Did You Know Alan Thicke Wrote the "Facts of Life" Theme Song?
Yes, the "Facts of Life" theme song came from the beloved "Growing Pains" star!
If you grew up in the 1970s and '80s, chances are you can still recite the words to the "Facts of Life" theme song. You know all about how you take the good, you take the bad, you take them both, and there you have the facts of life! But what you probably didn't know is who is behind that iconic TV theme song (and so many more): Growing Pains star Alan Thicke!
Yes, the patriarch of the Seaver family—and the father of "Blurred Lines" singer Robin Thicke—got his start in Hollywood not just hosting TV game shows in the 1970s, but writing theme songs for them as well, including the original theme to Wheel of Fortune.
Eventually, Thicke added theme songs for scripted series to his résumé as well. He and his first wife, singer and actress Gloria Loring, were quite the powerful theme-song-writing team. The duo, along with composer Al Burton, co-wrote the Facts of Life theme song, which Loring sang. The team also created the Diff'rent Strokes theme song together. And, fun fact: One of the voices behind "It Takes Diff'rent Strokes" is Thicke's!
In 2010, Thicke talked about his TV theme song legacy with The A.V. Club, noting he'd composed "over 40 themes altogether." "The challenge was, you have 24 seconds to do something catchy and memorable and sum up the entire premise of the show in case somebody had never seen it before. You had to do it with an internal rhyme scheme and a perky little ditty," he said, looking back on his early career. "The Facts Of Life internal rhyme scheme was intricate and one that I remember finishing and saying, 'Yeah, that's pretty good. That all rhymes. I got a lot of rhyming words in 24 seconds.'"
Though his TV theme song credits are too numerous to list, he was notably behind the themes for The Wizard of Odds (on which he also sang the vocal introduction), The Joker's Wild, Celebrity Sweepstakes, Blank Check, Stumpers, Whew!, and Hello, Larry, a spin-off of sorts of Diff'rent Strokes.
Thicke, who sadly died of a heart attack in 2016 at the age of 69, told The A.V. Club that "back then, theme songs were more important. They were a part of every show. … I think that's almost a lost art." But it was an art he certainly mastered.