oh- you- SERIOUSLY go fuck yourself
  8. Jimmy Fallon. This one hurts. I really liked you but you just couldn’t stop humanizing Trump. I mean – bringing him on the show during the height of the campaign after all the terrible shit he said, so you can ruffle his hair like a lovable golden retriever? That’s like bringing Hitler on after kristilnacht and doing Movember bits about his mustache. And cal-seething-010317-fallontrumpI know you don’t want to live in Trump’s America any more than the rest of us – you just can’t help yourself. Ass kissing is heroin to you. So now make it up to us- use your show for the next four years to spread the message of love, equality and acceptance. Show us with joyous enthusiasm how great this country can be when we celebrate our diversity and play together. Or just bring Billy Ocean back on. That would be cool too. Meanwhile, I’ve sadly got to ask you to go fuck yourself.
  9. Colin Kaepernick. So let me get this straight- you kneel during the anthem to protest injustice but you can’t even be bothered to vote? Fuck that. It means nothing to be “woke” when you sleep through election day. You want to be a leader- lead to the polls. Now you might as well take pride in your choices and stand tall during the anthem- cause  like it or not- this is the country YOU made through inaction. Thankfully you’re a terrible quarterback and nobody’s gonna care next year if you kneel for the anthem while you’re eating Cracker Jacks in the stands. Meanwhile, please go fuck yourself.
  10. The Grim Reaper. Dude- you were off the chain this year. How about giving us a fighting chance next year? Like maybe instead of chess, we could play vintage Atari? Cause you may be able to checkmate us into the grave- but we will kick your bony ass in Frogger.
    And I’m not just talking about all the beloved childhood icons you took or the artists and leaders whose voices will be sorely missed during the difficult years ahead. I mean, that all sucked, but I’m particularly referring to the two people I love that you took within a week of each other.
    Mike & Sheila – you each deserve a much fuller and more articulate tribute (by any standards) than I can give you right now 2000 words deep in this post. Suffice it to say that we love you, we miss you, and we feel you absence every day. The world is a better place for the time you spent here, but God, it could be so much better if you were with us still.
    And so Mr Reaper, for everyone you took this year and all the sorrow you left behind, you can seriously go fuck yourself.

So, yeah- that’s my list. There are a lot more people I could have put on- Kellyanne Conway (the answer to the SAT question _____ is to Ann Coulter as W. is to Trump), the Fox News Legion of Doom being considered for the cabinet, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz for mostly sucking at her job and, of course, GFY list perennial Bill Belichick – Trump’s pick for the Director of the Bureau of Weights and Measures.  But I’d like to wrap this up on a positive note and I need to finish before the end of 2017.

So….here we go:

Ending on a positive note!

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This past Hanukkah, I lit candles with my parents on Facetime every night. This may not seem like such a big deal- but my dad’s had Parinkson’s for 25 years, and this year was particularly difficult (cause of course it was.) There were times back in the spring that I doubted that on December 31st we’d be singing the blessings together.  And yet- there we were. And it was a miracle. That we’re lighting candles together while thousands of miles apart. That another year has passed and we’re singing the blessings off-key- thanking God for the gift of the candle lighting ritual, for making miracles, for sustaining life. And I was, in that moment, truly thankful for the miracle we were experiencing. And I will be thankful for it always.

Yes, there are many lights which are extinguished much too soon. But Hanukkah we remember: sometimes there’s only oil enough for one day but it miraculously lasts for eight. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Alright- so 2016- we’re done with you- go fuck yourself. Bring it on 2017- death, injustice, love and miracles. We’re ready for you.  No matter how bad things get- they could be a lot worse. I could still be working at the Strand.

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Ugh indeed.

[Kicking Back with Jersey Joe] Bonk Your Friends

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Jersey Joe checks out the new app from The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, where you can create hilarious photos of your friends.

