Rosanne Welch, PhD, Author of Why The Monkees Matter, presents “How The Monkees Changed Television” at a Cal State Fullerton Lunch Lecture on May 8, 2018.
In this talk, she shows how The Monkees, and specifically their presence on television, set the stage for large changes to come in the late 1960s.
So his wife would have to travel separately when they were in country with the kid and sometimes she’d hang out with one of the other band members not one of the major guys but like you know the backup guitarist or something and they would look like they were a couple traveling behind The Monkees. Meanwhile he’s going to press events with Sally Field and the fan mags are all telling us Gidget and Davey are about to get together or Davy and Deanna Martin are about to get together right? All of that to feed the press and the newspapers. Not the real guy at all but that’s a third version of who he is right? So this messes them up and it messed the audience up because in America we’re not good with the idea of Renaissance people — that people have more than one Talent. So back when the show goes off the air it’s very hard for any of these guys to get work again because everybody thinks they’re this goofy set of guys who lives in that funny apartment on Malibu and they’re not really serious right?
A hit television show about a fictitious rock band, The Monkees (1966-1968) earned two Emmys–Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Directorial Acheivement 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 Riderand Five Easy Pieces.
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