Article: Hey, Hey, They Wrote The Monkees – Written By Magazine

My latest article for Written By Magazine is an interview with several of the writers who began their career on the writing staff of The Monkees. You can read the entire article by clicking the page below or downloading the entire issue as a PDF.

Writtenby monkees

Hey, Hey, They Wrote The Monkees
How a few writers changed the hair-length (and face) of television

Early 1960s television characters came in a one-size-fits-all,  squeaky-clean-cut style, from Dr. Kildare in his white lab coat,  to Hoss Cartwright in his white Stetson, to Sr. Bertrille in her  white habit. That lasted until 7:30 p.m. Monday, September  12, 1966 when four long-haired teenagers began dancing a Monkeewalk while singing, “Hey, Hey, We’re the Monkees.”

Though it looked simple enough, the comedy was about  more than four struggling musicians living in a beach house  they couldn’t afford, without adult supervision, and hoping for  success while engaging in Marx(Bros)ian humor. According to  star Micky Dolenz, the only actor with previous television series experience: “It brought long hair into the living room and  changed the way teenagers were portrayed on television.”

Dolenz’s opinion is backed up by psychologist and author  Timothy Leary in The Politics of Ecstasy: “While it lasted, it  was a classic Sufi[ism] put-on. An early-Christian electronic  satire. A mystic magic show. A jolly Buddha laugh at hypocrisy. And woven into the fast-moving psychedelic stream of action  were the prophetic, holy, challenging words. Micky was rapping  quickly, dropping literary names, making scholarly references.”

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