“1960s TV Censorship and The Monkees” gives a brief overview of where censorship standards were in the era – and how The Monkees pushed the envelope with its mentions of the Vietnam War – and Sunset Strip riots – and even with the outrageous storytelling behind “Frodis Caper”, the episode that celebrated the saving of an alien plant that very closely resembled a marijuana plant…
Writer Treva Silverman said the staff got away with such jokes because the network executives were just old enough not to understand any of the references.
Presented at Stephens College MFA in Screenwriting classes on Friday, August 5, 2016
It’s called “Monkee’s Watch Their Feet.” It’s written by Coslough Johnson, who’s the brother of Arte Johnson who is from Laugh-In and this is the story of aliens who come down to Earth and they kidnap Micky Dolenz and make a copy of him who’s a robot and their trying to understand the brain of Americans, which is pretty silly, but notice the sort of patriotic backdrop here. It guest starred Pat Paulsen, who is going to end up on Laugh-In and these are some lines that he has in this episode. Think about what he’s talking about right in the center of the Vietnam War. Particularly I like this line. This is the aliens talking about the Americans. We don’t ever have to say Vietnam. We know what they’re talking about. These are the guys. This is the age of the guy who is being drafted to go. This other is a nice chunk that they talk about. “They want to put the blame on teenagers. Take the war for example. Whose fault is it? Not ours. we’re not fighting. It must be those crazy kids. They’re the ones doing all the fighting.”
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About Dr. Rosanne Welch
Dr. Rosanne Welch is a professor in the Low Residency MFA in Screenwriting Program from Stephens College, California State University, Fullerton, Mount San Antonio Community College and Cal Poly Pomona. In 2007, she graduated with her Ph.D. in 20th Century U.S./Film History from Claremont Graduate University. She graduated with her M.A. in 20th Century United States History from California State University, Northridge in 2004.
Welch is also a television writer/producer with credits for Beverly Hills 90210 , CBS’s Emmy winning Picket Fences and Touched By An Angel . She also writes and hosts her own podcasts on 3rdPass.media, her first one titled “Mindful(I) Media with Dr. Rosanne Welch.”
Three Ring Circus: How Real Couples Balance Marriage, Work and Kids and The Encyclopedia of Women in Aviation and Space are two books she has written. Los Angeles Times and the Journal of Screenwriting hold some of her published articles.