10.) Reading Rainbow
The third-longest running PBS show (yes, the other two are on my list) that has my man LeVar Burton as the host. A show…about books, that wouldn’t work today. Good thing the 80’s didn’t subscribe to the idea that quality equals boring in this sense. Not for nothing, but this and all of the PBS shows for the most part had incredible theme songs.
9.) Bill Nye the Science Guy
Science Rules! Speaking of shows that pushed intelligence over entertainment…let me not lie, there was a lot of comedy and music in this show. As this list continues, you’ll see how I love my music-influenced shows but the one show that is so left of all the others actually has a lot of good tracks. Ranks very high in the theme song category.
8.) Mr. Rogers Neighborhood
The original PBS show for children. When I hear “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”, takes me back. I remember the Neighborhood of Make-Believe and all of the puppets. I remember the music being very classical and even jazz influenced. Most of all I remember Rogers as someone who came across as genuine and earnest. It was right before I graduated high school that he passed away…very sad day indeed.
One of the shortest lasting PBS shows (the shortest on my list) but left a memorable impact. To me this is the spiritual successor to Reading Rainbow. I say that because Wishbone always tries to find the parallels between classic literary arts and the current situation of the day. I always liked that the audience gets to hear Wishbone but the human characters around him can’t. (Bill Nye may have the catchier theme song, but it’s not better than this one) What’s the story?!
This show did your standard children’s job of teaching lessons and solving problems. For me, I loved this show as a kid for the music. All of the songs that would be done…I would walk to school instead of catching the bus just so I could watch this show. Good memories of this show.
5.) Sesame Street
The one show that everyone should have some familiarity with. Whether it’s the human characters, the actual Sesame Street characters or a particular segment…Sesame Street had to have left an impression on you if you were a kid in the last century. Musically, only Animaniacs compares when it comes to all of the different songs that were used. (I may do a Top 10 on Sesame Street songs honestly) We may not have know exactly how to get to Sesame Street, but it being on TV was the next best thing.
Who would of thought a cartoon about an aardvark would be so entertaining? Personally, the Christmas episode alone puts this high on my list. Grew up with the books and loved those, but never thought it would get turned into a show. Granted, I was out of that target demographic but like Disney’s Recess, I was able to get on board with this show. Buster even got a short-lived spin off out of this. (Honorable Mention to two other shows that I red as a child that got turned into cartoons; Clifford and the Berenstain Bears) You can’t help but do a little dance when singing this theme song!
3.) Magic School Bus
Considering how much I enjoyed school as a kid, “I knew I should’ve just stayed home today” always got me every time Arnold said it. Lasting just slightly longer this Wishbone, this was one of my favorite cartoons period at that time. At the library at school, we had “The Pit” which was a carpet-laced area into the floor where we could lay out and read whatever books we checked out. I member those paperback Magic School Bus books…You can’t go wrong with Little Richard singing your theme song.
2.) Lamb Chop’s Play Along
This puppet-inspired show hosted by the legendary Shari Lewis was worth waking up early for to watch. (Actually I was already up because Mr. Rogers came on before it). Big on music, loved the interactions of Lamb Chop, Charlie Horse, Hush Puppy…wow, these names, I’m just realizing it now. Lamb Chop always acted as somewhat of a foil to Shari which was funny. Even the Knock Knock jokes and Riddles segments I remember. Oh, and if you ever want to annoy someone, just sing, “This is the Song that Doesn’t End.”
1.) Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?
So why is a game show my number one? For one reason…DO IT ROCKAPELLA!!!