Saturday, February 25, 2012

musical guests on tv shows

The celebrity guest appearance is an easy ploy for TV shows to use. There's a certain excitement to the guest star that can boost ratings, and the guest star gets some additional exposure. It's easy. Almost as easy as a blogger posting a list of things such as celebrity guest appearances on TV shows.

Anyway, the following are ten memorable appearances by singers or bands on regular TV shows. The order of presentation is not meant to imply an preference. These are in alphabetical order by the name of the show.

1) Batman: Chad and Jeremy
This harmonic duo has their voices stolen by Catwoman. Funny how nobody seems to notice as she and her henchmen stroll onto the stage. FWIW, Paul Revere and the Raiders appear in another episode of Batman, trying to rally electoral support for Penguin. Also, Chad and Jeremy also performed on The Dick Van Dyke Show. But that was as "The Redcoats." Here, though, are Chad and Jeremy on Batman:

2) The Brady Bunch: Davy Jones
Usually the first such guest appearance anyone of my demographic mentions. This was after the Monkees had broken up and Jones' stock was at an ebb. Still, a credible song.

3) The Flintstones: Ann-Margret (as Ann-Margrock)
In this list I not willing to include performers' appearances in which they play characters other than themselves. That's why Suzi Quatro's appearances on Happy Days (as Leather Tuscadero) don't count. I make an exception here only because the Flintstones had a pattern of renaming people and places to include some geologic reference. For the purposes of that show, appearing as Ann-Margrock is essentially the same as appearing as herself. In one part of the episode she sings Pebbles to sleep. As good as that lullabye is, it can't hold a candle to "Ain't Gonna Be a Fool":

4) Here's Lucy: Donny Osmond
Donny performs two numbers (the first as a solo, exciting an obviously-enamored Eve Plumb. The second, as a duet with Lucie Arnaz). He reminds me of a second-rate Vegas lounge crooner.

5) I Dream of Jeannie: Boyce and Hart
Best known as the songwriting duo behind some of the Monkees' biggest hits, Boyce & Hart were also performers in their own right and had some chart success of their own.They were also not above making guest appearances, having done so on The Flying Nun, Bewitched an I Dream of Jeannie. The last of these is my favorite because of the way they managed to subtly milk their Monkees connection. The covers of the first three Monkees albums are shown within the first fifteen seconds of the first clip below (The Monkees is the album that Bobby Hart is holding when Jeannie blinks him to her home -- you can see that at 13 seconds; At five seconds in, both More of the Monkees -- in the rightmost bin -- and Headquarters -- above his right shoulder -- are visible at 5 seconds in. Meanwhile, a jazzy version of "Last Train to Clarksville" is playing in the background. In the second clip, you can see the cover of Davy Jones' pre-Monkees solo album attached to the wall. It's above and to the right of Jeannie's head at the beginning of the clip It's clearly visible again, in front of Jeannie's face as she plays the drums, 53 seconds in:

6) The Munsters: The Standells
This was before the Standells' big success with "Dirty Water," which I suppose is why they performed a Beatles song for this guest appearance. Oh, and that's writer/actor/director/producer, Zalman King, as the bearded man:

7) The Odd Couple: Jaye P. Morgan
You know, I agree with Felix. Jaye's interpretation of the song is way too slow.
8) The Simpsons: The Ramones
The Simpsons featured a bunch of musical segments over the course of its run. There was the time Homer managed singer Lurleen Lumpkin. There was Homer's old vocal group, the Be Sharps. And there was the psychiatric patient who nthought he was Michael Jackson. This was my favorite:

9) Square Pegs: The Waitresses
New wave music was a big part of this Square Pegs. Devo appeared in a later episode. And in one episode, Johnny Slash formed a band (called Open 24 Hours), including John Densmore (formerly the drummer for the Doors). Throughout that episode, Densmore is referred to as the drummer from the Doors. But I liked the Waitresses's appearance best:

10) What's Happening!!: The Doobie Brothers
Raj and company take on the thorny issue of music piracy. Who says What's Happening!! didn't have gravitas? This appearance is noteworthy because of its shear length. Rather than one song and out, the Doobies did a miniconcert. 


  1. Kenny Loggins on Dharma and Greg definately deserved to be on this list.

    1. Which one should I have left out?