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: And then Coslough Johnson is the nicest man. He is the brother of Artie Johnson from Laugh-In and he, in fact, went on to work on Laugh-In and won 2 Emmys for being part of that.
Jean: It’s a great show. My parents love that show.
Rosanne: Everybody got started on that show. And so Coslough was great. He was a freelancer and he wasn’t on staff but he did several episodes. He wrote the episode some people will remember where Liberace guest starred and he bashed a piano to pieces with a sledgehammer. Very silly. Unexpectedly adorable and I asked him did someone recommend that and he said “No. I was just thinking one day about funny things to have happen and what musicians could do and he came to mind.” And they took that Idea to Liberace and he agreed to do it.
Jean: I’m glad he was game to do that.
Rosanne: Partially he knew it was smart to appear on a show that appealed to teenagers because he wanted that audience. So Coslough is quite marvelous and wonderful.
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.