5. Family Guy “I Dream of Jesus” featuring “Surfin’ Bird” by the Trashmen (October 5, 2008)
In 1963 this extremely annoying song reached #4 on the American Billboard Hot 100, (forcing me to assume that when it came to entertainment, the people of the 1960’s were none too discerning). After the episode was released in the UK in April 2009, the song reached #50 on the UK charts, a feat it failed to do when it was released in 1963 (when British people apparently still had standards). At any rate, this episode is hilarious (possibly my favorite) and it’s all because of this ridiculous song. Peter hears the song while the Griffins are out to eat at an authentic 50’s diner and the owner/manager allows him to take the record home because they were about to throw it away (with good reason). It quickly becomes Peter’s new favorite thing and the ONLY thing he can focus on. Brian and Stewie steal the record while he’s sleeping and destroy it Office Space style, before going to every record shop in town and scooping up every copy so that they will never have to hear this golden oldie again. You didn’t know about this? So what you’re saying is that you haven’t heard. . .
4. 30 Rock “Larry King” featuring “99 Luftballons” by Nena (February 26, 2009)
Cold war era German protest song; Deceased grandmother’s last recording of sentimental lullaby? Nena; Nana? What’s the difference? When mayhem and chaos plague New York City (due to some uneducated drivel Tracy spews during his interview on Larry King Live) Liz Lemon requires an escort to Long Island City to fetch her cell phone, which she left in a cab. She drags Kenneth along and the debate begins as to whether they’re REAL friends or if Liz just uses him when she needs something. (He’s a nice guy and all, but can anyone REALLY be friends with Kenneth?) What Kenneth doesn’t know (apart from all social cues) is that Liz desperately wants to retriever her phone because the cabbie that found it, also found “adult” pictures of Liz on it! Here’s the part where Liz makes up a fantastic lie that involves not only a dead grandmother, but a 26 year old international pop phenomenon.
3. Cougar Town “Into the Great Wide Open*” featuring “Single Ladies” by Beyonce (September 30, 2009)
That’s right, a show that’s been on for less than two months is making my list AGAIN. And even though my street cred is about to plummet, I do enjoy a little “Single Ladies” in my life (ask Judi why she does or does not hate this song) ESPECIALLY when it’s used in a montage of shameless candid photos from a night of middle-aged mayhem. Remember how the movie The Hangover kind of sucked, but it redeemed itself during the credits when they showed the photo montage of everything that happened during their collective blackout? Well this scene in Cougar Town is sort of like that, hilarious and fun (but without a two-hour build of up “I wish Vince Vaughn was in this movie”).
2. The Sarah Silverman Program “Maid to Border aka Brian’s Song” featuring “Two Princes” by The Spin Doctors (November 7, 2007)
Brian Posehn and Steve Agee play the unlikely “gay neighbors” on The SSP. This video game/pot/TaB/heavy metal loving duo are hardly your typical gay BFF’s. They’re a bit slovenly, argue all the time and smoke entirely too much marijuana (if that’s possible). What’s important though, is that they know and love each other, or so Steve thought. When Brian starts taking daily walks to “listen to metal on his iPod” Steve becomes a little suspicious. And then he discovers something WONDERFUL: The Spin Doctors’ “Two Princes” is the ONLY song on Brian’s iPod. Meaning, he has been listening to this song EXCLUSIVELY for god knows how long, while walking around town skipping to the beat.
1. Full House “Joey Gets Tough” featuring “I Think We’re Alone Now” by Tiffany (November 25, 1988)
No other pop song is so ingrained in my memory as not a pop song, but the song that “D.J. and Stephanie stayed up late to watch on television.” Talk about being in desperate need of a Tivo! Or hell, a VCR!! When Danny FORBIDS Deej and Steph from staying up late to watch “Tiffany: Live from Tokyo” Joey could have just taped the event, allowing the girls to watch it later. But then we wouldn’t have gotten the angry father catches pajama clad tweens dancing with his irresponsible best friend whom he doesn’t even pay to watch his children. And what time was this damn concert on anyway? She’s “LIVE” from Tokyo, yet, it’s roughly 10 p.m. in San Francisco? That makes it what? 3 p.m. in Tokyo? What kind of shitty mid-afternoon show is this? And who stays up late to see Tiffany “perform” anyway? Couldn’t you just listen to the tape before bed and call it a day? CHILDREN BEEEHAAAAAAAVE. . . .or Joey’s going to GET TOUGH!
*I just noticed that EVERY Cougar Town episode shares its title with a Tom Petty song.