Since the dawn of time, the Pavlovian response created by TV theme songs has lured billions to their living rooms to receive their news updates, cartoon shenanigans, high-intensity drama and whatever other form of audiovisual entertainment can be displayed on a screen–for us, the dawn of time was when Looney Tunes first aired in 1930. That’s also where the latest video from Reverb.com begins, as “local riff-master Joe” guides a guitar-driven tour through nearly 100 years of television history by playing snippets of iconic theme songs over the course of about ten minutes.
Joe pretty much covers all of it. He gets the comedy news with The Daily Show and The Colbert Report and hits the game show circuit with Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy and Family Feud. He performs a bunch of major cartoons, from Inspector Gadget to Ren and Stimpy to South Park, as well as dramas like The X-Files, Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones. He even pulls out a mandolin for the Curb Your Enthusiasm theme and a ukulele for Arrested Development. We’ll forgive the cheating there, but we’re less lenient on him playing the Seinfeld theme with just his mouth.
You can watch the video above, or you can head to the Reverb website where, thanks to Soundslice, you can watch the video with scrolling music notations in case you want to try your hand at playing along. And a heads up for the guitar techies who want to emulate Joe’s setup perfectly: The video description says the gear Joe used for this session is a “Nash JM63 through an Earthquaker Dunes and Levitation, an Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail, a Fulltone Catalyst and a DD-5 Delay, all running into a Tone King Falcon combo.” Whoa.
Which rendition was your favorite? Were there other shows you wish were included? Let us know in the comments.