Rosanne Welch talks about “Why The Monkees Matter” with Jean Hopkins Power
Jean Powergirl takes the host reigns and welcomes her guest Rosanne Welch, PhD to the show! They’ll be discussing Roseanne’s book, “Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture.”
Rosanne: The adults that did take it seriously are the adults who were in the business because they won an Emmy for best Comedy Series in their first season.
Jean: They won 2 Emmys, right?
Rosanne: Yes. They won one for Best Directing as well, And James Frawley who won that had begun his directing career on The Monkees and he grew up to direct The Muppet Movie.
Jean: Awesome. And we love our Muppets. So, in terms of the production and everything The Monkees did some interesting things that — and these are the things that I remember. I remember a lot of little chase scenes that were so cute. Kind of zany. Kind of Groucho Marx-y kind of things, but also they employed the use of what, flashbacks and things like that. Let’s talk about the tools that they used.
Rosanne: They used flashbacks. They would use a lot of old footage whenever they would say something funny, they’d cut to — if I’d say, “The Sky’s falling” they’d cut to a building being dynamited down and that sort of thing and that helps because it saved them money, because they’re using old footage, but it also gave a very frenetic, energetic feel to the show.
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 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.
Rosanne Welch, PhD has written for television (Touched by an Angel, Picket Fences) and print (Three Ring Circus: How Real Couples Balance Marriage, Work and Kids and The Encyclopedia of Women in Aviation and Space). In the documentary world she has written and produced Bill Clinton and the Boys Nation Class of 1963 for ABC NEWS/Nightline and consulted on PBS’s A Prince Among Slaves, the story of a prince from West Africa who was enslaved in the 1780s, freed by order of President John Quincy Adams in the 1820s and returned to his homeland.