Before there was Sex and the City, there was the Golden Girls. Dorothy, Blanche, Rose, and Sophia were the most recognizable gang of girlfriends to grace the TV screen. People still watch the show regularly, and you can catch reruns every now and then online or on the throwback channels. In fact, people who weren't even alive when the show aired have become huge fans thanks to the easy access of the Internet.
Even if you've never seen an episode of this classic sitcom, you know the song when it comes on. Bar bands have covered it, celebrity singers have taken their own stab at it, and just about anyone and their grandmother can recite at least one line. It's one of those songs that you can't help but hum along with. But we bet there's a lot more to this song than you ever realized. Here are some lesser-known facts about the song.
10 The Original Song Was Written By Andrew Gold
The original version of "Thank You For Being a Friend" was written and recorded by Andrew Gold. He's best known for his other songs "Lonely Boy" and Never Let Her Slip Away." The Golden Girls theme appeared on his 1978 album All This and Heaven Too, and was also released as a single that same year. This was Gold's third studio album and was a success for the time. The version used for the show was actually re-recorded by Cynthia Fee. At the time, she didn't think much of it and recorded the whole thing in just a couple takes. Turns out this would be her biggest career move to date.
9 There Is A Rumor That Fee Appeared In An Episode
Throughout the 80s and 90s, Fee primarily worked in television producing jingles for various commercials. However, supposedly she did take a stab at acting right on the show that put her name on the map.
We are saying supposedly because she's not actually listed on IMDB so we can't verify, but many people have stated online that she did appear on an episode of the show in 1988 during season four. So, we're calling this a rumor for now.
8 The Producers Originally Wanted A Different Song
"Thank You For Being a Friend" wasn't the first choice the producers wanted. Initially, they actually approached the studio that had the rights to Bette Midler's song "Friends." However, the cost of buying the license was too expensive and they had to pass. Not everyone had a massive budget to spend on theme songs at this time. Thankfully, someone on the crew remembered Andrew Gold's song and pitched it to the team. Licensing that song wasn't as expensive, so they went for it and had Fee do her recording.
7 It Was A Hit Long Before It Was Used On The Show
Years before anyone stepped into Blanche's house and shared a cheesecake in the middle of the night, the song was already resonating with audiences. Upon its release in 1978, "Thank You For Being a Friend" it soared to the Top 40 charts in the United States and Canada.
People were loving this popular song, and it's for this reason that one of the producers even remembered it existed. Thankfully so, because we can't picture the Golden Girls with any other theme song.
6 The Same Song Was Used In The Spinoff
Yes, there was a spinoff. And yes, it did use the same theme song as the original show, just with a new backdrop and opening credit sequence. It was called The Golden Palace and it aired for one season before it got canceled. It begins right after the series finale of the Golden Girls, when Dorothy has taken off to enjoy her new married life (Spoiler alert, but you've had over 30 years to watch, so we're not sorry). The premise of the spinoff is that Blanche, Rose, and Sophia decide to invest in a hotel now that their house has sold, and then further shenanigans happen along the way. It's not much, but it helps if you've ever been left wondering how everyone's story played out. Oh, and Don Cheadle was in it, so there's that, too.
5 There Is An Extended Version
We're not referring to the original version by Andrew Gold. That is obviously an extended version as it's a real hit single. No, there's actually an extended version of the Golden Girls re-recording by Fee.
It's about a minute longer than the version used for the show, so it gives you that extra little bit of nostalgia time. It's just perfect for those days when you just want to binge-watch the show all day but don't have time.
4 A Gospel Remix Of It Went Viral
In 2016, a YouTuber with the handle Finally Aaron released a clip of himself performing a gospel remix of the Golden Girls theme song. At first, he started with a shorter clip of the song where he simply got so excited and let loose like he was in church. It's glorious. But the song went viral, and before he knew it, people were pressuring him to make a full version. He finally gave in to popular demand and the people of the Internet absolutely loved it. This also just proves how versatile this song really is – it can be remade in any style.
3 Someone Broke A World Record With Singing It
Don't worry if you're confused. We'll explain. A man named Eliot Glazer currently holds a world record for reciting the lyrics to the Golden Girls theme song the most times while the actual song plays. In other words, during the duration of the theme song, this man recited the lyrics really fast four times, and no one else has beaten him.
We're not really sure why this is a record, but it looks like a fun game. How many times do you think you could sing the song over and over again before the credits end?
2 Andrew Gold Wrote It As A "Throwaway" Song
The man behind the song is the last person who expected it to be such a hit on a big-time TV show. In a discussion about the song on his YouTube page, Gold said that the song was just some "throwaway" song that took him about an hour to write. The majority of the re-takes they had to do were just false starts, too. He had no idea it was going to turn into this major song that people would be reciting decades later.
1 Betty White Did A Death Metal Version Of The Song On SNL
Just when you thought Betty White couldn't be any more amazing, she blows you away. In 2010, the legend and last living Golden Girl hosted Saturday Night Live. It was Mother's Day weekend. At one point in the show, the cast of SNL made a tribute video for White. In the video, they all sang the theme song. Then, at the end of the video, we see White's reaction. She thanks them, but says she prefers her rendition. At that point, they show her in the middle of a headbanging mosh pit with a ski mask on, dressed in all black, rocking out to a death metal version of the song. It's truly amazing.