Should Monk have kept the original theme song?

There's an inside joke hidden in two Monk episodes referring to the absolute fan fury unleashed when Randy Newman's song replaced the original theme.

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The bouncing guitars of the Monk theme song heard throughout the show’s first season became a surprise hit with viewers tuning in.

The song became so popular that the original Monk network USA posted a version of the song that fans could download and listen to even when the show wasn’t on air.

This original theme song was composed by Jeff Beal, who has earned Emmy nominations for compositions for hit TV shows for HBO and Netflix.

Playing the tune was Grant Geissman, a jazz guitarist and session musician who has recorded with Quincy Jones and Sheila E.

On TV, Geissman’s music has been featured on live shows like The Tonight Show, Merv Griffin, and Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, as well as on more recent hit series like Boy Meets World and Dawson’s Creek.

But it was on Monk that he arguably found his biggest TV fanbase, with super-fans of the show downloading his original theme to save a version for themselves.

That’s why it caused quite the disruption when Monk producers out of nowhere swapped out Geissman and Beal’s song for a new theme song.

For the second season of Monk, it’s Randy Newman’s "It’s a Jungle Out There" that’s heard over the show’s opening credits.

Fans were so distraught by this decision that Monk producers couldn’t ignore their loud protests and wound up writing a bit into the show that made light of the theme song scandal.

In the Monk episode "Mr. Monk and the TV Star," Sarah Silverman makes her debut appearance as Marci Maven, an obsessive TV fan who loudly complains about her favorite TV show replacing its theme song.

Silverman would appear three times over the series run of Monk as Marci, so the inside joke doesn’t end when this episode ends.

According to IMDb, fans felt so passionately that the original theme song should be reinstated that they organized letter-writing campaigns to the network.

As a gift to these fans, at the end of "Mr. Monk and the TV Star," Adrian Monk makes a solemn promise to Marci that if he ever gets a TV show of his own, that he would never change the theme song. When this scene ends, the original theme song plays, and if you pay attention, you’ll hear this joke recur at the end of the episode "Mr. Monk and His Biggest Fan," which is the next time Marci appears.

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MikeyMcMichaelson 29 months ago
Hey, I admit it: Whenever that Randy Newman theme is played, I mute the thing. I refuse to listen to it. Whoever invented the mute button has my eternal gratitude. The first season theme IS THE BEST.
mjk3mjk3 31 months ago
I think Monk is a great show! I've seen all of the episodes at least 3 times. While I thought they could never replace Sharona, the truth is that by the time it was done I preferred Natalie. The writers didn't try to replace Sharona with a Sharona, they made Natalie a much more compassionate and appealing person. While few would argue that Sharona was more strikingly beautiful than Natalie, Natalie was Cute and Perky, and cute, perky and compassionate and sexy in her own way, and that beats beautiful and sarcastic from an appeal standpoint. It ended up being a good move writing Natalie into the script in a way different from Sharona. I'll also weigh in on the theme song. Since I was always a Randy Newman fan I thought the change was great! Randy also did a great job with the tune he played at the end of the final episode "I think you're going to miss me when I'm gone." It couldn't have been a more perfect wrap-up to a show that had a perfect "Feel Good" ending.
Oldmoviefan 31 months ago
The first theme song stank. It's cheesy tinny studio guitar lick sounds like the music for a "senior medication" commercial. Randy's song was spot on and fit the show perfectly. The first theme song was like an afterthought someone threw in when the first episode was wrapped. As for all the whiners who said they quit watching because of the switch....HAHAHA seriously? Great; you obviously weren't here for the show's content.
CouchPotato19 31 months ago
I love Randy Newman. Saw him in concert a few years back and we were in the front row. Just him and his piano. It was a great show. He's a funny man.
lynngdance 32 months ago
Honestly, The Randy Newman Theme Song is the only thing I really like about Monk 😆
LorenKeiser 32 months ago
The first theme song was far better than the later one which actually sucked!
Larry 32 months ago
I love Me. TV. I am a 69-year-old man and, I like many grew up with tv at a time when tv was growing up with me and many others. Programing today with what they bring out from today's world is very sad. Reality TV, "Really", I don, "t think so! Ther used to be decent writers at one time that used their imagination and created great shows, that great tv actors came from.
Now, all we have is "phoney" Reality shows that are about money Shame on the television industry for allowing this. God Bless the creators of, "Me. TV for allowing our children, and their children to not only view but witness what TV and great & wholesome entertainment was meant to be, and what it is all about. Amen!
jholton30062 32 months ago
I'm not much a fan of the show, but loved the original theme song. When Randy Newman's song replaced it, I saw no reason to keep watching the show.
JamesB 32 months ago
I understand that Randy Newman’s "It’s a Jungle Out There" has become synonymous with "Monk" but that doesn't make it better. I agree with others who feel that it the original theme was good and should not have been replaced.
glennh3365 32 months ago
The fact they didn't change it back says a lot about what they thought of the viewers.
MichaelNivens 32 months ago
should have kept original
Pacificsun MichaelNivens 32 months ago
trogg888 32 months ago
i loved the original theme song and as for randy newmans song.the lyrics and the melody are terrible and as for his so called singing ive never understood why hes such a big deal.just dont get it
Runeshaper 32 months ago
WOW! That song really must've hit home for a lot of people. Gotta love Monk either way! (-:
Lacey Runeshaper 32 months ago
Eh, I think Like is a better word. Never really loved Monk.
Pacificsun 32 months ago
I dunno, Monk fans are unique. The 2nd theme song fits the show much better. It IS a jungle out there, especially for Monk. But the beat of the song is what's important. And if you're going to make the opening credit a montage, especially of beautiful San Francisco, then you want the viewer to be hopping along with it.

Otherwise, what's the point of title credit.
gort53 Pacificsun 32 months ago
Monk never would have made it in todays needle & feces saturated San Francisco.
Pacificsun gort53 32 months ago
Please, don't make me cry. They should've just set off a grenade in the middle of it all.

Btw: I don't think they actually filmed all the time "in" San Francisco but took their title shots and key landmark shots from there. They did a lot of interior filming.

Being a native to the Bay Area you can tell when they start using neighborhoods and streets and other details. Not saying they never, ever did, but it wasn't completely filmed like "Streets of San Francisco" or "Nash Bridges" (obviously)!!
TheSentinel Pacificsun 32 months ago
It may be a minority opinion, but I actually prefer the second theme for the show (although the first theme is okay, the second does indeed have a better fit to the show's theme).
Ulbrich53fan Pacificsun 32 months ago
Very little was filmed in SF, mostly LA stand-ins, except for a few establishing SF exteriors, but only rarely.
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