Elie's Expositions

A bereaved father blogging for catharsis... and for distraction. Accordingly, you'll see a diverse set of topics and posts here, from the affecting to the analytical to the absurd. Something for everyone, but all, at the core, meeting a personal need.


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Thursday, February 21, 2008

TV Trivia Thursday #12

Hello and welcome to this week's TV Trivia Thursday! This has become a bi-weekly feature lately, and it will likely continue at that pace for the foreseeable future. That said, I had started putting this one together last week, when the 2007 Grammys were held, so like TTT #9, it follows a musical theme.

1) Besides their own cartoon series, name three TV shows that used Beatles songs as their opening theme, though performed by other artists in each case.

2) Name a series whose opening theme song was an earlier hit by an artist whose last name happens to be part of the show's title. Again though, the TV theme version was actually sung by someone else.

3) Name four TV theme songs which were #1 hits on the Billboard pop charts, as well as one other which made #1 on the country charts. Note: Those remakes above don't count, I'm looking for songs whose versions used on the actual TV series were #1.

4) What 60s musical act, who had broken up years earlier, was reunited on a 1st season episode of Saturday Night Live, much to the surprise and delight of the audience and fans everywhere?

5) And what other group came surprisingly close to doing the same (at least partially) which would have been an all time television event, and likely sparked a riot in the studio (city, country, world...)?

6) Finally, what 1981 SNL musical guest did actually cause an audience riot, followed by a sudden cut to commercial mid-song by the show's panicked producers?

7) And to end off as we started, with the Beatles: What impressionist/comedian, best known for his later portrayal of a TV super-villain, had the bad luck to share star billing with the Beatles on their first Ed Sullivan appearance? As he later recalled, he took that ultimate upstaging well, good-naturedly quipping "I looked out the window of my dressing room and said, 'Look at all the kids that came to see me!'"

12 Comments:

At 2/21/08, 4:31 PM, Blogger Soccer Dad said...

4) I think was Simon and Garfunkel
5) I think was the Beatles.
7) I'm guessing was Frank Gorshin (the Riddler)

 
At 2/21/08, 4:44 PM, Blogger Soccer Dad said...

For 3 - I have no idea if it hit #1 - but would Rock around the clock count for Happy Days?

 
At 2/21/08, 6:20 PM, Blogger Soccer Dad said...

2) Thank you for being a friend - Andrew GOLD, for the GOLDen Girls

 
At 2/22/08, 3:18 AM, Blogger LEL said...

3.The theme from Welcome Back Kotter.
5.The Beatles
7.Frank Gorshin

 
At 2/22/08, 11:49 AM, Blogger trn said...

1) The Wonder Years used the Joe Cocker version of With a Little Help from My Friends as its theme song.

Life Goes On used a version of Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da sung by star Patti LuPone as its theme song, oddly interrupted by cast member Kellie Martin talking to her own chest.

The practice is commonplace now, but two decades ago there was an uproar when a Beatles song was used for a television commercial. Can you name the song and the product advertised?

3) Did the theme song of Friends, I'll Be There for You by the Rembrandts, hit #1?

4) Had to be Simon and Garfunkel!

5) The Beatles! There are so many good stories about that.

 
At 2/22/08, 2:29 PM, Blogger Soccer Dad said...

TRN wasn't it NIKE and Revolution?

 
At 2/23/08, 10:46 AM, Blogger cruisin-mom said...

1) LIfe Goes On, Providence,
3) Friends
5) Beatles
6) Sinead O'Connor?
7)Frank Gorshin?

 
At 2/24/08, 2:22 PM, Blogger Soccer Dad said...

Wasn't Sinead O'Connor later than 1981?

 
At 2/24/08, 8:10 PM, Blogger LEL said...

Yes, much later, in the early 90's I think Sinead appeared. I was going to say Elvis Costello, but I think that incident was a few years earlier and he didn't cause a riot, he just switched to a song he wasn't supposed to sing, "Radio Radio".

 
At 2/26/08, 2:46 AM, Blogger cruisin-mom said...

okay okay, can't a girl get her years a little mixed up? :)

 
At 2/26/08, 11:15 AM, Blogger Elie said...

Great job all! Here are the solutions, most of which were at least partially supplied:

1) TRN and Cruisin Mom each knew a different two out of the three:
- Providence, "In My Life", sung by Chantal Kreviazuk
- Wonder Years, "With a Little Help From My Friends", sung by Joe Cocker
- Life Goes On, "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da", sung by Patti LuPone

2) Soccer Dad is correct - good catch!

3) The theme to Friends is a good guess, but according to Wikipedia it only hit #17 on the Billboard Hot 100. Otherwise, Lel got one of my four and SD added Rock Around The Clock, which was indeed a #1 hit for Bill Haley and His Comets, albeit two decades before it was used for Happy Days!

The four #1 Billboard (Hot 100 Chart) hit TV themes I found were:

- S.W.A.T., theme from S.W.A.T. by Rhythm Heritage

- Welcome Back, theme from Welcome Back, Kotter, by John Sebastian

- Miami Vice, theme from Miami Vice, by Jan Hammer

- How Do You Talk to an Angel, theme from The Heights, by The Heights

And the #1 Country charting TV theme was, of course, The Ballad of Jed Clampett, theme from The Beverly Hillbillies, by Bluegrass artists Flatt and Scruggs.

4) As SD and TRN guessed, it was indeed S&G. Paul hosted and performed on the second ever episode of SNL, and Art joined him on stage for three songs, their first public appearence together since their breakup in 1970.

5) It was indeed the Beatles, or more specifically John Lennon and Paul McCartney, who *almost* reunited on the SNL stage that same season. As Wikipedia tells it: "...[Lorne] Michaels' best known appearance [on SNL] occurred in the first season when he offered the Beatles $3000.00 - a deliberately paltry sum - to reunite on the show. He later upped his promise to $3200, but the money was never claimed. According to an interview in Playboy magazine, former Beatles John Lennon and Paul McCartney happened to be in New York City that night and saw the show. They very nearly went, but changed their minds as it was getting too late to get to the show on time, and they were both quite tired by that point. In 2000, VH1 produced a television movie entitled Two of Us, which offered a fictionalized account of this event."

6) Good guesses all, but it was Punk band "Fear", who only appeared on the show because of their relationship with John Belushi (who ironically had left by then anyway!) Full story here. I remember watching that episode live, and wondering if the craziness was real or staged.

7) Riddle me this – how do you compete with the Beatles on Ed Sullivan? Well, Frank did as well as any could under the circumstances; see a clip
here
.

 
At 2/26/08, 1:06 PM, Blogger trn said...

Soccer Dad was correct; Revolution was used to advertise Nike.

I believe it was the season premier in 1992 when O'Connor ended her SNL performance by ripping up a photo of Pope John Paul II. I think it was also she who in protest a few years earlier backed out of appearing when Andrew Dice Clay was to host.

When George Harrison was subsequently on the show, he tried to collect the check. Michaels had to explain that the offer was only good if all four of the Beatles appeared.

 

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