Rosanne Welch, PhD, Author of Why The Monkees Matter, presents “How The Monkees Changed Television” at a Cal State Fullerton Lunch Lecture on May 8, 2018.
In this talk, she shows how The Monkees, and specifically their presence on television, set the stage for large changes to come in the late 1960s.
They were friends with all the Beatles so so much for the Beatles not taking them seriously and they were friends across their lives. Of course this is Mickey many years later with Ringo and Graham Nash right? This is him of course Paul McCartney and up here we got John. John Lennon would come to Mickey Dolenz’s house and they would jam and hang out because Mickey’s wife was from England and so when Lennon was in town he liked to go to the Dolenz house because she knew how to serve tea at 4 o’clock Most American girls weren’t doing that Right? So they already had a cachet. Then the show gets off the air and they go into reruns and they put them on Saturday morning because the television people think that it’s a kids show and they don’t think about all those other references and how serious to show was. So they’re in reruns on Saturday morning and in the 70s still so important that when Marcia Brady wants a prom date she writes to Davey Jones and of course he comes and he sings at her prom.
A hit television show about a fictitious rock band, The Monkees (1966-1968) earned two Emmys–Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Directorial Acheivement in Comedy.
Capitalizing on the show’s success, the actual band formed by the actors, at their peak, sold more albums than The Beatles and The Rolling Stones combined, and set the stage for other musical TV characters from The Partridge Family to Hannah Montana. In the late 1980s, the Monkees began a series of reunion tours that continued into their 50th anniversary.
This book tells the story of The Monkees and how the show changed television, introducing a new generation to the fourth-wall-breaking slapstick created by Laurel and Hardy and the Marx Brothers.
Its creators contributed to the innovative film and television of 1970s with projects like Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Laugh-In and Welcome Back, Kotter. Immense profits from the show, its music and its merchandising funded the producers’ move into films such as Head, Easy Riderand Five Easy Pieces.
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