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TV Theme Songs: It's Garry Shandling's Show

"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 It's Garry Shandling's Show. "This is the theme to Garry's Show, the theme to Garry's show." It's Garry Shandling's Show debuted on Showtime in September of 1986 and ran for 4 seasons and 72 episodes. It was also picked up by Fox to broadcast on network television starting in 1988 including all previously shown episodes running until 1990. The series starred Garry Shandling as himself (a neurotic, cynical stand-up comedian) and was very unique/creative especially at the time. That uniqueness and creativity extended to the show's theme song.


Shandling co-created It’s Garry Shandling’s Show with Saturday Night Live veteran writer Alan Zweibel, and they also wrote the show’s silly theme song together. It is reported that it came together rather quickly and was conceived during the course of an elevator ride. According to Zweibel, Shandling suggested that they do “a theme song about a theme song” and proceeded to blurt the lyrics out off the top of his head. And just as they finished coming up with the tune, the elevator doors opened and that is what they ended up going with. The music was composed by Joey Carbone who also served as the show's musical director. Carbone was the music director and theme composer for nine years for the television series Star Search and also composed/arranged music for China Beach, Falcon Crest, and Entertainment Tonight among other shows. Relatively unknown Los Angeles musician Bill Lynch was chosen to sing the theme song.


It is so simple, yet effective and hilarious. Here are the opening credits for It's Garry Shandling's Show featuring "This is the Theme to Garry's Show" performed by Bill Lynch...

The show was critically acclaimed and also developed sort of a cult following. The series was nominated for four Primetime Emmy Awards, won five CableACE Awards (including for its theme song), won an American Comedy Award for Funniest Male Performance in a Comedy Series-Cable or Syndicated as well as an award for Outstanding Achievement in Comedy in 1988 from the Television Critics Association. Garry Shandling went on to create The Larry Sanders Show for HBO starting in 1992 which, not surprisingly, was also a very unique/creative sitcom. "This is the music that you hear as you watch the credits. We're almost to the part of where I start to whistle. Then we'll watch It's Garry Shandling's Show. (whistling) This was the theme to Garry Shandling's show."

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

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