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TV Theme Songs: Heathcliff

"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 Heathcliff and the Catillac Cats. "Heathcliff, Heathcliff, no one should, terrify their neighborhood! But Heathcliff just won't be undone. Playing pranks on everyone!" The animated series debuted in first-run syndication in September of 1984 running for two seasons and 86 episodes. Based on the comic strip which debuted in 1973, the series brought Heathcliff to life featuring the voice of the one and only Mel Blanc as the title character. The show had an extremely catchy theme song.

The Heathcliff theme song was composed by Shuki Levy and Haim Saban. Levy is an award-winning Israeli-American musician/composer who wrote and performed music for many animated television programs. Levy also composed the memorable theme songs for He-Man and the Masters of the Universe and Inspector Gadget which both debuted in 1983. In addition, he provided music for '80s shows like The Get Along Gang, Mister T, The Littles, Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors, MASK, Rainbow Brite, Popples, She-Ra: Princess of Power, C.O.P.S., The Super Mario Bros. Super Show, Kissyfur and The Real Ghostbusters among many others in that decade and the decades to follow. For many years, Levy had a partnership with his friend Haim Saban, with Levy composing the music and Saban running the business. Their record company, Saban Records, (now Saban Music Group) has provided music for many DiC cartoons and children's shows in the '80s as mentioned and '90s, and is still running today. Levy later became the driving creative force behind Saban Entertainment, a children's programming giant that he co-founded with his long-time friend Saban (that they eventually sold to Disney in 2001). While there, Levy co-created several popular children's franchises including most notably 1993's Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.

The Heathcliff theme song was performed by Noam Kaniel a frequent collaborator with Levy and Saban. Kaniel performed on many of the theme songs created by Levy and Saban so you may notice the voice to be familiar in that regard. Here is the opening for Heathcliff and the Catillac Cats featuring the "Heathcliff" theme song...

I remember watching this cartoon after school back then and hearing the theme song transports me back tot he mid-80s in an instant. It also will likely stick in your head the rest of the day, so sorry about that. "Heathcliff, Heathcliff, no one should, terrify their neighborhood! But Heathcliff just won't be undone. You should realize he can win it with you!"

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


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