March 20th, 2007

Tom Lehrer is Smug

Theme Song Showdown Throwdown!

One of jearl's friends has set up a Netflix account for her. She's not sure who set up the account and she has no idea what's on the queue, but she dutifully records her reviews of whatever she gets in her LJ. I think that's an awesome thing, both in concept and in jearl's execution.

Her most recent "gift" was the first season DVD of Bruce Campbell's short-lived series "Jack of All Trades." In her review, she mentioned the godawful theme song. I looked up the lyrics in Wikipedia (there's a YouTube link, too, before Viacom nukes it) and confirmed that yeah, the theme was pretty dismal ("From the Halls of Montezuma / To the shores of Tripoli / There was never a leatherneck braver / A Daring Dragoon is he!")

The strangest thing, though, was that the Wikipedia entry mentions that the theme song was nominated for an Emmy award in 2000 -- the "Outstanding Main Title Theme Song" -- but lost to The West Wing. Yeah--wha huh?! It was nominated in the first place?

That got me curious: What other TV shows have won the Emmy for Best Theme Song in the past? I have to admit I didn't know the award existed; it's one of those "Creative Arts" awards which are always given out in that little ceremony before the Primetime show that you never get to see. I did a little research and discovered that the category was introduced for the 1992 awards. Much like an Olympic demonstration sport, there wasn't really an Official Winner; rather, five shows received a citation together. They were
Brooklyn Bridge (CBS)
I'll Fly Away (NBC)
Major Dad (CBS)
Silk Stalkings (USA)
The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (ABC)
From the 1993 awards on, though, the category was voted on as usual, with nominees and a winner. I checked the list of all the nominees and winners and noticed that, as far as the Emmys were concerned, neither show popularity nor theme song quality often determined the nominees. Hell, some of the winners are truly inexplicable. Sure, some shows deserved their accolades, but others? The theme to Major Dad, for crying out loud?! In fact, there's some show names in the mid-90s I don't even remember, much less hum their themes.

(Here I had a FUN QUIZ to guess the Emmy theme song winners, but it's closed! The Poll # was #950305 in case you wanted to try.)