“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
Another episode that they have, that I like a lot is called “The Devil and Peter Tork.” It’s written by Gardener, Caruso and Kaufman. This is the Devil and Dr. Faustus and all those other versions of that story. Peter Tork wants the talent of playing the harp, because he is in love with the harp and so he sells his soul to the Devil to get that talent, but he doesn’t even understand who the devil is because he loves everybody and he’s all about peace. But eventually, the Devil shows up to take that soul and the boys won’t let him. They have a little dance sequence where they imagine what Hell might be like and theirs a lot of girls who look like Playboy bunnies. I’m not sure how we get away with that. And the whole point of it is, there’s a lovely little scene I’ll show you a clip of — they start talking about “Maybe Hell won’t be that bad.” but they bleep them every time they say the word “Hell” and eventually — well, I’ll show you that in a minute, Micky Dolenz looks at the audience and says something very funny – “You know what’s even more scary? You can’t say <cuckoo> on television.”
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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.