THE 411

Name: Bonk app

What: social media app to create fun photos of you and your friends

Released: August 2016

JERSEY JOE RECOMMENDS:

A great free app that allows you to take hilarious photos of you and your friends.  Definitely worth the download.  Let’s see how long it takes until the show starts sharing these photos on the air!

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[California Seething] NFL Season Halftime Show

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LA ChargersRecently the San Diego Chargers (San Di-e-go…SUPER CHARGERS! Sorry. It’s very catchy) officially announced their intention to move to Los Angeles – just like the Rams and the Raiders. Oh goody- just what we needed! Three more middle aged losers running off to LA to get away from a loveless marriage with a city that won’t put out money for a new stadium anymore. Seriously- who do they think we are? The big breasted dental hygienist of major American cities? And, of course, they’re just setting themselves up for disappointment – expecting to move to a super-hip Downtown loft and winding up next to a Home Depot in Carson.

I mean, sure, it’s great to know that even in this era of skyrocketing rents and plummeting reservoirs, Los Angeles is still a place that the mediocre and talentless flock to so they can  pursue their asinine dreams- but that doesn’t mean I want to watch them play football- hell- it’s bad enough I have to watch them do theatre!! When I watch football- I want to see Broadway, Ahmanson or at the very least Geffen level competition. I don’t want to watch the Raiders and Chargers (San Di-e-go SUPER CHARGERS! Crap! Sorry) flounder around like an Uber driver and a barista doing True West at the Complex in front of the eight friends who couldn’t think of a plausible lie when they were invited to the Facebook event. 99 seat theatre may have a place in my heart- but it has no place on my TV on Sundays, and if all these teams move to LA- that’s all I’m going to get to see.

Of course, we already do have to watch these teams way more then we should, since they’ve all been based in LA before. So really, they’re not running away to follow their dreams, they’re coming home like college graduates who can’t make it in the real world and so they have to move back in with their parents. And the worst part is, they’re going to have to move into the basement in Carson because their old stadium was turned into a guest room for USC.

I mean, I guess it might not be so bad- maybe one of these new LA teams will turn out to be really good and they’ll serve as a rallying point for the whole LA region- bringing our sprawling and fractured metropolitan area together as a community and giving us inspiration to face the challenging years ahead. Or-  even better- these teams will suck, their games will be blacked out locally and we’ll never have to watch any of those fucking losers again…until they leave town again and we’re stuck with them again on TV. But hopefully they’ll move to London, and their games will be on at 6:30 AM, so we can just sleep through them.

But of course, that assumes that Roger Goodell wants to bring the NFL to London- and, I’m not really sure that he does- cause he’s sending mixed signals. I just wish that if he didn’t want to bring the NFL to London, he would come out and say so instead of being all passive aggressive about it. I mean, on the one hand, every year he schedules more games over there- but, then just look at the teams he sends over. Chiefs and the Lions???? Don’t the people of AndyEngland deserve better than seeing Detroit’s worst export since the LeBaron taking on The Mustached Tomato Andy Reid and his Kansas City Crappers?? That’s not a commercial for American football- it’s a cautionary tale. It’s like sending Trump to debate Carson in Iraq in order to promote democracy. Which, of course, would never happen cause it’s way hotter than 67 degrees over there- and those ISIS guys are almost as tough as Megyn Kelly. Speaking of mixed signals- gotta love NBC- first they make a big deal about cutting ties with Donald Trump and then they have him on the Tonight Show with America’s Favorite Klutzy Bootlicker, Jimmy Fallon – who’s literally falling all over himself to wedge his nose into whatever repugnant butt Lorne Micheaels sticks in front of him (no wonder he drinks) and guest hosting Saturday Night Live- oh but, hey look, protestors – he’s onstage with a black guy, so it must be OK! Disgusting! I’m officially boycotting Saturday Night Live, starting retroactively in 1991.

