Been & Going

[Kicking Back with Jersey Joe] Let’s Play the ’80s Family Feud

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Name something that squirts when you least expect it.  Jersey Joe and his friends play a round of the ’80s Family Feud Challenge to see why this game is still so popular today.


Family Feud went on the air in 1976 with host Richard Dawson.  Feud is a spin-off of the Super Match round from another popular 70’s game show Match Game, where Dawson was a popular panelist.

Dawson hosted the show until 1985.  He also returned for a single season in 1994.  Since Dawson, several other hosts have taken over, with Steve Harvey, the most recent, receiving the series highest syndicated ratings ever since he took over in 2010.

Feud originally aired on the ABC television network.  It moved to CBS in the 1980’s and has is currently seen in syndication on local stations, as it always has been.

Feud is also seen in around the world and has been named the 3rd greatest TV game show of all time.

But, once again we see how the times have changed.  While the 5 answers on the board are still correct today, there are a few more, modern answers that would have definitely made the list.

THE 411

Name: Family Feud

What: TV game show

On air since: 1976


I love Family Feud.  If you are a regular viewer of this blog, then you most surely know that.  This is the first time we’ve tried playing a round of the 1980’s version.  Family Feud is better as a half hour version.  The only exception where this show should air as an hour are the celebrity prime time specials.


[Kicking Back with Jersey Joe] Funny Photos Around New York City

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Jersey Joe showcases some funny photos & videos he’s captured around New York City.

THE 411

What: New York City

What happened: funny photos captured on cell phone video

Location: state of New York


With so many people living and visiting the New York City area, you’re bound to see some funny sights like I did!

If you capture any crazy or funny happenings on photo or video, send me a tweet @JerseyJoe50!

got dog

[Kicking Back with Jersey Joe LIVE] What Is Your Favorite Game Show?

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What do you think is the best TV game show?  Join Jersey Joe and Patch Frasca as they chat live from downtown Jersey City in this special rebroadcast of a live show.



THE 411

What: TV game shows

For: allows contestants to win big money for playing a game on televisio n


What is your favorite game show?  There are so many that I didn’t get a chance to talk about on this live show, that I want to do another episode!  I love Family Feud… but, Match Game is still the best!

[Kicking Back with Jersey Joe] Jersey Joe’s Top 100 TV Themes (11-20)

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We’re at the top 20 mark of my 100 favorite TV themes summer countdown.  I hope you’ve enjoyed this as much as I!  These top 20 opening themes are some of the best that ever appeared on television.  Let’s check out 11-20 and see if you were a fan of these shows, too…



Airdates: 1975-1985 (CBS)



They’re movin’ on up!


What started out as a spin-off from All in the Family, The Jeffersons took on a life of its own.  Anybody remember George Jefferson as on of Archie Bunker’s neighbors?


After hitting it big in dry cleaning, George and his wife Weezy purchase an apartment in New York City’s Upper East Side.  The mismatch between not only the couple, but also their neighbors, and smart mouth maid kept this sit-com on the air for 11 seasons.


The first set of opening credits perfectly set the tone of the series.  You see the Jeffersons leaving their Queens home, driving over the 59th St. Bridge to the Upper East Side and entering the front elevator door to their new life.  Later versions of the credits kept the same song, but used hilarious b-roll shots of the series.



The Jefferson’s apartment building is a real life apartment building in the Upper East Side.  I know, I work around the corner, and pass it all the time!


I also found this unusual version of their opening credits when the show was aired in Italy.  I have no idea why it was edited this way, but the retro shot of Manhattan is kind of cool… the still shots of the actors are not!




Airdates: 1976-1985 (ABC), 1988-1993 (CBS), 1977-1995 & 1999-present (Syndicated)



You know a game show is good when it is still on the air after 35+ years!  Originally developed as a spin-off to Match Game, Family Feud has kept the pulse of America since the 1970’s.  You ask 100 people a question and contestants have to guess their top answers for cash.  It’s a pretty simple concept.


The best part of Family Feud’s theme was the original opening where the families would pose behind the large yellow door.  When the show returned in 1999, the producers got rid of the doors, but the families still had that freeze frame moment.  Sadly, they have abandoned the big family intro in the past couple of seasons and they really need to bring it back.


Everybody knew Richard Dawson as the original and probably the greatest host ever for this series.  He kissed every woman and even married one of the contestants!


When the series returned in 1988, it was with a new host Ray Combs, who was never as good as Dawson.  After a few years of ratings decline, they brought Dawson back with a new version of the original theme and a new set.  This only lasted one season, as the ratings took a major hit during the OJ Simpson trial that caused the show to routinely be preempted.



