20 Funny Songs From Sitcoms
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Over the years, the best sitcoms have managed to get their sight gags and various quotes stuck in our heads days, months even years later. But what about their songs? What about the original music they’ve created just for special musical episodes, dream sequences or musically-inclined characters? These witty auditory gems need to celebrated and so we’ve gathered 20 funny songs from your favorite sitcoms. Read on to relive some of the funniest musical moments from 20 different television shows.
10. “The Dayman” – Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Debut episode: Season 3, Episode 9
“The Dayman” song, much like many superheroes, has its own complicated origin story. While the song is normally associated with the more famous “The Nightman Cometh” episode that comes later in the series, “The Dayman” originates from an earlier season three episode, and was co-written by Dennis and Charlie, the sole members of their band Electric Dream Machine. While the song received mostly negative feedback the first time it was played publicly, it was still used as the finale for Charlie’s play “The Nightman Cometh.” (You know, besides that other song that introduced his botched marriage proposal to the waitress.)
9. “Dream of the Nineties”- Portlandia
Debut episode: Season 1, Episode 1: “Farm”
Flannel. Clowns. Piercings. Double-decker bikes. These are the stuff ‘90s dreams (and Portland) are made of. That city is a Gen X hipster’s paradise and this song won’t let you forget it.
8. “Swearing Song” – Reno 911!
Debut episode: Season 4, Episode 2: “The Junior Brothers”
If you’re fan of Reno 911!, then you know all about their PSAs: the ones for both adults and children. The ones for adults tend to be awkward, poorly constructed television commercials, either prohibiting illegal behaviors or recruiting able-bodied citizens to join the Reno Sheriff’s Department. The PSAs for children, however, are usually live shows, or outreach events performed at local schools in Reno by members of the sheriff’s department, also known as the very funny Reno 911! cast. The children’s PSAs are the best PSAs by far. And the “Swearing Song” is one of them. In an attempt to teach the children to use cleaner language, the Reno Sheriff’s Dept. wrote and performed a short song about swear words at a local school, which was then quickly ruined by an overexcited school principal’s use of the word “asshole.”
Our favorite line from the whole bumbling school auditorium spectacle? “Filthy mouths lead to filthy lives in filthy homes with filthy wives.”
7. “In the Moonlight”- Modern Family
Debut episode: Season 1, Episode 4
Not approving of your teenage daughter’s new boyfriend is a common experience. But few parents are proven right in such a musical way. To Haley’s parents’ horror, just when they start to think they were wrong about their daughter’s boyfriend, Dylan, the clueless oaf manages to ruin things all over again with a particularly dirty little ditty he penned in honor of Haley, called “In the Moonlight.” And then on top of that, the inappropriately sexually-charged song managed to entrench itself in the minds of the rest of Haley’s family, resulting in a running gag in which members of the main cast would then sing the song to themselves. But wait, there’s more: There’s even a music video for the song and Haley and a heavily mascara-ed Dylan star in it. And after viewing the video with the rest of the family, we feel her father Phil, had an apt reaction to it: Everyone’s grounded. Everyone who watched (or had something to do with making) the video is grounded.
6. “Catherine Zeta-Jones (She Dips Beneath the Lasers)” – Workaholics
Debut episode: Season 1, Episode 3: “Office Campout”
It’s strange, odd and slightly haunting. If Workaholics was a prospective suitor, this song would be the point at which we might run screaming from all of the creepy red flags. But it’s a sitcom, and for all of its eccentricities, it’s still pretty hilarious. It’s more than odd when you see a group of guys in their jammies lying on the floor of their workplace singing a made-up song about actress Catherine Zeta-Jones and her role in a late 90s movie titled Entrapment. It sounds like a weird obsessive chant about lasers. And the extended, remixed version of the song offered up by the show’s creators doesn’t help matters either. You won’t be able to take your eyes off the extended version below: it’s filled with trippy imagery, glowing stars and of course, lasers.
5. “Please Respect the Meat”- My Name is Earl
Debut episode: Season 3, Episode 5: “Creative Writing”
In an episode in which main characters from the My Name is Earl cast are expected to have segments that tell creative stories unique to them, it was interesting to see how each character runs with the premise. And Darnell “the Crabman” Turner’s story of a sensitive seafood fry cook struggling to reconcile his love for animals with the animal cruelty his job forces him to be complicit in, is especially funny. The smooth ‘70s soul vibe of the video pairs well with Darnell’s naturally laid-back, yet caring nature. Plus, the crab-walk inspired dancing featured in Crabman’s music video is a must-see.
4. “Guy Love”- Scrubs
Debut episode: Season 6, Episode 6: “My Musical”
If by the beginning of the sixth season of Scrubs you were somehow not aware of how deep Turk and J.D.‘s bromance truly is, then episode six of that season blew.your.mind. The episode, though it featured a number of great original songs, is known specifically for one iconic, special ode to male friendships. That ode is “Guy Love.” Turk and J.D’s devotion to each other transcends the bounds of the storylines it’s based on. (In fact, it’s worth noting that the actors who played Turk and J.D. are best friends in real life.) Even with the constant sight gags and other references to their slightly odd friendship, “Guy Love” was a great way to really sum their friendship: “We’re closer than the average man and wife. That’s why our I.D. bracelets say Turk and J.D.”
3. “Muffin Top”- 30 Rock
Debut episode: Season 1, Episode 5: “Jack-Tor”
From Seinfeld to 30 Rock, the consensus is clear: The best part of a muffin is the top. Random silly sexual metaphors aside, the best part of this song is Jenna’s commitment to her performance. Her desperation to remain youthful and sexually desirable is wonderfully depicted in both her dance style and the lyrics. The song itself is also a great parody of stereotypical top 40 dance hits that often feature the young female artists Jenna wants to be like. And it touches on some of the hallmarks of such dance pop songs: a beautiful, independent leading lady who struggles with aggressive admirers while out dancing.
2. “Christmas Infiltration”- Community
Debut episode: Season 3, Episode 10: “Regional Holiday Music”
Frankly, getting to see Donald Glover (aka Childish Gambino) show off his rap skills is something we’ll take in any form. But in this musical number, Glover especially shines. We not only learn a bit more about his character’s friendship with Abed, but through Abed’s loop-hole, we actually get to learn more about Glover’s character, Troy. Not to mention, that this musical number is actually a full music video, complete with dancing girls, Santa and crude transitions and animations. And the Auto-tune. We musn’t forget the Auto-tune.
1. “Smelly Cat” – Friends
Debut episode: Season 2, Episode 6: “The One With the Baby on the Bus”
Admit it. This was the first song you thought of when you clicked on this List of the Day. And now you can’t get it out of your head. Whether you first experienced the musical, animal-loving stylings of Ms. Buffay in the episode titled “The One With the Baby on the Bus” or you saw Pheebs’ music video for this iconic song, one thing is certain: for all of its simplicity, and for all of Phoebe’s comically off-key singing, it’s still a damn catchy tune. So much so that even 18 years later, since its debut in 1995, we still remember the words. So here’s to Smelly Cat. Maybe one day we’ll figure out what they were feeding you.