Closing TV themes that are DIFFERENT than the opening theme

Frasier_LogoMy daughter wanted breakfast one morning recently. I thought to give her the tossed salad I had made the night before, which she merely nibbled at. Instead, I went with her request of scrambled eggs; the egg carton was under the salad bowl.

That made me think, naturally, of Tossed Salad and Scrambled Eggs, the end theme for the TV show Frasier [LISTEN to the extended version] . But what was the opening theme of that show? Seems that it varies a bit; LISTEN to this compilation.

What other shows have distinctive different opening and closing themes? By “distinctive”, I mean a totally different song. This eliminates tunes that are continuations of the opening (The Flintstones, The Beverly Hillbillies, Gilligan’s Island), or slower versions (The Jeffersons) or weirder versions (Addams Family).

I’ve been told that some cable shows, such as Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire and Girls end with different songs each episode; not what I’m looking for.

The first show I thought of was All in the Family, which opens with Those Were The Days, sung by “Archie and “Edith”, [LISTEN to an extended version] and ends with the instrumental Remembering You [LISTEN].

The other that came to mind was WKRP in Cincinnati, with a sad, mellow song as the intro [LISTEN to an extended version] and that intentionally incomprehensible rocker at the end [LISTEN].

A colleague reminded me of The Monkees program, which, of course, starts with The Monkees Theme. It ends with some song I must say I didn’t know – I remember the “I wanna be free” part – but is For Pete’s Sake [LISTEN] from the Headquarters album. But Headquarters was their third album. In the first season of the show, did it start and end with the same song, as this clip [LISTEN] suggests? And did the ending get changed for syndication?

Another colleague mentioned Tayo The Little Bus, a program I had never heard of. But yes, here’s the opening theme [LISTEN] and the closer [LISTEN].

I found online a reference to Land of the Lost [LISTEN to opening and closing]. Wasn’t a show I watched.

Nor was I familiar with one found by fellow blogger Chuck Miller:

The original broadcast of the Vietnam drama Tour of Duty (CBS, 1988-91) had a generic drum and flute music at the end, but the opening credits were the Rolling Stones’ “Paint It, Black.” That music was removed from the syndicated and DVD episodes, but there’s still a reference to the opening credits as written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.

I took advantage of Ken Levine’s Friday Questions, one of which was about TV themes, to ask the question. Here are some of the responses:
Bosom Buddies (it’s “one show where the theme song (Billy Joel) had to be replaced because of Rights Issues”)
Happy Days’ first season
Gidget (“Ken’s favorite theme”)
The Monkees’ second season
Remington Steele after the first season
The Judy Garland Show
Captain and Tennille (“I’m pretty sure it was ‘Love will Keep Us Together’ at the opening and ‘A Song of Joy’ at the end.”)

What else, people? I’m probably talking about older shows, since, as Chuck correctly notes:

Unfortunately, today we don’t know a lot of the closing theme songs in that the last minutes of episodes are either showing previews for next week’s episode or promoting a different program; the closing credits zip by at lightning speed; about the only time we DO get a closing theme of any sort is if we watch the program via On Demand or in its DVD format.

3 thoughts on “Closing TV themes that are DIFFERENT than the opening theme”

  1. I’m a theme song junkie (ending and closing), but that doesn’t mean my memory is always perfect. For example, I remember the Monkees’ closing theme as a reprise of the opening, however, when I watched your link, I remembered the Mike Nesmith hand-on-the-face bit. So, apparently, I remember both. At the time, I was fixated more on Davy Jones, anyway—my first-ever TV crush.

    I sometimes watched “Land of the Lost” because I quite fancied Wesley Eure (Will Marshall). At least in that case he and I were on the same team—not always the case, obviously.

    But I bet most people these days wouldn’t know closing themes at all, mostly for the reasons Chuck pointed out. I think we’re the poorer for it.


  2. I always liked the ending music from All in the Family far better than the opening music. There’s something almost nostalgic and sad about “Remembering You,” and that’s what makes me like it. (Maybe the closing shot, that running pan of row-houses, is what adds some of the sadness to it, I don’t know. Or maybe it’s just my memories of the 1970s having an effect there)

    one of my someday-goals (learning to play the piano currently) is to get good enough to be able to play that.


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