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?
So these folks changed I say the face of television. Before 1966 we’re having a lot of fairly — for small very white folks — but also very sort of middle-of-the-road. — Very gentle and there’s nothing wrong with that but it’s all one flavor. There’s not a whole lot of difference there right? If you’ll notice in the bottom corner, who do you think that is? Micky Dolenz was a TV star. People think they were nobodies coming to the show but Micky Dolenz had himself had a show for three years because his parents were performers right and they had a friend who said they’re doing this show called Circus Boy. Would your kid die his hair blonde to be in it? and his parents were like “Yeah that’s good. That’s his college fund right there.”
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.
Want to use “Why The Monkees Matter” in your classroom?