These songs are cultural touchstones. As I was singing the Family Ties theme song (yes, I know this one, too, right down to the "Sha la la la" at the end), I could remember how I used to sit in the living room with my siblings, lusting after Mallory. I remember the last episode, with Michael J. Fox leaving home for his dream job in New York City. All TV shows have this kind of reminiscent power. Everyone of a certain age recalls sitting down with the entire country to watch the last episode of M*A*S*H. I even remember the last shot of The Cosby Show: Cliff and Clair Huxtable dancing off the set into the studio audience.
We all have these kinds of memories. Alex P. Keaton memories. Hawkeye and Radar memories. Sam Malone and Diane Chambers memories. Mike and Carol Brady memories. We all have those Marcia Brady moments in our lives where we got hit in the noses with footballs. Or had to say goodbye to our best friends, BJ and Hot Lips. Or been Gilligans marooned in gym class with the Gingers of our dreams. That's why those theme songs stick in our heads, why they mean so much to us. Because they define who we are at certain times in our lives.
So, if you find yourself humming the theme to Three's Company tonight, you're not alone. There are millions of Jack Trippers out there with you.
Saint Marty is one of them. Sing along with him: "Come and knock on our door..."
They don't write 'em like this any more