The Best '80s TV Theme Songs (That Didn't Make Our Bracket)
Ah, the 1980s… a great era for leg warmers, Reaganomics, and TV theme songs. Our Theme Song Thunderdome bracket is already littered with '80s classics like "Cheers," "The Golden Girls," and "Family Ties." But there are still plenty of other theme songs from that decade we love that didn't make the cut. So in honor of National Geographic's new docu-series, "The '80s: The Decade That Made Us" (debuting April 14), we're rolling out 15 more theme songs that make us yearn for the days of Ewings and Huxtables.
"The Cosby Show"
Back in the day, catching the new opening credits to "The Cosby Show" each season was nearly as important as watching the show itself. While the intro sequence was always a blast -- often filled with "The Cos's" kooky dance moves -- and almost ever-changing (Seasons 6 and 7 shared an intro, due to a legal snafu), the music was always based on the same instrumental piece: "Kiss Me," composed by Stu Gardner and Bill Cosby. Over the course of the show, the theme was reimagined by "Don't Worry Be Happy" singer Bobby McFerrin (Season 4), the Oregon Symphony (Season 5), jazz saxophonist Craig Handy (Seasons 6-7), and trumpet player and composer Lester Bowie (Season 8). "Kiss Me" didn't make our bracket, but there's no doubt that it's a classic! — Maya Salam
Yeah, yeah, this show's more than three decades old now… but this song is still pretty damn cool. Driven by a pulsating techno beat, the instrumental "Knight Rider" theme set the stage for the 1982-86 NBC action drama, starring a pre-"Baywatch" David Hasselhoff as enigmatic crime-fighter Michael Knight and his talking supercar, KITT (voiced by Mr. Feeny!). The ominous narration is a bit baffling ("A shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a man who does not exist"… WTF?) and we can't remember co-star Patricia McPherson for the life of us -- but we still want a car with a "Turbo Boost" button. — Dave Nemetz
The impact of the usually peppy instrumental "Dallas" theme, which preceded the show's original 1978-91 run, was demonstrated with TNT's makeover on the tune for the special J.R. Ewing/Larry Hagman memorial episode of its "Dallas" sequel this season. When the theme song was slowed down to a more somber version, accompanied by images of Hagman in his trademark Stetson, many fans were sent reaching for a tissue or two. — Kimberly Potts