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.”
Jean: So here they are like this so at least the sho, I want some edgy leading edge because they, I guess, the producers or whoever set up the show were committed to having this newer show to appeal to this new demographic.
Rosanne: In fact, they went and hired the two show runners, so the people who ran all the stories on the show, was Gerald Gardner and Dee Caruso and they’d come off of Get Smart.
Jean: I love that show.
Rosanne: New hip writers from Get Smart. There was a show very much like what we’re used to today, The Daily Show, the comic news. It was called That Was The Week That Was and they had written on that so kind of the SNL of its day and previous to that, Mr Gardener had a been a speechwriter for Robert Kennedy in his senatorial campaign in New York.
Jean: I love RFK.
Rosanne: He’s written a book about that experience. So after doing television for several more years Mr. Gardner went off and he’s written about 80 books.
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.