The Most Cut-Down Theme Song Ever?

Until I read the comments on Noel Murray’s great “Commentary Tracks of the Damned” piece on The Hottie and the Nottie, I did not realize that the perfectly attractive person who played the supposed “Nottie,” Christine Lakin, was the third girl on Step By Step. (Aka “The Brady Bunch, only nastier and sappier at the same time.”) Everybody hates the whole “Hollywood Ugly” convention where pretty people are presented as ugly wallflowers. It was one thing for her to be presented as a wallflower compared to Staci Keanan and Angela Watson, but expecting us to believe she’s less attractive than Paris Hilton is utterly insane and stupid. Much like The Hottie and the Nottie is utterly insane and stupid.

But at least this drove me to YouTube to check out the Step By Step theme song, and to discover that it was an example of how the length of time available to theme songs shrank rapidly in the ’90s. The show started in 1991 (which is the only thing that leaves it off that “corniest theme songs of the ’80s” list) and its theme song lasted almost two minutes, even longer than those HBO title sequences that run long so as to pretend that the show is actually a movie. By the final season, it was down to 30 seconds. And even that would be long for a theme song now. Also, Wikipedia says that there were some seasons where they didn’t even have a theme song at all and just started with a title card and the first scene, but even if you don’t count that, getting the theme song slashed by 1:20 is a pretty big cut.

Any other shows that got their theme songs cut by a minute or more? And if the show is supposed to take place in small-town Wisconsin, why are they at a Six Flags with a fake ocean added?

Bonus trivia: Neither of these title sequences include the show’s breakout performer, Sasha Mitchell, because the first season was before he was added to the show and the last season was after he was fired from the show for allegedly beating his wife.

Looking for more?

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