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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This is Micky with who? I mean Davy with who? (Audience: Sissy Spacek?) Close. Sally Field. Sally Field of Gidget fame at that time Gidget had been on the season before. She’s going to move into the Flying Nun right after that. This is Micky with his wife , Samantha Just. This is Davy with his first wife and then this is Nesmith with his first wife Phyllis and their son. So they’re all over these magazines so they’re beginning to sell things outside of the television show. So the program is very important commercially. It’s making money for a lot of people. They do commercials on the show right? Sponsorships. Look at me. I’m eating Rice Krispies. Sure. Maybe. I don’t know. but they’re that you could get an album off the back of your cereal box and it would actually play on a record player which is pretty cool and if you go to like antique stores and whatnot now people sell this stuff for way too much money, when that that was free but again a great way to show the value — the commercial value — program.
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?