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Meet The Man Behind The Music On All Your Favorite Movies And TV Shows

The dude was in Devo AND wrote the theme song for the Rugrats!

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Meet Mark Mothersbaugh.

He's one of the leading music composers in America, which means he writes original music for movies and television. He's also written some jams for video games (The Sims 2 comes to mind,) but his main bag is children's television and, apparently, Wes Anderson films.


1. Pee-Wee's Playhouse (1986)

Mark Mothersbaugh co-wrote the totally bizarre Pee-Wee's Playhouse theme song with Pee-Wee (Paul Reubens) himself! It was recorded by Cyndi Lauper which is equally as bizarre and totally awesome. What was that room like?!

2. Rugrats (1991)

The instrumental theme song to end all instrumental theme songs. It's also really fun to sing acapella (you've done it, admit it) and is probably the number one reason why we all still have a weird secret desire to become master xylophonists.

3. Super Mario World (1991)

The TV show guys, the TV show. Remember the TV show? It came around the time of the "Choose Your Own Adventure" books? This theme has weird chants and piping computerized sounds, basically, like, what Super Mario should sound like when it's on your television.


4. Dumb and Dumber (1994)

Mothersbaugh wrote the score for Dumb and Dumber, possibly the funniest thing to happen in 1994. But like, think about how less funny it would be without the music. Seriously. Think about it.


8. Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999)

And on to dark comedies! Wes Anderson was the gateway drug, Kristen Dunst the medication. Drop Dead Gorgeous is largely the odd man out on this list but, like, how cool is it that Mark was able to diversify?

9. Rocket Power (1999)

I still know every word to this theme song. The kids on the Rocket Power were super active and excelled at literally everything, writing the theme song as a doctrine (♪ We are riders on a mission ♪) was totally genius.


15. Enlightened (2011)

With the growing popularity of mature TV dramas, something in that immense working brain of Mothersbaughs' must have told him to switch gears. Collaborating with fellow composer Carter Burwell, Mark has able to create sonic moments of cinematic brilliance... for prime time television.


17. The Carrie Diaries (2012)

The show with the best '80s soundtrack since, well, the '80s, also happens to have the Mothersbaugh touch: a delightfully feminine and young theme song. This ol' dog is nothing BUT new tricks. It also doesn't hurt that Devo owned the early '80s.