Hearing Is Believing

Here I come to save the d…… oops!

It’s time to turn up the volume on the start of another week!  Monday’s the day The Nest blows out the speakers by putting another lost cassette in that fifty pound boombox of golden oldies we like to call the Dusty Vinyl Archive!  DJ Scratchy’s ready to prove that rock and roll ain’t noise pollution, while the Sponkies ponder why the speakers go up to eleven.  And after that loud buildup, it’s obviously time for……. some soft rock!

Movies weren’t the only form of popular entertainment that churned out hit after hit back in the previous century.  While TV shows weren’t quite as prodigious as their big screen counterparts at cracking the Billboard charts, a few saw their ubiquitous theme songs cross over to radio airplay.  Welcome Back Kotter and Miami Vice were just a couple of shows on the boob tube that had #1 theme songs.  But just like forgettable movies could sometimes churn out a big hit, so could a few crummy shows that got buried underneath a pile of TV Guides…

No superpower’s going to keep this mess from getting cancelled…

In 1981, Stephen J. Cannell, the same television genius who gave us The A Team, found some dorky white guy who was the complete opposite of Mr. T and tried to pass him off as a superhero.  The Greatest American Hero lasted a grand total of three seasons on ABC, which was three seasons too many.  But it left a lasting legacy other than that hideous red costume, and that would be its awesome theme song…

This song, which went up to #2 after being released as a single due to the theme’s popularity, is the only reason anyone remembers there was a singer named Joey Scarbury.  He happened to be in the right place at the right time to record this uplifting piece of schlock, which was written by veteran TV theme writer Mike Post (The Rockford Files, Hill Street Blues, Law and Order).  It’s also one of only two reasons anyone remembers there was ever a show called The Greatest American Hero.  The other…


The “hero’s” alter ego is substitute teacher Ralph Hinkley (played by William Katt).  Shortly after the show premiered, a nutcase named John Hinckley, Jr. attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan… and fearing that surname would not be viewed favorably by viewers in the aftermath of the shooting, they quickly changed Ralph’s last name to Hanley in the next episode, which had already been filmed, by dubbing over the voice tracks!  Hink… er, Hanley’s last name was then conveniently not mentioned at all for the remainder of the first season… only to return to the original Hinkley for season two the following Fall!  This is the kind of continuity shenanigans that could only happen in a production nobody really cares about…

Professor Roy Hinkley approves.

Believe it or not…… I’ll have another lost earworm next Monday!


About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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32 Responses to Hearing Is Believing

  1. I guessed it as I saw the super hero… but we agree it is not easy to get all the buster parts out of da fur… a closed flap funeral is the only option. I liked the song but it was a dance floor killer… no way to smash the disco ball with wild swinging arms to this tune LOL

  2. Well I never saw that TV show – but do remember this song and never knew until now (ta da!) that it was from that show. I DO remember it from “Seinfeld” as George Costanza’s “answer machine message” slightly altered with his own lyrics. HAHA


    • I saw the Seinfeld reference while researching this one. Of course, I never watched that show… but have found it seemed to reference just about everything in pop culture at some point.

  3. ghostmmnc says:

    I used to watch this show. The best part was the song. Even now it’s one of my husband’s favorite songs, and we have it on a mix CD so we hear it quite a lot. 🙂

  4. I actually am one of maybe ten people who liked that show. It was just banal and easy going enough to appeal to a very much younger me. I was more concerned with uh, other things, to pay attention to the faux pas you’ve talked about. The song is awesome.

  5. I actually LIKE The Great American Hero. I don’t know if I’d like it NOW, but that was a few years ago and I was young and stupid.

    I discovered, in the course of some reading i was doing, that cooked marsupial is considered “good eating” and hunters look for them. They also eat birds, chipmunks, and squirrels and for all I know, young children. I’m always just a little bit suspicious of the gun-toting foodies.

    Loved the cartoon! Thanks. I needed that.

  6. I had totally forgotten that show. I never watched it, but yes, I only remember it because the theme song took off. That memory came out of some long forgotten old suitcase. 😉

  7. NormanWilkes says:

    Is that a TV show? It reminds me of the good old-fashioned movies a lot!

  8. draliman says:

    I’ve never heard of the TV programme but the song sounds vaguely familiar. It’s a reasonably inoffensive and fairly boring song which by the sounds of it mirrors the programme.

  9. Mer O'Leary says:

    Believe it or not, I’m high as a kite, I’ve never felt so free eee eee!

  10. William Katt…boy talk about bad 80’s hair even with his superhero face. Nice feel good song.

  11. Did you ever see the Seinfeld episode with George and his answering machine? “Believe it or not, George isn’t at home.” When we first saw that, I tried to tell my sons it was a real song and a theme song from an old TV show. They weren’t impressed when I found it. LOL.

    • Someone else mentioned that above, and the Wiki article on the song did as well. I never saw an episode of Seinfeld in my life, but between that show and The Simpsons (which I’ve also never seen), they sure had their share of memorable pop culture references…

  12. This was nice and cheerful, or about as cheerful as one can get these days (aside from baby squirrels and cats.) This was a cute show with a catchy song. Fun stuff. Thanks for the smile.

  13. Trisha says:

    I was reminded of this song a few weeks ago when one of those long, cheesy commercials for music collections came on TV! I remember liking the song a lot and hanging around the TV until it was over. I miss the days when shows had good theme songs. Now I keep the remote nearby whenever the TV is on so I can quickly FF through any music. It’s all so awful.

    • They still sell music collections on TV? I guess I’d know that if I ever turned my TV on anymore, but I’m quite surprised since music is so easy to come by now on the internet! I remember those days when theme songs were as much a part of TV shows as the characters in them. My 7th grade music teacher brought in a record (Yes, a record, it was 1987!) of TV show theme songs and had us guess which show each was from for fun. I LOVED that class…

      • Trisha says:

        I don’t know what weird, old fogey (fogy? fogie?) TV channel my husband sometimes turns the TV to on weekends but, yes, they still have commercials for music collections! There must be enough people like my parents who have never used iTunes or YouTube. I hate to think I’ll be that out of touch someday but I’m probably already half way there since I refuse to use voice activation or talk to text technology and I have no desire to Zoom with anyone. I prefer to remain silent and unseen!

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