1. The Dukes of Hazzard
French Title: Shérif, fais-moi peur!
Literal Translation: Sheriff, Frighten Me!
Sample Lyric: Country Life/Is the one I have chosen/I can rip your fog/With a single guitar chord
The Hilarity: Look, Waylon Jennings was just damn cool… but he wasn’t ripping any fog. And what in the hell is singing this? Is that a lady’s voice? Is it a dude who’s been sucking on helium? A gnome? What?
2. The A-Team
French Title: L’agence tous risques
Literal Translation: The Risk Everything Agency
Sample Lyric: The A-Team is really/The last chance of the moment/In danger, those kings of cool/Those travelers without a visa/Fought the good fight
The Hilarity: The original intro didn’t even have lyrics. Nope. None. It was an instrumental… remember? However, traveling without a visa… that isn’t very funny. That is just careless.
3. Starsky & Hutch
French Title: Starsky et Hutch
Sample Lyric: Starsky and Hutch/Starsky and Hutch/New knights with the big heart/But never afraid of anything/Starsky and Hutch/ Starsky and Hutch/Two cops laughing and dreaming a bit/But who always win at the end
The Hilarity: Like most of these, this is another one that began in the U.S. with no lyrics, just some music during the opening credits. Probably to prevent Starsky & Hutch from sounding like giggly, dreamy, hand-holding Pixar characters.
French Title: Cosmocats
Sample Lyric: Thundercats Extraterrestial!/Thundercats it’s you!/Who have all powers/Thundercats has you!
The Hilarity: Just listening to this guy singing “CosmoCATS!”. He is obviously rocking out pretty hard during his enthusiastic solo. Toward the end, if you listen closely, you can actually hear the vein bursting in his forehead.
5. Diff’rent Strokes
French Title: Arnold et Willy
Sample Lyric: Appearances and preferences/Have too much importance/Accept differences/
It’s true it takes all you know/It takes all it’s true/Takes all sorts to make a world
The Hilarity: Really, the lyrics aren’t much different than the English ones, but c’mon… doesn’t it just sound so fun & jaunty in French?
6. Hart to Hart
French Title: Pour l’amour du risque
Literal Translation: For the Love of Danger
Sample Lyric: It’s really their business/To make life difficult for gangsters/Jonathan Hart woh oh oh!/Jennifer Hart!
The Hilarity: I think it’s obvious. Take an awful TV show, replace the instrumental intro with some ridiculous jingle that actually uses the lame characters’ names & there you have it – cheesy laughs, woh oh oh!
7. Fraggle Rock
The Hilarity: Ok… there really isn’t any, but… I just find the French Fraggles so delightful.
8. The Fall Guy
French Title: L’homme qui tombe à pic
Literal Translation: The Man Who Falls Just Right
Sample Lyric: I am the man who falls just right/I am the man who comes from afar/And in my cop skin I’m never afraid of anything/I am the man who falls just right/I have my life in my hands/And if I take this risk it is never, never in vain
The Hilarity: Actually… nothing. This dude is too serious & needs to lighten up. The American version is making out with famous Hollywood starlets & singing about being more badass than Robert Redford & Clint Eastwood. This guy doesn’t mention making out with anyone. That might be the problem.
Sample Lyric: Becoming someone/The hero of another from one day to the next/To be discovered human/The hero of another
The Hilarity: Well, at first I was under the impression that adding lyrics to a show’s intro had just been some French trend of the 70′s & early 80′s… it seems that I was mistaken. The rest of the lyrics don’t get any better… or any different, really. The entire tune is just some pop singer repeating herself, which might give me a reason to prefer the original intro. Oh, wait… the American version of Heroes didn’t really have an intro or opening tune, did it?
10. Santa Barbara
Sample Lyric: Santa Barbara, who will tell me/Why, I have the pain of living?/Santa Barbara, I don’t know/I go, like a drunken boat/Carrying my memories
The Hilarity: I don’t know much about this show, other than it was (or is) a soap opera, so I’m sure it was packed with ridiculous melodrama, but I don’t know if the lame, clichéd story arcs of a typical soap opera can compete with this upbeat tune about some sad sack going away like a drunken boat to have a pity party.
11. Knots Landing
French Title: Côte ouest
Literal Translation: West Coast
Sample Lyric: West Coast, your palaces only shelter lies and passions/West coast, between calm and stormy dramas are some volcanoes.
The Hilarity: Evidently, Knots Landing on the West Coast is a dark & evil place with shitty weather. Something that the dull, early 80′s instrumental intro of the U.S. version failed to convey to the audience. Not to mention the fact that – wait a minute… WTF? Is that a pre-30 Rock Alec Baldwin?!
12. He-Man & the Masters of the Universe
French Title: Les maîtres de l’univers
Literal Translation: The Masters of the Universe
The Hilarity: While there aren’t any lyrics & no catchy tune with wacky lyrics for this one, it is funny to hear it in French. First of all, he isn’t He-Man, he’s Musclor. Castle Greyskull is now the “Castle of Shadows” & Cringer, He-Man’s “fearless friend” is introduced as a “domestic tiger”. Musclor‘s voice seems to be a bit more manly than his American counterpart & instead of shouting, “By the power of Grayskull!” Musclor raises his sword & cries out, “By the power of ancestral skull… I hold the all-powerful force”. Musclor obviously has more of a flair for theatrics.
Sample Lyric: Dallas, your ruthless world/Dallas, glorifies the law of the strongest/Dallas, and under your relentless sun/Dallas, you only dread death/Dallas, fatherland of the dollar, of the oil/Dallas, you do not know mercy/Dallas, the gun is your idol/Dallas, you cling to your past
The Hilarity: Hilarity? Ok, fuck that. This shit is terrifying. Dallas sounds like the worst place on Earth. It’s goddamn hot; if you’re not one of the strongest, you’re screwed because ruthless, Old West & gun-worshiping bastards are roaming the fatherland & they do not know mercy. But, the bizarre men’s chorus that’s belting this tune out sure sounds happy, doesn’t it?
Tags: A-Team, American, Dallas, Diff'rent Strokes, Dukes of Hazzard, Fraggle Rock, French, funny, Hart to Hart, He-Man, Heroes, shows, Starsky & Hutch, The Fall Guy, Thundercats, Thursday Thirteen, TV, YouTube