Last night’s Morgan Spurlock-fronted Simpsons documentary began with Andrew W.K., ZZ Top and Flea, amongst others, playing the yellow ones’ theme song (and also featured Moby’s cheesily wonderful hip-hop reworking by of Homer’s “Mr Plow” jingle). But was their version the best TV show theme tune cover of all-time? Well, let’s consider the competition.
The first stop when exploring this small but colorful patch of pop’s rich pageant has to be the 1995 CD Saturday Morning: Cartoons’ Greatest Hits on which Juliana Hatfield and Tanya Donelly tackled the theme song from Josie and the Pussycats, the Butthole Surfers infused “Underdog” with their own particular brand of terpsichorel dementia and Matthew Sweet asked, with Byrdsian sweetness, “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?”
Outside of that, I’ve always personally loved the Dickies’ version of the Banana Splits song, or “The Tra La La Song (One Banana, Two Banana)” to give the sucker its unnecessarily full title. Apparently someone involved with the forthcoming superhero movie “Kick Ass” agrees as the track features heavily in the film’s foul-mouthed, hyper-violent red band trailer. Also worthy of your attention is Jamie Foxx’s version of The Brady Bunch theme song, a reinterpretation deliberately designed to assist his courting of the laydeez. Rather less smooch-inducing are the various covers of the M*A*S*H* tune—AKA “Suicide Is Painless”—by the likes of the Manic Street Preachers and Marilyn Manson.
We’ve embedded a selection of clips after the break. Check them out and tell us which you think is the best. What covers of TV theme tunes have we forgotten?
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