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: So you couldn’t be as improv’d as you might think they were. Much of the improvisation was written into the script or, if they made something up on the set, and the directors approved it, it would have to fit it…
Jean: They would work it in. There would be discussion — you’re going to say this. You’re going to say that.
Rosanne: Exactly and so Micky admitted that most of it was scripted and that they did a good job memorizing it and delivering it in a spontaneous way that seemed like they were making it up. So it was really interesting to get his perspective int hat respect and to, of course, credit the writers. One of my missions as a professor of television
Jean:…and a writer…
Rosanne: …is to make sure more credit is given to the writers because if you like a particular writer on a show, you should look at their career on IMDB and look at their previous work. You might find that you like the themes that they bring out and you’re a fan of their writing not necessarily of the person who produces that 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.