The show was brought back again in 1999, this time with Louie Anderson as host.  He got the job after Dawson turned it down.  Louie was hilarious during his first season, but during his second and third seasons, he seemed to lose interest.  With Louie as host, the original theme song was abandoned and a cheesy new theme was created.  The little riddles to introduce the family are absolutely embarrassing.



After three seasons with Louie, the producers hired Richard Karn (Al from Home Improvement.)  He was terrible!  I went to a taping once while he was hosting and he lost his place and they had to retape part of the round.  He also made a ton of mistakes.  For a brief time during his hosting, they brought back the original theme, but then returned to the Louie Anderson music.  After three seasons of Karn, producers hired John O’Hurley (Mr. Peterman from Seinfeld) as host.  I think O’Hurley was the best behind Dawson.  He was funny, personable, and easy to understand.  It was during his run that they finally brought back the classic music and had the families pose again!



Since 2010, Steve Harvey has been the host of the show with Joey Fatone as announcer (although he only reads one line that they use over and over again at the opening, so that kind of doesn’t count as announcing.)  Production of the show moved first to Orlando and now to Atlanta, where Harvey lives and hosts his radio show.  The latest version keeps scoring high ratings, but many of the questions are now quite sexual in nature.  I’m not sure I would let my kids watch the latest version of the show.



But, no matter what… Family Feud is still an awesome game show and I hope to see this one on the air for many more years to come.



Airdates: 1990-2010 (NBC)



Dun… dun…


While the awesome theme and the style of the opening credits to this show haven’t changed during the 20 seasons, the cast sure did.  None of the cast from season 1 made it all the way through to the end.


Law & Order detectives take on the hardest criminals in New York City’s mean streets.  The series has also spawned four spin-offs including, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Law & Order: Trial By Jury, and Law & Order: LA.  The latter was an attempt to continue the series, but it was a massive ratings flop.  Each version of the show used an opening credit theme similar to the original, except for the LA version, which then changed to the classic style credits once the ratings were already in trouble.





Law & Order takes full advantage of the NYC streetscape and really can’t work anywhere else (see LA flop version).  There’s always crime and there’s always a story on the streets of the Big Apple.  You also get to see the gentrification of the city as each season passes.


I love the theme song, I love the color palette, and I love the editing style of every version of the credits.  There’s still lots more stories to tell.  Even though SVU is still on the air, I think they could bring back the original with a new cast.



Airdates: 1988-1997 (ABC)



Roseanne was the working class family that everyone could relate to.  At least they did until the weird last season where the family hit the lottery.  Anyhow, this show was a ratings blockbuster that I’ll still watch if I catch it flipping through the channels.


Roseanne’s opening credits were also quite original.  For the first few years, it featured the cast sitting around the kitchen table and would be reshot every season as the kids got older.



In the later years, they switched to morphing headshots in a photo frame, but kept the sax.  The kitchen table shots were still the best.



For the final season, most of the cast and producers wanted to end the show, but ABC threw a boatload of money at them, so they pressed on for one more.  This was where we got all the fantasy episodes… remember Roseanne as a super hero saving a train that was taken over by terrorists?  The last season’s intro was pretty cool and that’s where we finally get words to the theme song!  Thanks John Popper!




Airdates: 2007-present (CBS)



Four geeks trying to make their way in the world is the theme behind one of TV’s current ratings leader. The Big Bang Theory has been renewed for several more seasons and can give anyone hope that they can make it in the real world, no matter if you have common sense or not.  While these guys may be geniuses, they have very little life skills… and that’s where the comedy comes from.  I would love to challenge them to a round of rock, paper, scissors, lizard, Spock!


The original pilot for the show had a much different set of opening credits and featured the 80’s rock song “She Blinded Me with Science.”  I like how the song and the look of the credits take us quickly forward from the Big Bang to the present.



Airdates: 1989-present (FOX)



I thought for sure there would be a zillion different Simpsons opening credits uploaded to YouTube, but it turns out that’s incorrect.  They too, most police for their videos.


The Simpsons has broken just about every TV milestone and can be considered America’s favorite family since they made their debut on The Tracy Ullman Show back in 1987.  Remember those shorts?


I love the opening credits and they really haven’t changed much over the years.  The biggest was when the show finally went to HD a few seasons ago.  With the upgrade, the credits were reorganized with more sight gags added.


The best part has been Bart’s funny lines he’s writing on the chalk board and the couch gag, which are reworked for each and every episode.  It’s not every show that does something unique for their credits each time!


I’m a huge Simpsons fan, but the comedy has gone down hill in the last few seasons.  I’m not sure if we’ve done all that we can do with the characters, but the writing and jokes just aren’t on par with the earlier seasons of the show.  It almost feels like they’re trying to be too much like The Family Guy.  The show did better when they focused on one character and went for the little sight gags.  I hope they can do something to boost the creativity and keep this show on the air for many more years.  The movie was hilarious, but the weekly series is now lacking.



