The Surprising Singers and Songwriters Behind Your Favorite Saturday Morning Cartoon Themes

Which TV mogul wrote the tune for ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’?
The Surprising Singers and Songwriters Behind Your Favorite Saturday Morning Cartoon Themes

Usually, writing the theme for a cartoon is a pretty thankless gig. For example, have you ever heard of Hoyt Curtin or Steve Rucker? Both of these guys composed some of the most iconic cartoon theme songs ever, and yet, you’ve likely never heard of them.

However, there have been a handful of times where the opposite is true — when a surprisingly huge star has taken part in the making of a cartoon theme song. Here are five of them…

Chuck Lorre, ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’

The unrivaled king of mediocre CBS sitcoms also wrote one of the most fun, catchy, badass themes in the history of action cartoons. This likely explains why The Big Bang Theory contains multiple nods to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

The B-52’s, ‘Rocko’s Modern Life’

In addition to composing for cartoons like SpongeBob SquarePants and Pepper AnnPat Irwin was a member of the B-52’s from 1989 to 2007. In the early 1990s, he was asked to compose the theme song for the Nicktoon Rocko’s Modern Life, and he decided to call in some of his fellow B-52’s to make it happen. 

They Might Be Giants, ‘Mickey Mouse Clubhouse’

They might, very well, be giants, but that doesn’t mean they can’t work for a little mouse. That’s right, the earworm-y, parent-migraine-inducing theme for Mickey Mouse Clubhouse was conceived by alternative rockers They Might Be Giants.

Joe Perry, ‘Spider-Man’

You may not have realized it when you were watching Spider-Man back in the 1990s, but when you think about just how much that theme song rocked, it only makes sense that Aerosmith’s Joe Perry was behind it.

Little Richard, ‘The Magic School Bus’

Along with Chuck Berry, Little Richard is one of the true inventors of rock ‘n’ roll. While his career featured many turbulent ups and downs, by the 1990s, he was enjoying something of a comeback thanks to a new generation appreciating his indispensable contribution to music history. During this time, he sang the theme song for The Magic School Bus with almost as much verve and energy as classics like “Roll Over Beethoven.”

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