The only thing I can figure is that Goodell is taking the same approach to scheduling games in London that most dudes take to folding the laundry – you know- the old “if I do a really crappy job, maybe she’ll stop asking”. Which is brilliant- because that way if he’s ever called out on it, he can just be like  “What? You asked to give you games in London- I gave you games in London. I guess if you don’t want them any more, I can just stop…but only if that’s what you really want, England. I just want you to be happy.” And so, sure, that means Roger Goodell is just as shitty a husband as he is a commissioner- but, hey, I don’t see him doing dishes!

Sadly, my beloved Jets were one of the teams sent to England this year to reinvigorate interest in cricket. And while leveon-bell-week8kneeit does make me want to tweet a LeVon Bell sad-bumblebee-emjoi when I think of the Jets in the same category as the Lions and Cheifs, it’s still been a pretty good season for Jets fans. It’s not just cause Geno “Facepunch” Smith got hurt and we learned just how much better life can be without him- like when the office manager goes out on maternity leave and suddenly there’s Starbucks in the break room and the copier’s fixed. No – the real reason why this has been such a great season for Jets fans doesn’t really have anything to do with the Jets at all- it’s all thanks to the Colts.

You see, Last season in the AFC Championship, the Patriots beat the Colts by deflating the ball. This season, the Patriots beat the Colts by deflating Chuck Pagano’s brain- and I, for one, couldn’t be happier!

Don’t get me wrong- I’m not thrilled the Patriots are now Seven-and-Ugh and I don’t bear any ill will towards Chuck Pagano- though, like most Americans, I cared about him more when he was sick (he’s the Lamar to our Khloe). But I indianapolis-colts-fake-punwas absolutely tickled pink (in honor of breast cancer awareness month) when Pagano ran his terrible fake punt because from now on, whenever commentators talk about the worst play ever in NFL history- they won’t be talking about the Butt Fumble! Woo-Hoo! We’re not the worst anymore!! Not The Worst! Not The Worst! This is the greatest feeling ever!!! If I was a German sausage- I would be notwurst!!!! This must be what Lincoln Chafee felt like when Jim Webb dropped out; what the Ewoks felt like after Jar Jar Binks; Robert McNamara after the Iraq War; W after hearing JEB! Speak; Warrant after Nickleback; John Madden when he watches John Gruden; and what Chicago Cubs fans certainly must have felt like on Oct 21, 2015, just as Marty McFly was coming back from the future.

I shouldn’t pick on the Colts, though- they’ve had a rough season. They had to start the re-animated corpse of Matt Hasselbeck when Andrew Luck suddenly contracted Cancer of the Neck Cal Seething- 110915- luckBeard- which marks the first time in NFL history that a quarterback who looks like a Civil War soldier was replaced by a player who actually lived through it. And they aren’t the only team that’s had to start a backup QB- the poor Steelers lost their starter and their back up and had to resort to starting a QB who isn’t a felon. Denver has had to start the Over the Hill Erratic Peyton Manning Who Has Cable over the Real Peyton Manning who has DirecTV. And, of course, in Dallas, Tony Romo is looking like the MVP in absentia thanks to the comedy stylings of Weeden and Cassel. How bad is Brandon Weeden you ask? He actually got benched IN FAVOR of Matt Cassel. For those of you that don’t follow football, that’s like picking Ben Carson because Trump is too crazy…..or picking Donald Trump because Carson’s too crazy. Works either way! Of course, now Dr. BenCal Seething- 110915- ben is practically conscious with rage over the fact that “secular progressives” keep using “facts” and “evidence” to disprove all of the crazy shit he says. The problem here is that, being a brain surgeon, Carson just isn’t used to having any one contradicting him. I don’t know about you but if I’m in the hospital talking to some dude who’s about to cut open my head and mess with my brain, I’m pretty much gonna agree with EVERYTHING he says. Ancient Israelites built pyramids for grain storage? Sure! You turned down a scholarship at West Point? Wise choice!! You stabbed a whole bunch of other kids when you were younger? Alrighty then! I mean, it’s a little bit weird that you feel the urge to share that little anecdote with me right before cutting my head open but, okey dokey! Whatever you say Mr. Brain Surgery Man.