Airdates: 1970-2005 (ABC), 2006-present (ESPN)



So, what ABC affiliate general manager is not kicking himself in the butt for letting this big money show go to cable?


This selection in my countdown may shock a few people, but it earned its place for two reasons.  It has kept the same general opening theme music for decades and also has featured the Monday Night Party intro as well, which is changed each week and reshot each season.


While I love the FOX Sports theme music, ABC’s football theme was first, and I’m glad that they still use it on the ESPN broadcasts.


When Monday Night Football was on regular broadcast television, local stations earned big bucks by selling their share of commercial ad time that was provided by the network.  However, many affiliates complained that the long length of the games would delay their 11pm newscasts and cause a drop in ratings.  After hearing so many complaints, ABC moved the series to ESPN, where it’s been airing ever since.  Sadly, the ratings these stations got back for their 11pm news was short lived.  Ratings for all 11pm newscasts are down, now that people get their info off the internet and none of ABC Monday night programs have earned the same ratings.  This really was a horrible move on the part of ABC affiliates, who have no one to blame but themselves.


I’m not sure of the exact year ABC started using their now iconic football theme, but check out the game open from 1970 – that’s brought to you by CIGARETTES!



While football on Sunday is awesome and the occasional Monday night matchup is great, both the league and network TV are doing themselves a disservice by adding games on Thursday and Saturday nights.  It’s too much football, spread out during the week.  NFL games should be more of an event.  I, like most people, have to get up for work on Friday… (even some Sunday night games can be painful!)  Let’s keep the party where it should be… to two nights a week.


But, let’s check out on more ABC themed MNF open… this one from Halloween 1994!




Airdates: 1994-2000 (FOX)



I have to admit, I was not a major fan of this series – but I thought the short opening credits sequence rocked!


Party of Five was a teen drama, which focused on five siblings who had to find a way to live together after their parents are killed by a drunk driver.  The show barely escaped cancellation due to low ratings after the first season, but FOX kept it on, and it eventually found an audience.


They must not have been able to secure the rights to use “Closer to Free” internationally.  Check out the overdubbed opening credits as seen in Mexico!




Airdates: 1978-1985 (NBC) 1985-1986 (ABC)



Does anybody have any real idea what the lyrics to these opening credits mean?  I get it’s the story of two orphans from Harlem who go to live with a rich guy in a New York City penthouse… but is the word Strokes a metaphor for a painting on a canvas and that no two are alike?  I guess so, because everybody’s got a special kind of story.


Does the voice behind the song sound familiar?  That’s actor Alan Thicke, the eventual star of Growing Pains.  Thicke actually created the theme song for a number of sit-coms and game shows.


The video shoot from the first season, is similar to The Jeffersons, as it shows their journey from poor to rich in about one verse.


As the series went on, the opening would change to feature new cast shots and b-roll.  The kids grew up after each season, Mrs. Garett the original housekeeper left for The Facts of Life, and finally Mr. Drummond gets married and a new woman and her son move in.


Here’s a look at the last NBC season opening:



After NBC cancelled the show, ABC picked it up for one more season.  Dixie Carter left after fighting with Gary Coleman on the set, so they brought in a lookalike.  Since the show changed networks, a new remixed version of the theme was required.  Since there are only a handful of episodes of this version of the music, you could say it’s a little rare.  It was a cool idea to use all the picture frames, which was high tech at the time!



And I found this awesome clip of a Diff’rent Strokes / Knight Rider crossover!  I don’t ever remember this…  it was clearly a very special two part episode!




Airdates: 1994-2004 (NBC)



Another show that I wasn’t a big fan of, but I clearly get they’re a group of friends, trying to figure out life in New York City.


The theme song became so popular, it was rewritten with extra verses added, so it could be played on radio.  The show lasted for 11 seasons, but the credits were shortened to just the main verse in the later years.  Sad, the playing in the fountain opening was kind of unique to this show.



Another big ratings show for NBC, but the time had come to say goodbye.  The network was eager to keep some form on this show alive, so they spun-off Joey and sent him to LA to become an actor in his self titled series, Joey.



The show was awful, but yet somehow got renewed for a second season.  It was so bad, Family Guy made fun of their character Cleveland when he was spun-off into his own show, wishing him better luck than this.  I think we can all say we learned something from this blog this week.  It’s not a good idea to send shows from NYC to LA.  Just ask Law & Order, that’s a tough change for audiences to handle!


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: 11 – 20




Well, some unusual choices for my top 20, don’t you think?  Next week, I finally reveal my top ten.  No spoilers this time, though.  See if you can guess who I picked for my number one theme!


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 – Paul-W