[Originally Published: October 8, 2009]
Considering how big of a role music plays in everyday life, it’s not surprising that characters in dozens of sitcoms and animated television series have attended concerts or formed bands. Most of the time these fictitious artists are seen and not heard, but in a few instances the writers of these shows actually write songs for the fake bands to perform.
For this week’s B List we detail ten songs from fake bands you may have seen on television. We stuck with songs from series that weren’t focused on these fictitious artists, so we’ll save shows like California Dreams, The Heights, Kids Incorporated, Jem and The Monkees for another edition.
Here’s what we came up with…
1. Killer Tofu – The Beets [Doug]
The Beets were a fictitious band that made numerous appearances on the Nickelodeon animated series Doug. The Beets big hit was Killer Tofu – a catchy ditty that will stay with you for days whether you love it or hate it.
2. Drop Da Bomb – The Party Posse
During a 2001 episode of The Simpsons, young Bart Simpson joins a boy band called The Party Posse that was formed by a sketchy old man named L.T. Smash. The group – which also featured Ralph Wiggum, Millhouse Van Houten and Nelson Muntz – released the single Drop Da Bomb which immediately blew up behind such catchy lyrics as “Yvan Eht Nioj.” Lisa ruined it for everyone by figuring out that L.T. Smash is a Navy recruiter. She sucks.
3. Sugar, Sugar – The Archies
The Archies were a garage band formed by Archie Andrews, Reggie Mantle, and Jughead Jones on the animated The Archie Show way back in the late ’60s. Writers Jeff Barry and Andy Kim wrote the song Sugar, Sugar for The Archies to sing on the show and the producers released the song as a single in 1969. Sugar, Sugar hit the top of the charts with a quickness and stayed there for four weeks marking the start of the bubblegum pop craze.
4. Time to Change – The Brady Six
Poor Peter Brady’s voice changes just as his five siblings are set to enter a studio to make a record on an episode of The Brady Bunch. Instead of fighting Peter’s voice, the group improvises and makes Peter’s puberty the subject of the song. We never got to hear the follow-up single about Cindy’s first period but I hear it circulates on private torrent sites.
5. Baby On Board – The Be Sharps [The Simpsons]
The second song on this list from The Simpsons, Baby On Board was the biggest hit for Homer’s barbershop quartet – The Be Sharps. This fake band was featured in the first episode of the fifth season of The Simpsons in 1993. Baby On Board – written about the fugly signs some concerned parents would stick to their back window to deter tailgaiting – was the band’s biggest hit.
6. Everybody Wants Something – Zit Remedy [Degrassi High]
The Zit Remedy – later The Zits – was a band formed by three characters on the cult-classic Canadian teen drama Degrassi Junior High that only seemed to have one song – Everybody Wants Something. The Zits played the tune a number of times over the course of the series and one episode was about the making of a Everybody Wants Something music video.
7. Forever – Jesse and The Rippers [Full House]
John Stamos played Uncle Jesse on Full House – a late ’80s/early ’90s sitcom about a widowed father of three daughters who asks his best friend and brother-in-law to help raise his three daughters. Uncle Jesse was a rocker who fronted a band called Jesse and the Rippers.
Jesse and the Rippers’ big chance at fame came with the release of a tender as fuck power ballad called Forever. In reality, Forever was a Beach Boys song from 1970’s Sunflower written by Dennis Wilson.
8. Smelly Cat – Phoebe Buffay [Friends]
Lisa Kudrow’s character on the ’90s sitcom Friends, Phoebe Buffay, loved to write goofy songs and sing them to her pals including this ode to malodorous felines. Over the course of the series, Smelly Cat was used in a kitty litter commercial and put out as a single – both times without Buffay singing. I got the idea for this list after friend of HT, The Coach, told me that Kudrow recently busted Smelly Cat out at a benefit concert in L.A.
9. Eep Op Ork Ah Ah – Jet Screamer [The Jetsons]
Judy Jetson was the boy-crazy daughter of George Jetson on the ’60s animated series The Jetsons. An episode from 1962 focused on Judy’s infatuation with a rock star named Jet Screamer. Judy enters a songwriting contest and wins a date with Jet Screamer that ends with him performing the song she wrote, Eep Op Ork Ah Ah.
10. We’re Goin’ Way Out – The Way-Outs [The Flintstones]
Here’s another tune from a ’60s animated cartoon. The Way-Outs were a British rock group – think The Beatles – that visit Bedrock for a 1965 episode of The Flintstones called The Masquerade Party. The episode ends with The Way-Outs performing their smash hit – We’re Goin’ Way Out – complete with Fred Flintstone on five-string guitar.
What songs by fake TV bands did we miss?