I mean, when did we reach the point in this country where a candidate lies about attempted murder in order to be MORE electable? It must have been right around the same time that we started interpreting a red cup at Starbucks as a secular attack on religion. I know I’m offended by them! Why every time I go to Starbucks I insist on giving my Cal Seething- 110915- redname as Happy Hanukkah. Ha! Take THAT Mr. Progressive Secular Barista Man! Why don’t you let Judah Maccabee motivate you when you’re doing True West tonight??

No wonder Ben Carson is so religious, BTW, he understands what a miracle it is that a doctor can learn so much about the human brain while not actually having one himself.

Now, I don’t know how religious Brandon Weeden is- but I do know that if I were an NFL QB and my coach sat me down after a game and said “Son, I really appreciate all the effort you put in our there- but I’m gonna go with Matt Cassel”- I would take that shit as a SIGN. Move to a condo, sell the Bentley, update my LinkedIn profile and finish that degree at ITT Tech- because the End is motherfucking near- and I’d damn well be ready. Unless, of course, I was Matt Hasselbeck- in which case I would just graciously retreat to my coffin in the basement of the ESPN building (Bristolvania) and wait for the next sucker to pick my dead ass up.

Alright, well, those are some of the big stories in the NFL this season as we pass the midway point. Though, wait, there’s one I’m forgetting- oh what is it? Is it how all of us who watch football are giving tacit endorsement to a sport which nurtures rage and brutality in young men, is rife with domestic violence and leaves former players physically broken, unable to function and suicidally depressed? No, no that can’t be it. I mean, why on earth would we want to talk about THAT? Oh- wait- I’ve got it- Women. The NFL loves em!! Sure there used to be all those domestic violence issues I just mentioned, but the NFL ran a PSA with Eli Manning and now there’s no violence against women at all. Problem solved (Greg who?)! Is there nothing that Eli Manning can’t do- except get a tan in his brother’s shadow? Anyhow, it’s clear that the NFL values women- just look at all the pink uniforms they made the players wear during Brand Awareness Breast Cancer Awareness month. Why for every pink uniform they sell, the NFL donates 10 seconds of lip service to giving a crap about breast cancer. Wow! Who needs Planned Parenthood’s boring old cancer screenings- I feel closer to a cure already! And, the NFL Cal Seething- 110915- goldiemay not have any female coaches or executives but Roger Goodell did just give Wildcats a 5 star rating on Netflix- so that’s progress, right! I mean, every time Goldie runs around the track, that glass ceiling cracks a little.

Alright- that’s it for the first half of the season- but we’ve still got eight more weeks of watching Fan Duel and Draft Kings commercials briefly interrupted by penalties to go! Not to mention the Playoffs- and that’s when the commercials get really interesting. And, of course, it all culminates with Superbowl 50- or Uberbowl 5.0 as it’s known this year since it’s taking place in epicenter of tech douchebaggery. And of course – we’ve got great Monday night match-ups like the Bears vs the Chargers (San Di-e-go SUPER Chargers! Crap! Sorry. This is worse than having an Alanis Morisette song stuck in your head- and that, BTW, is NOT ironic #90’shackcomic.) Huh. That’s a terrible matchup. Jeez, Goodell- if you don’t want to have Monday night games any more- just say so!

[Kicking Back with Jersey Joe] Jersey Joe’s Top 100 TV Themes (71-80)

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For the past two weeks, we’ve counted down the bottom 20 of my 100 top TV themes of all time.  This week, we’re in the 70’s!

 

Anyhow, let’s take a look at the next group of ten.

