TV Theme Songs: Inspector Gadget
"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 the animated series Inspector Gadget. "Inspector Gadget, hoo hoo." This cartoon debuted in September of 1983 and ran for 86 episodes in first-run syndication ending in February of 1986 (though re-runs aired well into the early '90s). I remember watching Inspector Gadget after school most days during the mid-80s and probably saw most all of those episodes. To me it also has one of the best cartoon theme songs of the decade. It is one any child who grew up in the '80s will recognize immediately.
The Inspector Gadget theme song was composed by Shuki Levy. 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 song for He-Man and the Masters of the Universe which also 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, Heathcliff and the Catillac Cats, 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.
It is reported that Levy actually found inspiration for Inspector Gadget theme song from Edvard Grieg's movement "In the Hall of the Mountain King" (from 1875). If you listen to them both, you will probably notice the similarity. There aren't many lyrics, only four words to be exact (if you don't count the sound "hoo, hoo" as words), but it still works perfectly. Warning, you may find this one stuck in your head the rest of the day once you listen to it. Here are the opening credits for Inspector Gadget featuring the theme song...
A version of the same theme song was used in the live action films Inspector Gadget from 1999 and Inspector Gadget 2 which went straight to video in 2003. One of the awesome things about this song is that the Inspector Gadget theme was sampled (and had its melody incorporated) in one of my favorite old school rap songs, "The Show" by Doug E. Fresh and The Get Fresh Crew from 1985. If you're not familiar with that one, go give that a listen as well. "Go Gadget Go"
Hope you enjoyed tuning in for another "episode" of TV Theme Songs!