11 Hit Original Songs From Non-Musical TV Shows (VIDEO)
Occasionally, a TV show will strike gold with a musical episode. Other times, a musical interlude from a TV episode will generate a bona fide hit. 30 Rock even went viral with a song that only played onscreen for seven seconds.
From those unexpected hits to a folk tune about a certain stinky feline, these are some of viewers’ favorite original songs from non-musical television shows.
“L to the OG,” Succession
Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong), who somehow fancies himself a rapper, performed this cringeworthy tribute to his father. Sample lyrics: “Yo, bitches be catty, but the king’s my daddy / Rock all the haters while we go roll a ’rati.”
“Peeno Noir,” Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
This viral hit by Titus Andromedon (Tituss Burgess)—subtitled “An Ode to Black Penis”—inspired Burgess to release his own pinot noir in 2016.
“Werewolf Bar Mitzvah,” 30 Rock
Jeff Richmond, husband of Tina Fey and composer of 30 Rock and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, also provided the music to this Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan) track about boys becoming men… and men becoming wolves.
“5000 Candles in the Wind,” Parks and Recreation
Parks and Rec fans who tuned into the NBC sitcom’s quarantine-themed reunion episode got a reprise performance of this tribute to the majestic miniature horse Li’l Sebastian, a song originally performed by Andy Dwyer (Chris Pratt) and his band Mouse Rat.
“You All Everybody,” Lost
Before Charlie Pace (Dominic Monaghan) crash-landed on The Island, he and his band, Drive Shaft, released this one-hit wonder—which found its way to fellow J.J. Abrams series Alias and even to the Rock Band video game series.
“Smelly Cat,” Friends
What are they feeding you? After debuting in the Season 2 episode “The One With the Baby on the Bus,” Phoebe Buffay’s defining song became such an enduring classic that actress Lisa Kudrow performed it on stage with Taylor Swift at a concert 20 years later.
“Let’s Go to the Mall,” How I Met Your Mother
Actress Cobie Smulders channeled Robin Scherbatsky’s secret Canadian pop star alter ego, Robin Sparkles, in May by giving this song new lyrics for the COVID-19 era.
“Something to Sing About,” Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Buffy’s “Once More With Feeling” is one of the best musical episodes in TV history, thanks in part to this emotional track, wherein the eponymous vampire slayer (Sarah Michelle Gellar) begs for a reason for her return trip from heaven.
“The Rains of Castamere,” Game of Thrones
“A Little Bit Alexis,” Schitt’s Creek
Alexis Rose (Annie Murphy) auditioned for the town’s community theater production of Cabaret with the theme song to her short-lived reality show. IRL, Murphy performed the song with Kelly Clarkson on the latter’s talk show.
“D*** in a Box,” Saturday Night Live
This NSFW digital short starring Justin Timberlake and Andy Samberg—featuring the debut single by Samberg’s comedy troupe The Lonely Island—ended up winning SNL the 2007 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics.