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.
In the 70s they’re still selling 16 magazine. They’re still front page worthy material right? The show’s been off the air for a few years. You can buy a Honeycomb cereal and get the record on the back and you cut the record out and put it on your turntable and it played. It was a plastic over the cardboard and you could play a record that you know that was your free gift on your cereal. Sgain in the 70s based on their reruns Saturday morning. In the 80s MTV ran a marathon and brought them back in their 20th anniversary. It was a one weekend. It was called Pleasant Valley weekend and Rachel Maddow interviewed Peter Tork after Davy Jones died and she said to him “I learned what it was like to be a kid in the 60s from watching those reruns when I was a kid in the 80s.” and he couldn’t believe that she even knew who he was. So even in the 80s now they’re coming to a new group.
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.
Want to use “Why The Monkees Matter” in your classroom?