Rosanne Welch talks “The Invention of the Teenager” on Pop!: The Pop Culture Podcast

Rosanne Welch talks “The Invention of the Teenager” on Pop!: The Pop Culture Podcast

I had quite a good time when Ken Mills interviewed me about the ‘invention’ of the teenager – something I teach in my classes and spent a whole chapter on in my book, Why The Monkees Matter!

Marketers created teenagers in the same way The Disney Channel and Nickelodeon helped spread the term Tweeners for their shows.

The whole episode is fun – I really like the coverage of Anne Moses and her time editing Tiger Beat Magazine (but if you’re pressed for time my interview starts at 18:22).

Rosanne Welch talks

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Buy “Why The Monkees Matter” Today!

Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture

McFarland (Direct from Publisher) | Amazon | Kindle Edition | Nook Edition

Personal Identity and The Monkees from Why The Monkees Matter Book Signing [Video] (0:37)

This book signing at Book Soup was wonderful – good people, good conversation (before and after the signing). Just another example of the kind of quality positive people who have been drawn to The Monkees across generations – I even met a former head of publicity for ScreenGems who had some fun stories to tell. — Rosanne

Watch this entire presentation

Personal Identity and The Monkees from Why The Monkees Matter Book Signing [Video] (0:37)

 

Transcript:

So it was very interesting, by using their own names they actually caused a difficulty in anyone really understanding who they were. I always say that if you think about it Davy Jones was the Neil Patrick Harris of his day, because he had come off Broadway and a Tony nomination for Oliver! — he played the Artful Dodger. So, after The Monkees was over he should have been able to return to Broadway, but nobody made room for him because they thought , “Ah, he’s just a bubblegum singer.” They completely dismissed him and yet he  had been part of them where as Neil Patrick Harris has gone form Doogie Howser to Broadway, back to television in How I Met Your Mother, back to Broadway and winning a Tony for Hedwig. So,  the times weren’t sophisticated enough yet to understand that ability.

Buy “Why The Monkees Matter” Today!

Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture

McFarland (Direct from Publisher) | Amazon | Kindle Edition | Nook Edition

Characters vs. Actors and The Monkees from Why The Monkees Matter Book Signing [Video] (1:10)

This book signing at Book Soup was wonderful – good people, good conversation (before and after the signing). Just another example of the kind of quality positive people who have been drawn to The Monkees across generations – I even met a former head of publicity for ScreenGems who had some fun stories to tell. — Rosanne

Watch this entire presentation

Characters vs. Actors and The Monkees from Why The Monkees Matter Book Signing

 

Transcript:

The other thing that’s really interesting is they made a choice in the show for all the actors and musicians to use their own names as their characters. Any other show — The Partridge Family — they were The Partridge Family but that wasn’t their actual names in real life, but on The Monkees they were using their real names and this gets into a whole chapter i have on political ideology and identity. How we decide who’s who and how publicists had to decide how to present these people. Are they — first of all, when Davy got married they didn’t tell anybody because they thought all the girls would stop liking him, so how hard it is to be married in the real world and have to hide your wife and how much does she like not being able to tell people who she really is. They had to make choices about that and the idea that on concerts they were Micky Dolenz, Mike Nesmith, Davy Jones and Peter Tork and those were their names on the show. On the show they were a bunch of kids who couldn’t get a job to save their souls. So when the show was over that ability for Americans not be be able to separate out actors from characters was difficult. Because suddenly everyone thought that they were a couple of goofballs or they were famous rock stars who didn’t need to be actors anymore.

Buy “Why The Monkees Matter” Today!

Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture

McFarland (Direct from Publisher) | Amazon | Kindle Edition | Nook Edition

Commentary, Comedy, and The Monkees from Why The Monkees Matter Book Signing [Video] (1:01)

This book signing at Book Soup was wonderful – good people, good conversation (before and after the signing). Just another example of the kind of quality positive people who have been drawn to The Monkees across generations – I even met a former head of publicity for ScreenGems who had some fun stories to tell. — Rosanne

Watch this entire presentation

Commentary, Comedy, and The Monkees from Why The Monkees Matter Book Signing 

 

Transcript:

When I talked to the writers about that they said it was because the censors didn’t get it. They had no ideas what they were actually saying.They just thought it was some sort goofy — I don’t know — you could have called it Italy for all anyone cared. They did not see the connection. That happened a lot. There are a lot of drug jokes on the show. They talk about taking trips a lot and that sort of thing. They talk about taking pills that will give you funny visions and they have a great moment in one of the episodes where they’re doing a little flashback — a fake fantasy — and Micky goes to visit Mike who is the “Middle Llama” because the High Llama is off sleeping it off out back. And it stayed on the air, but just a year after The Monkees went off the air The Smothers Brothers come on and they make the same jokes and they get canceled. They get canceled for being overtly political on television, but here were these guys doing the very thing for two years and nobody noticed. Partially because it was all slapstick humor — you’re talking about vaudeville — they were very much like The Marx Bros as we know and partially the censors just didn’t get it.

Buy “Why The Monkees Matter” Today!

Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture

McFarland (Direct from Publisher) | Amazon | Kindle Edition | Nook Edition

Vietnam War and The Monkees from Why The Monkees Matter Book Signing [Video] (0:48)

This book signing at Book Soup was wonderful – good people, good conversation (before and after the signing). Just another example of the kind of quality positive people who have been drawn to The Monkees across generations – I even met a former head of publicity for ScreenGems who had some fun stories to tell. — Rosanne

Watch this entire presentation

Vietnam War and The Monkees from Why The Monkees Matter Book Signing

 

Transcript:

I think also the show introduced the audience to a lot of new political ideas that weren’t supposed to be on television, but as the writers told me, they were young. They were hip. They were using language that the censors didn’t quite understand so, by accident, they got through some ideas. One of my favorites is a scene where all four of the guys are playing a game of dominos and, at one point, they drop all the dominos flat on the table and Davy says to Peter, “What do you call this game?” and Peter says, ‘Southeast Asia.” Because the Domino Theory of communism that Johnson had put fortth — as putting forward was that we had to stop communism any time it started to spread or it would domino through the whole of Asia. So, literally they had just made a comment about the Vietnam War and the censors didn’t cut that out of the show.

Buy “Why The Monkees Matter” Today!

Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture

McFarland (Direct from Publisher) | Amazon | Kindle Edition | Nook Edition

 

Treva Silverman and Women Characters from Why The Monkees Matter Book Signing [Video] (0:28)

This book signing at Book Soup was wonderful – good people, good conversation (before and after the signing). Just another example of the kind of quality positive people who have been drawn to The Monkees across generations – I even met a former head of publicity for ScreenGems who had some fun stories to tell. — Rosanne

Watch this entire presentation

Treva Silverman and Women Characters from Why The Monkees Matter Book Signing

 

Transcript:

And she won Emmys for writing the episode where Lou Grant wife asks him for a divorce, which was huge in the early 70’s. That was a crazy idea and James Burrows, who was the producer of The Mary Tyler More Show in several book son the show has said that Treva was the feminist heart of that show. So, she had that idea on Mary Tyler More or course she had that on The Monkees, too. So in those rooms when they talked about the girl friends, she made sure they were 3-dimensional, interesting women.

Buy “Why The Monkees Matter” Today!

Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture

McFarland (Direct from Publisher) | Amazon | Kindle Edition | Nook Edition

 

05 : Girls, The Beach House and The Monkees: “Why The Monkees Matter” Interview with Jean Hopkins Power

Rosanne Welch talks about “Why The Monkees Matter” with Jean Hopkins Power

Watch this entire presentation (45 mins)

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.”

05 : Girls, The Beach House and The Monkees: “Why The Monkees Matter” Interview with Jean Hopkins Power

 

Transcript:

Jean: So they had this beach house and this was cool and there are these single boys now, but they did kind of keep it kind of wholesome. Now did they have girls spending the night over at the beach house or anything like that?

Rosanne: They did not. When I came to study the show because I loved it as a kid and when I decided to study it I thought, “Oh, well a show about rock-and-rollers. It’s going to be every week about who’s have sex with which girl and maybe as a kid, I didn’t remember that. And then I watched all 58 episodes in an era when I’m also watching The Big Bang Theory because that’s the number one comedy of our day and that’s of course about 4 scientists who spend their days discussing who they’re going to have sex with and it turned out, of course, because of the rules of what you could and couldn’t do on television at the time that The Monkees couldn’t do that. So when they had girlfriends we always saw that the girls left before the boys had time in their beach house. They never spent the night.