 

#80 THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES

Airdates: 1962-1971 (CBS)

 

 

A poor, backwoods family finds oil and moves to Beverly Hills?  It happened in this sitcom that was on for so long; it started off in black and white and ended in full blown color.

 

I guess for the original opening, they weren’t able to take the cast for a real drive down Rodeo Drive, so they used some really bad rear projection.  You can see how the scene bumps up and down as the camera car hits a pot hole, but the cast shot stays steady.

 

However, when the show transitioned to color, they got it right and reshot part of the opening credits, including a real live shot driving down Rodeo Drive!  When the show becomes a hit – the budget increases!

 

 

Just about everybody who was born up until the early 1980’s knew this theme song by heart.  I think it was even played on the radio at one point.

 

The show was remade as a movie in the early 90’s with Jim Varney that was surprisingly pretty good.  Most TV shows remade into movies these days just don’t work.

 

#79 227

Airdates: 1985-1990 (NBC)

 

 

It was the apartment building where everybody knew your name and loved to hang out.  The show made Jackee Harry a TV icon with her Sandra character.  However, by the time season 4 started, tension between her and star Marla Gibbs grew to such a point on the set, that executives gave Harry her own spin-off.  Sadly, after the pilot aired the show was not picked up and Harry was off the air.

 

The show continued on, but Harry’s loss was a blow the series never recovered from.  For season 5, they brought in a whole new slew of characters, but they couldn’t save the falling ratings.  Producers brought Harry back for the last 7 episodes of the season, but it was too late and NBC canceled the show.

 

#78 AMEN

Airdates: 1986-1991 (NBC)

 

 

Another staple on NBC’s powerful Saturday night sit-com lineup, this usually aired at 8pm right before 227.  Remember when Saturday night actually had half descent original programming?

 

Set in a Philadelphia church, this sit-com dealt with the antics of the less than holy Deacon Frye.  The opening credits were recently parodied by Cleveland on Family Guy this season.  This show was absolutely hilarious and I love the old Pennsylvania license plate on his giant car!

 

And check out the bonus end credits that were attached to the video.  Did you happen to catch Cuba Gooding, Jr. as a guest star?  That had to be early in his career.

 

For the show’s entire run, these credits never changed, outside of the addition of new cast members names on screen.

 

#77 DOOGIE HOWSER, MD

Airdates: 1989-1993 (ABC)

 

 

A simple keyboard theme is all you needed for this one.

 

A super genius kid becomes a practicing doctor, before he’s even a teen!  That can really happen, right?  Not if the insurance companies have anything to say about it!  But, of course it can – thanks to the magic of television.

 

At the end of every episode, Doogie would turn on his computer, which at the time was really only a word processor (his life would have been so different had the internet existed then), and type about what he had learned that day.  It always had some witty line and always had a cut away of Doogie as he pondered what he had learned.  I wonder how many kids ended up doing journals thanks to this show?

 

This was another series where the credits changed very little over the years, just new shots of Neil Patrick Harris as he grew up.

 

#76 MR. BELVEDERE

Airdates: 1985-1990 (ABC)

 

 

I love the creative use of photographs, not only of Mr. Belvedere’s adventures, but also the multi shots of the cast.

 

Just by listening to the song, you know you’ve got a legendary butler that moves in with a family from Pittsburgh.  What more do you need?

 

Here’s a look at the opening credits from the first two seasons.  The slide show like opening from the pilot makes me sick.  Glad they only used it once!

 

 

#75 THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JOHNNY CARSON

Airdates: 1962-1992 (NBC)

 

 

While the current incarnation of the show is hosted by Jimmy Fallon, Carson has long been considered the king of late night.  Only David Letterman has recently passed this show on number of episodes and number of seasons.

 

Carson was not the first host of The Tonight Show.  That was actually Steve Allen and it went on the air way back in 1954.

