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Jesse Frederick and Other Kings of the ’80s Sitcom Theme

classic 1980s tv theme songs


We don’t get sitcom opening sequences like we used to.

Drawn from a similar formula and often the same song-writing team, ‘80s sitcom intros dared to push two minutes in total length and consisted of catchy musical hooks coupled with lyrical storytelling that often spelled out exactly what happens in the show (“There’s a change in the status quo ooh oh …” – “Mr. Belvedere”). The intros take the time to introduce audiences character-by-character to the entire cast of the show.


“Mr. Belvedere”
“According to Our New Arrival”

Lyrical Storytelling: “According to our new arrival, life is more than mere survival.”

Songwriters: Judy Hart-Angelo and Gary Portnoy

Fun Fact: The song was originally composed in 1984 for a rejected TV pilot called Help, which starred Michael Richards.


“Who’s the Boss?”“Brand New Life”

Lyrical Storytelling: “Nights are long but you’re on your way to a brand new life, brand new life, a brand new life around the bend.”

Songwriter: Larry Carlton

Fun Fact: Co-written by the series creators.


“Full House”“Everywhere You Look”

Lyrical Storytelling: “When you’re lost out there and you’re all alone, a light is waiting to carry you home.”

Songwriters: Jesse Frederick and Bennett Salvay

Fun Fact: In syndicated airings, the line “you miss your old familiar friends, but waiting just around the bend” replaced the lines starting with “how did I get delivered here, somebody tell me please…”


“Perfect Strangers”“Nothing’s Gonna Stop me Now”

Lyrical Storytelling:  “The rain and thunder, the wind and haze, I’m bound for better days.”

Songwriters: Jesse Frederick and Bennett Salvay

Fun Fact: The full opening theme used for season one, and most episodes of season two, lasted 90 seconds. Starting with season three, the repeat of the second chorus near the end of the theme was cut to allow more airtime, reducing it to 72 seconds.


“Step By Step”“Second Time Around”

Lyrical Storytelling: “Fresh start over, different hands at play …”

Songwriters: Jesse Frederick and Theresa James

Fun Fact: The scenes comprising the opening credits were filmed at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California.


“Family Matters”“As Days Go By”

Lyrical Storytelling: “Cause all I see is a tower of dreams, real love burstin’ out of every seam.”

Songwriters: Jesse Frederick, Bennet Salvay and Scott Roeme

Fun Fact: The show’s original theme was “What a Wonderful World;” but it was scrapped after the first five episodes.


“Cheers”“Where Everybody Knows Your Name”

Lyrical Storytelling: “Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name …”

Songwriters: Gary Portnoy and Judy Hart Angelo

Fun Fact: The theme song to the show was eventually licensed to a Canadian restaurant, Kelsey’s Neighbourhood Bar & Grill.


“Family Ties”“Without Us”

Lyrical Storytelling: “And there ain’t no nothing we can’t love each other through.”

Songwriters: Jeff Barry and Tom Scott

Fun Fact: The theme song was performed by Johnny Mathis.


“Growing Pains”“The Best is Ready to Begin”/”As Long As We Got Each Other”

Lyrical Storytelling: “As long as we got each other, we got the world spinnin’ right in our hands.”

Songwriters: John Bettis and Steve Dorff

Fun Fact: There were nine versions of the theme song.


“Golden Girls”“Thank You For Being A Friend”

Lyrical Storytelling: “Thank you for being a friend. Traveled down the road and back again. Your heart is true, you’re a pal and a confidant.”

Songwriter: Andrew Gold

Fun Fact : The single version reached number 25 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1978.