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 80s they got a star on the on the Walk of Fame for the TV show not the music. That’s how important the TV show was. That’s their their star right and at this point they end up with a manager. they’d never had a manager before and he started the whole tour thing. So in their 50th year, the Archie comics had the Monkees guest star. This just came out a couple of months ago and that’s a huge “Wow the monkeys are in the Archies” right? The Archies — side tangent — were invented because Don Kirshner the music director of the show would pick their songs and Michael Nesmith didn’t like his taste and he wanted him fired and he was eventually fired over the song “Sugar, Sugar” which was supposed to be a Monkees song but Michael Nesmith refused to sing it and so Don Kirshner invented the Archies because it’s a group he could make do whatever he wanted.
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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