“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
In the course of this episode they do this song, which is hugely anti-war, if you look at it. Zoor and Zam.
“The king of Zor, he called for war
And the king of Zam, he answered.
Two little kings playing a game.
They gave a war and nobody came.”
That’s a hugely anti-war song to be in the middle of the still, fussing around kind of program. They got away with it. They got away with it. I’m not — I just find that fascinating. At the very end of the episode, they get to the bad plant. They’re going to kill it unti the plant says, “No, no, it’s not my fault. The other guy used me. I want to help the world. If I reenergize my Frodis power, more people will be happier. It will be a lovely thing.” This is the bad Wizard Glick and once he gets near the plant this is how he starts to feel. It’s an entire episode dedicated the love of marijuana. In 1967 in American television. I just love that.
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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.