Ron Jones seems to have avoided typecasting – he was well-known to Trek fans during the glory days of Star Trek: The Next Generation, when he scored the Best of Both Worlds cliffhanger
where Picard was turned into a Borg. Damn that was good stuff.
Now he’s sharing composing duties on Family Guy. From the New York Times:
Since its debut in 1999 “Family Guy” has developed a comedic voice as recognizable for its rapid-fire references to pop-culture detritus as for Mr. Murphy’s and Mr. Jones’s lavish arrangements of satirical show tunes. For the premiere of the series’s second season Mr. Jones composed an elaborate parody of “I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here” from the musical “Annie” for a scene in which the protagonist Peter Griffin learns that he’s inherited a mansion from a dead relative. The song (whose vaguely obscene title cannot be printed here) was nominated for an Emmy in 2000.
Animation seems to have the best music on TV these days – The Simpsons, South Park, and Family Guy all feature orchestral arrangements, plus their fair share of schmaltzy musical numbers.
The music for the comedies always plays it straight. The more authentic the music, the better the setup for the jokes (especially the dirty ones).
Many composers lament the timidity and low budgets of TV scores these days. But there are diamonds in the rough, especially that unnamed musical number mentioned above, which was called “This House is Freaking Sweet”. (By the way, how is that too dirty to print? Who’s the editor of that column anyway?)
This song is freakin’ sweet – brings me right back to playing string bass in the orchestra pit of many a Cole Porter musical: