Recently on the blog, I brought up how the old-fashioned TV theme is a dying art form, so I was surprised to learn from Film Score Click Track's Jim Lochner that one of the kings of the old-school TV theme, Addams Family and Green Acres theme composer Vic Mizzy, died Saturday at the age of 93. The last major piece of music from Mizzy that I heard was a novelty song about Spider-Man he recorded for the Spider-Man 2 DVD's bloopers montage.
Lochner's more of an expert on Mizzy's credits than I am (his obit contains a full audio clip of Mizzy's memorable main title theme from The Ghost and Mr. Chicken). However, as a child of the '80s, when baby boomers' nostalgia for the TV shows and rock music they grew up with was at its most overbearing, I heard the Addams Family theme everywhere, from Harry and the Hendersons to a local radio ad campaign for Winchester Mystery House that reworked the song's lyrics to focus on Sarah Winchester's not-exactly-scary crib. My inability to get sick of hearing that Mizzy ditty is a testament to his witty songwriting.
Making up new lyrics for the Addams Family theme was a playground pastime. A popular new version was "The Addams Family started/When Uncle Fester farted/That's how they got retarded/The Addams Family." The not-as-twisted-or-funny lyric that I came up with was "Their house is an exhibit/When people come to visit."