Jean: So it wouldn’t offend the sensibilities of the parents that are watching this television show with their teenagers and things like that.

Get your copy today!

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.

Women Writers and The Monkees from Why The Monkees Matter Book Signing [Video] (0:54)

This book signing at Book Soup was wonderful – good people, good conversation (before and after the signing). Just another example of the kind of quality positive people who have been drawn to The Monkees across generations – I even met a former head of publicity for ScreenGems who had some fun stories to tell. — Rosanne

Watch this entire presentation

Women Writers and The Monkees from Why The Monkees Matter Book Signing

 

Transcript:

And my theory is, watching those women as a child made me want to grow up to be somebody of value because that’s how you caught yourself a Monkee, not by being a dizzy-headed cheerleader. All right? But who knows if that what’s your looking at when your six, seven or eight, that’s when you’re deciding who you want to be. So, I think that’s a really important message that the show carried and might not have known they were carrying it except if you credit writers, which is what Ido a lot of in the book. I interviewed all the writers on the show and to me, that was really interesting. One of them is Treva Silverman. She was the first female writer in television to write alone on a comedy. Other women had male partners. So the fact that she came onto the show and had these ideas about being a feminist. She was from New York. She had come out to LA to be a TV writer. That’s a crazy idea even back then and it’s a crazy idea today and she left The Monkees when the show went off the air. She joined The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Buy “Why The Monkees Matter” Today!

Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture

McFarland (Direct from Publisher) | Amazon | Kindle Edition | Nook Edition

 

04 – Monkee Metatexutality: “Why The Monkees Matter” Interview with Jean Hopkins Power [Video] (1:02)

Rosanne Welch talks about “Why The Monkees Matter” with Jean Hopkins Power

Watch this entire presentation (45 mins)

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.”

04 - Monkee Metatexutality: “Why The Monkees Matter” Interview with Jean Hopkins Power

 

Transcript:

Rosanne: These techniques weren’t necessarily being used by shows like George Burns and Gracie Allen Show. They would eventually be in things like Dream On and many other shows later would use those kinds of old footage, but now that I bring up George and Gracie. What they did is that they spoke to the audience, which is another thing these guys did.They broke the 4th wall of theater by speaking to the audience and admitting to the audience that we know we’re a show and you’re watching us, which is meta-narrative if you want to get all professorial about it, but it made them — it gave them a chance to get closer to the audience and it connected the kids to them.

Jean: So, by doing that there’s a lot of current shows — and I’m going to kind of nerd out with you on this — like The Office for example or these mockumentary type things where they say they’re aware that we’re going to be watching them the Monkees had already been doing that.

Rosanne: They’d already been doing that. Exactly and it made them very hip and cute to the children watching because they were the generation who hadn’t been paid much attention to yet and now these boys were paying attention to them.

Get your copy today!

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.

Women of Purpose and The Monkees from Why The Monkees Matter Book Signing [Video] (1:00)

This book signing at Book Soup was wonderful – good people, good conversation (before and after the signing). Just another example of the kind of quality positive people who have been drawn to The Monkees across generations – I even met a former head of publicity for ScreenGems who had some fun stories to tell. — Rosanne

Watch this entire presentation

Women of Purpose and The Monkees from Why The Monkees Matter Book Signing

 

Transcript:

I would like to get more people to focus on The Monkees because when I look at textbooks about this time, they don’t talk about them at all. People thought they were this bubble gum group and they think only about that aspect and they don’t think about the messages that came from the program. When I think about that I think about episodes that had to do with feminism and that sounds odd for a show about 4 kids who were playing rock and roll, but in fact if you look at all 58 episodes — which I obviously did, you will find that never do they date the girl who didn’t have her own job and was taking care of herself in the world. She was either a student who was worried about her grades or she was a woman with a job. They were journalists. They were girls that worked at record companies or record stores. Yes, they were princesses, but the princesses rather than them wanting to wear pretty dresses and marry Davy Jones — which everyone in the audience wanted to do — the princesses gave that up in order to go back to their countries and life out there obligations to their people. They were women of purpose.

Buy “Why The Monkees Matter” Today!

Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture

McFarland (Direct from Publisher) | Amazon | Kindle Edition | Nook Edition