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?
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In this episode, it works because they’re showing us a girl rock band, which was a little odd at the time. There were individual female singer-songwriters but we didn’t have of course a giant female rock band. The only bummer about this episode — kind of a throwback — is when the two groups figure the way to win this contest, of course, is to combine since they’re four girls and four boys. All of a sudden the four girls who played their own instruments in their own band are are go-go dancers than the boy’s band. So, you know, two steps forward, one step back. It happens, you know, it happens but I’m impressed with the women that I found on the show. I really didn’t expect that in a way that I could do a whole nother talk on The Big Bang Theory and what happened to the women on that show who all started out as neuro-scientists and then became just nuts about Sheldon, which is fine, but yeah, that’s a whole nother story.
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?