I Wanna Be Loved by You

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"I Wanna Be Loved by You"
Song by Helen Kane
Songwriter(s)Herbert Stothart, Harry Ruby, Bert Kalmar

"I Wanna Be Loved by You" is a song written by Herbert Stothart and Harry Ruby, with lyrics by Bert Kalmar, for the 1928 musical Good Boy.[1] It was chosen as one of the Songs of the Century in a survey by the RIAA to which 200 people responded (out of 1300 asked). One of Marilyn Monroe's most famous musical performances is her singing the song in Billy Wilder's classic farce Some Like It Hot.


The song was first performed in 1928 by Helen Kane, who became known as the 'Boop-Boop-a-Doop Girl' because of her baby-talk, scat-singing tag line to the song. This version was recorded when Kane's popularity started to reach its peak, and became her signature song. Two years later, a cartoon character named Betty Boop was modeled after Kane.[2] Desirée Goyette performs the number as Betty Boop in the 1980s animated film The Romance of Betty Boop.

In 1950, the song was a highlight of the Kalmer-Ruby biopic Three Little Words, performed by Debbie Reynolds and Carleton Carpenter as Helen Kane and vaudeville performer Dan Healy. Helen Kane dubbed the vocal for Reynolds’ voice.

In popular culture[edit]

In a Gilligan's Island episode, Ginger Grant sings the song on at least one occasion for the entertainment of the fellow castaways. Her performance so impresses Mary Ann Summers that she takes on Ginger's personality and identity after hitting her head. However, when Mary Ann tries to sing the song, her lack of talent makes her uncomfortable and she faints, snapping out of her amnesia.

In an episode of The Brady Bunch ("Never Too Old", October 5, 1973), Bobby (Mike Lookinland) must quarantine from the family after his first skyrocket-inducing kiss with Millicent (Melissa Sue Anderson) could potentially produce the mumps. (While Ms. Anderson was a guest star on an episode in the final season of The Brady Bunch, in less than a year she would portray Mary Ingalls on the television series Little House on the Prairie in its first season in the 1974 fall line-up.) Meanwhile, Mike, aptly albeit reluctantly played by Robert Reed, in his den with Carol, cheerfully performed by Florence Henderson, pulls out his ukulele as Carol leads them in a duet of their own rendition. Alice (Ann B. Davis) pokes her head in, duster brandishing on cue with her closing "Boop-Boop-Be-Doop." This scene is in preparation for the upcoming Roaring Twenties party and dance contest, for which the Bradys plus Alice practice the Charleston in the living room donning full Gatsby garb conveniently scavenged from the attic. In classic Brady style, the subplot transitions from climax to denouement as a mumps-free Bobby returns home from the event with the whole bunch, following the nail-biter of Millicent's long-awaited call directly from her doctor to her pre-teen self. Naturally, the Bradys buzz about Alice and Sam's (Allan Melvin) winning "the Charleston" contest, not without the aid of Alice's adeptly placed ice cubes (neatly plopped down Sam's starched collar).

In Rob Zombie's 2003 film House of 1000 Corpses, Baby Firefly performs the song for the family's unwitting victims.

In the Australian musical adaptation of King Kong, the number is performed as Ann Darrow is robbed by thugs who taunt her.

The song also been recorded by performers Vaughn De Leath, Annette Hanshaw, Jack Lemmon, Frank Sinatra, Miss Miller and The Chipettes, Rose Murphy, Verka Serduchka, Patricia Kaas, Sinéad O'Connor, Jinx Titanic, Shiina Ringo, Claire Johnston, Eve's Plum and Barry Manilow (in a duet with the Marilyn Monroe recording) among others.

The song is performed in the 2007 television version of Kingdom of Crooked Mirrors.


  1. ^ Secondhandsongs: I Wanna Be Loved By You. Accessed January 1, 2021.
  2. ^ Gabrielle Bellot: The Forgotten Black Woman Behind Betty Boop. The Cut, March 15, 2017, accessed January 1, 2021

External links[edit]