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TV Theme Songs: Benson

"Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale" of a time when television shows began with awesome TV Theme Songs. "Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name" and sometimes you want to go back to when TV Theme songs were special. "Here's a story... of a lovely" time when TV Theme Songs served to identify, distinguish and set the stage for the television program that followed. "You take the good, take the bad, take them both and there you have" what unfortunately has become a lost artform. "Believe it or not", sadly it seems no effort or pride is taken in the TV Theme Song ever since Seinfeld proved a short synth-bass riff could be used instead. “Schlemiel! Schlimazel! Hasenpfeffer Incorporated!” This regular feature may not "make all our dreams come true", but it will remember some of the best TV Theme Songs from years past (with a focus on the '80s decade). "Come aboard, we're expecting you."


This time we will cover the theme song for Benson. This was a spin-off of the sitcom Soap which debuted in September of 1979 and ran for seven seasons and 158 episodes. Robert Guillaume's title character of Benson DuBois was a butler on Soap who went to run a widowed governor's household and then later went on to become a lieutenant governor himself. In 1985, Guillaume won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for his role in Benson.


The Benson theme song was written by George Tipton who was a composer/arranger/conductor who worked in pop music mostly in the 60s and 70s, but also extensively in television. Tipton co-wrote the theme song for Soap, so it only made sense for him to also do Benson. He also co-wrote theme songs for Empty Nest, I'm a Big Girl Now and It's a Living.


The instrumental theme song has a distinctive opening melody that is one most people who watched television in the '80s will recognize even if they can't place exactly which show it came from. Here is the opening for each of the seven seasons of Benson featuring the theme song...




The theme song to Benson was sampled in the 1999 song "I'm From the Ghetto" by rapper Ali Vegas. More recently, it was also used in a 2023 episode of the Peacock series Poker Face where a murdered drummer had plagiarized the Benson theme song to create a heavy metal hit song for his band.


Hope you enjoyed tuning in for another "episode" of TV Theme Songs!


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