Wherever you go, you find Monkees fans and the Denver Popular Culture Con was no different. Amid rooms full of caped crusaders and cosplay creations, I was initially not sure how many folks would attend a talk on a TV show from the 1960s – but happily I was met by a nice, engaged audience for my talk on Why the Monkees Matter – and afterward they bought books! What more could an author ask for?
Down in the right corner is Peter Meyerson. Clearly from his photograph truly on the hippie train back in the day — had a very interesting life and ended up married to one of Michael Nesmith’s early girlfriends later in life — like his third wife was Nesmith’s first girlfriend or some silly thing like that. Gentlemen the middle is Bernie Ornstein. He was a writer of more mainstream work and had a lot to say about what The Monkees were about, Dave Evans, the gentleman who’s smiling. He’s so adorable He’s the nicest man you would ever want to meet and he had written for Bullwinkle before he came to The Monkees and then Treva Silverman is the woman I was speaking of. The first woman to write on television write comedy without a male partner and so she went on to earn two Emmys in her career writing on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. So all these writers had very good histories coming into and then moving out of The Monkees and again people dismissed the show but it really deserves much more attention. She wrote the particular episode of Mary Tyler Moore where Lou Grant’s wife asked for a divorce which was huge in the early 70s and that’s what she got the Emmy for.
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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