I’ve established my love for TV theme songs in an earlier post, but I also enjoy it when a TV series has some fun with their opening and closing credits. Chuck Lorre is infamous in the business for his “vanity cards” that he inserts at the very end of his shows, like Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory. These usually are too long to easily read in the amount of time that they are on the screen without pausing, but the wonders of the DVR and on-line streaming allows the viewer to process these little snippets into the inner thoughts of Lorre. I really only became aware of these cards during the whole Charlie Sheen fiasco and the word “vanity” definitely applies to them, but they are his shows and he can do whatever he wants with the credits. I’ll admit that some of them I think are funnier than most of the shows that he creates. There is a whole website devoted to them and they were even compiled into a book.
Cougar Town also decided to have a little fun with their opening credits by making jokes on their title card. This started when the name of the show clearly didn’t reflect what the show was about, but has since evolved into just a place for funny comments:
It is much easier to switch up the credits with an animated show. Bob’s Burgers has several running jokes each week. The name of the store next to Bob’s restaurant changes week to week, though during the actual episode that store front is always abandoned:
The name of the extermination company that appears during the credits also constantly changes:
Of course, the real grand-daddy of the constantly changing credits has to be The Simpsons, who have been doing this forever. The changes to their credits are primarily made up of two components: the Bart chalkboard gag and then the couch gag. These have always been among my favorite parts of the show. I don’t get to watch The Simpsons all that regularly any longer, but if I stumble upon the show early enough, I will always wait to see what Bart has been forced to write. A compilation of all the chalkboard gags can be found here, but these all made me laugh:
The changing couch gag is always amusing as well. This is a montage of all the opening couch gags through 2008, though the video moves very quickly, so it is hard to enjoy them:
Every once in a while, The Simpsons does something completely different with their opening credits, like the time they had all the characters lip sync to Ke$ha’s song “Tik Tok”:
The Simpsons will be doing something like this Sunday; this is what actually inspired me to do this post. In lieu of the regular opening sequence, they will apparently be airing opening credits that pay homage to Breaking Bad. It’s about time!
What other shows have some fun with their opening or closing credits? What are some of your favorites of the shows I mentioned? Let me know in the comments!
*Yes, I know most people won’t get the reference in the title, but the Constitutional Scholar in me couldn’t resist.