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.
He was voted the number one teen idol of all time about two years before he died and that’s over all the other guys you can think of David Cassidy who comes after him and the Partridge Family and anybody can think of so that’s a big deal right? After their show was cancelled they appeared on Laugh-In. Look at those great hippie clothes. So they were still considered cool enough to show up on the coolest new show. The sad part of that is the show was canceled because after two years they didn’t want to do a comedy anymore a sitcom a situation comedy. They wanted to do a variety show with rock and roll music and bring in their rock and roll friends and the network said “Oh that’ll never sell” and the next year Laugh-In came, Smothers Brothers came, the Sonny and Cher show came and rock and roll shows were all the rage but because they didn’t let them do it they all chose to quit at that one time which is too bad.
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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