 

When Carson first took over as host, the show aired from 11:15pm – 1:00am.  That’s 105 minutes!  As more local stations began broadcasting 11pm news, Carson’s opening monologue was going unseen by the vast majority of the US.  NBC then decided to move the show to 11:30 and trimming it to 90 minutes.  In the 70’s, Carson grew tired of the 90 minute format and again trimmed the show to an hour.  It was finally moved to the current 11:35 time slot in 1991, to allow affiliates more commercial time in their late news.

 

The opening credits have undergone massive changes over the years.  Sadly, almost all of the pre-1971 shows have been lost.  Videotape was expensive then and NBC would simply tape over the air checks with another show.   There are years of great interviews and skits that will never again see the light of day.

 

#74 PICTURE PAGES

Airdates: in various forms 1974-1990 (CBS, Syndicated, and Nickelodeon)

 

 

I was so mad that I couldn’t have a pen that played music as you write.  I’d still like to have one now to drive my co-workers nuts!

 

Bill Cosby would teach kids reading, writing, and arithmetic using a series of puzzles that you can send away for and play along.

 

The show actually started in Pittsburgh in 1974 when a local grocery store gave away the books.  The segments went national in 1978 as part of the Captain Kangaroo program on CBS.  Later, kids cable network Nickelodeon picked up the rights and aired it as a half hour show.  Here’s a look at the seriously lame song on the Nick version:

 

 

#73 DUCKTALES

Airdates: 1987-1990 (Syndicated)

 

 

Scrooge McDuck and his three nephews were always going on an adventure to score more money.  As a kid, I always thought it would be awesome to jump into Scrooge’s money pit vault.  Now that I’m older, I realize that jumping face first into a deep vault of a zillion coins probably would really hurt.  Also, money is quite filthy… who wants to swim in filth?

 

I actually won tickets to the spin-off movie DuckTales: Treasure of the Lost Lamp from a local TV station.  The same station I ended up working at a decade later!

 

Thanks to the success of this show, Disney launched a whole afternoon of other cartoons including Tale Spin, The Gummi Bears, Chip ‘n Dale’s Rescue Rangers, Darkwing Duck, and a few more that I forget.  DuckTales was always the first and the best, though.

 

This show only lasted 100 episodes, but it seemed to go on forever!  DuckTales Woo-ooh!

 

#72 BONANZA

Airdates: 1959-1973 (NBC)

 

 

A fictional ranch in Nevada back in the wild west days was the setting for this long lasting series.  Another show that started out in black and white and made the switch to color.

 

It is the second longest television western in history behind Gunsmoke.  It will probably stay that way, because people don’t seem to want TV westerns anymore.

 

I’ve seen a handful of episodes, but the cool part of the credits is how they set the map on fire and luma key to the first shot of video underneath.  Pretty great idea that was ahead of it’s time.

 

And holy moley Jeanne Cooper does not look comfortable posing for her guest star credit show!

 

#71 SIMON & SIMON

Airdates: 1981-1989 (CBS)

 

 

They were two complete opposites, but they ran a successful private detective agency together.  It was basically, The Odd Couple of private eyes!  It was one of the many action drama/comedy shows of the 80’s.

 

I remember watching the show from time to time and reruns still turn up occasionally, but it was the awesome guitar sax combo of the theme song they used starting with season three that made this one memorable.  The shot of Gerald McRaney getting cold cocked through an open door is pretty priceless as well!  (He went on to star in the Army sit-com Major Dad, right after this!)

 

Take a look at how the opening credits were for the first couple of seasons and you’ll agree that the classic guitar sax combo was a hit!

 

 

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: 71 – 80

 

JERSEY JOE RECOMMENDS:

 

I hope you enjoyed the look at the next group of themes.  A few kids ones made it into the group this time. I still want a singing pen, Bill Cosby!

 

Check back next week when we take a look at numbers 61-70.  We’ve got Zordon, a fat delivery guy that loves the Mets, and a talking horse!

 

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 – James Vaughan