La Niñera!

In my opinion, the best theme song of the last 20 years is Ann Hampton Calloway’s theme song for The Nanny, a funny, catchy cabaret number that explains the entire premise in only 45 seconds and has a feel, tone and style that is different from almost any other TV theme. But what happens when the show is dubbed into other languages, or re-made in other countries?

Well, first of all, there’s the German re-dub:


Or the version of the theme song from the Mexican remake (this show is one that lends itself to foreign remakes, because culture-clash shows are easy to remake in any country):


Or the Russian remake, which throws out the original tune in favour of something that appears to be the Moscow equivalent of New York cabaret.


(Actually, I have real fondness for The Nanny, a show that was very funny a lot of the time — especially in any scene involving Niles the butler — and had the kind of broad ethnic and cultural humour that had almost disappeared from TV comedy by the ’90s. I’m sure Fran Drescher was a horror to work with, but so was Roseanne Barr, and Fran’s show holds up better. And yet this show is really, really hated within the industry; the veteran director Alan Rafkin picked it as the worst show he ever worked on. And this guy directed episodes of Blansky’s Beauties.)

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.