In my side hobby, I work on the Monkees 101 segment for the Zilch podcast by recording analysis of each individual episode of the show alongside my fellow Dr., Dr. Sarah Clark, a Library Dean in Pennsylvania.
Our latest episode covers ad problematic episode — #16 “Son of a Gypsy” — which aired 12/26/66. In this episode, “The Monkees are forced to steal a priceless statuette called the Maltese Vulture.” While it’s a fun send-up of The Maltese Falcon, it also includes a stereotypical portrayal of Romani people, which Sarah and I address. Part of the fun (and work) or watching classic TV is finding what’s timeless and naming what’s not for the new generation of viewers. On top of that it’s a great exercise in deciding how things could have been handled by more careful consideration during the writing process.
Sarah and Rosanne Welch’s Monkees 101 segment for episode 16 “Son of a Gypsy” which aired 12/26/66
Synopsis “The Monkees are forced to steal a priceless statuette called the Maltese Vulture.”
Songs: “Let’s Dance On,” “I’m a Believer” and Davy does a bit of “Clarksville”.”
Want to learn more about The Monkees? Buy Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture
A hit television show about a fictitious rock band, The Monkees (1966-1968) earned two Emmys–Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Directorial Achievement 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 the 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 Rider, and Five Easy Pieces.
Want to use “Why The Monkees Matter” in your classroom?