Thirty five years ago this month, Canadian-born session singer Joey Scarbury scored his one and only Top 40 hit with “Believe It Or Not,” a Mike Post/Pete Carpenter-composed tune that served as the theme song to The Greatest American Hero, an action-comedy series created by Stephen J. Cannell. While Hero only lasted from 1981 to 1983, “Believe It Or Not” has had quite an afterlife. It was prominently used in Judd Apatow’s The 40-Year-Old Virgin in 2005, for instance, and George Costanza gave the song a whole new set of lyrics when he used it as his answering machine message in the classic Seinfeld episode “The Susie.” (“Believe it or not, George isn’t at home/Please leave a message at the bee-ee-eep.”) And now, the song has been given a rowdy, rocking remake by comedy music artist Insane Ian Bonds, the man behind that “Benedict Cumberbatch” song a while back. Accompanied by footage from the show, this guitar-driven remake is gloriously giddy and goofy. If the show’s bumbling protagonist (William Katt) shotgunned a 40 of Olde English and took that magical suit of his for a test flight, this is what it would sound like.
Bonds explains the origins of the rambunctious reboot to The A.V. Club:
I was always a fan of the show, and the theme song was one I had been wanting to cover for a while. I’ve covered it for my #MonthlyComedyCover project, where I’m covering a new comedy song each month. While the song itself isn’t funny, it was for a funny show, and I think the change in style from a light, soft rock to a heavier, faster tone coupled with the seriousness of the lyrics sets up a nice comedic dichotomy. Plus, it’s just a frickin’ fun version if I do say so myself. My pal Ben Stahl wails on the guitar on this, so mad props to him on the arrangement.
He humbly adds:
I’m not saying Chris Miller and Phil Lord should use my version in their upcoming remake, but someone should say it. Besides, I’d love to play Ralph Hinkley. And my fro is almost as glorious as William Katt’s was.
No sense arguing with that kind of logic.