The Monkees were an American pop rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1966, comprising Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork and Davy Jones. They were conceived in 1965 as a fictional band for the sitcom The Monkees by the television producers Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider. Music credited to the Monkees appeared in the sitcom, which aired from 1966 to 1968, and was released on LP.
While the sitcom was a mostly straightforward affair, the music production generated tension and controversy almost from the beginning. Music supervisor Don Kirshner was dissatisfied with the quartet’s musical abilities, and he limited their involvement during the recording process, relying instead on professional songwriters and studio musicians. This arrangement yielded multiple hit albums and singles, but it did not sit well with the band members, who were facing a public backlash for not playing on the recordings. After a brief power struggle, the band members gained full control over the recording process. For two albums, the Monkees mostly performed as a group, but, within a year, each member was pursuing his own interests under the Monkees name. By the end of 1968, they were once again a group in name only, the show had been canceled, and their motion picture, Head, had flopped. Tork left the band soon after, followed by Nesmith a year later, and the Monkees officially broke up in 1970.
Season 1 (1966–1967)
Debuting on September 12, 1966, the series aired on Monday nights at 7:30 p.m. Eastern, preceding I Dream of Jeannie and opposite The Iron Horse (ABC) and Gilligan’s Island (CBS). A few episodes were aired in different chronological order than when they were filmed, such as episode 8, “Don’t Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth” and the pilot as episode 10.
Some syndicated and overseas versions of episode (such as many of those used by the BBC in the United Kingdom when it ran the series several times) use the second-season version of the opening credits in place of the original first-season version.
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date|
|1||1||“Royal Flush”||James Frawley||Robert Schlitt and Peter Meyerson||September 12, 1966|
|The Monkees rescue Princess Bettina, (Katherine Walsh), the Duchess of Harmonica, from a drowning, only to find that her evil uncle Archduke Otto (Theodore Marcuse) is trying to dispose of her in an attempt to take the duchy’s throne.|
|2||2||“Monkee See, Monkee Die”||James Frawley||Treva Silverman||September 19, 1966|
|The Monkees attend the reading of a late millionaire’s will, and find themselves forced to stay the night in his haunted castle.|
Songs: “Last Train to Clarksville“, “Tomorrow’s Gonna Be Another Day”
|3||3||“Monkee vs. Machine”||Robert Rafelson||David Panich||September 26, 1966|
|In a computerized toy factory, the Monkees foil an efficiency expert (Stan Freberg) who wants to replace an old toymaker (Walter Janovitz) with automation.|
Songs: “Saturday’s Child” (alternate vocal track), “Last Train to Clarksville”
|4||4||“Your Friendly Neighborhood Kidnappers”||James Frawley||Dave Evans||October 3, 1966|
|A shady PR man (Andre Philippe) forces the Monkees into unflattering sunts, his effort to keep them from entering a talent contest (and winning a record deal) that he wants his clients, the Four Swines, to enter and win.|
Songs: “Let’s Dance On,” “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone,” “Last Train to Clarksville”
|5||5||“The Spy Who Came in from the Cool”||Robert Rafelson||Gerald Gardner and Dee Caruso||October 10, 1966|
|The Monkees get mixed up with two foreign spies (Jacques Aubuchon and Arlene Martel) after Davy unwittingly purchases a set of red maracas containing secret microfilm.|
Songs: “The Kind of Girl I Could Love,” “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone,” “All the King’s Horses,” “Saturday’s Child” (album version)
|6||6||“Success Story”||James Frawley||Gerald Gardner, Dee Caruso and Bernie Orenstein||October 17, 1966|
|Davy’s grandfather (Ben Wright), who believes his grandson has become wealthy and successful, pays a visit; it forces the guys to work as Davy’s “employees” in an attempt to make the charade stick.|
Songs: “I Wanna Be Free,” “Sweet Young Thing”
|7||7||“Monkees in a Ghost Town”||James Frawley||Robert Schlitt and Peter Meyerson||October 24, 1966|
|Stranded in a ghost town after the Monkeemobile runs out of gas, the Monkees are held prisoner by bank robbers (Len Lesser, Lon Chaney Jr.) and their boss, “the Big Man” (Rose Marie).|
Songs: “Tomorrow’s Gonna Be Another Day,” “Papa Gene’s Blues,” “(Theme from) The Monkees”
|8||8||“Don’t Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth”||Robert Rafelson||Dave Evans||October 31, 1966|
|Despite landlord Mr. Babbitt (Henry Corden) forbidding any pets, Davy brings home an equine to horsesit. The boys get a taste of farm living when they return the steed to a father and child (Jim Boles and Kerry MacLane); the adventure also sees Davy race the horse against one belonging to the father’s neighbor.|
Songs: “Papa Gene’s Blues,” “All the King’s Horses”
|9||9||“The Chaperone”||Bruce Kessler||Dee Caruso and Gerald Gardner||November 7, 1966|
|To help Davy gain a date with retired general Harley Vandenberg’s (Arch Johnson) daughter, Leslie (Sherry Alberoni), Micky poses as a female chaperone at a party after the real chaperone (Diana Chesney) gets drunk; “Mrs. Arcadian” arouses the attention of both General Vandenberg and landlord Mr. Babbitt.|
Songs: “This Just Doesn’t Seem to Be My Day,” “Take a Giant Step” (alternate vocal track), “You Just May Be the One” (original version)
|10||10||“Here Come the Monkees (Pilot)”||Mike Elliot||Paul Mazursky and Larry Tucker||November 14, 1966|
|The Monkees play a sweet sixteen party and, after the birthday girl (Robyn Millan) falls for Davy and resultingly neglects her schoolwork, help her with her studies.|
Songs: “I Wanna Be Free” (fast and original album versions), “Let’s Dance On”
Notes This is an edited version of the original series pilot that was shot in November 1965 and pitched to NBC. Producer Bob Rafelson re-edited it after it tested poorly, and NBC then picked up the series. The tag features screen tests of Davy and Mike filmed on the sets of The Farmer’s Daughter. The Monkees arrive at the party not in the Monkeemobile (which was built after the show was picked up by NBC) but in a red-and-yellow “woodie” station wagon. Bing Russell makes a brief appearance as the Monkees’ manager, but he is not seen or mentioned again in the series.
|11||11||“Monkees à la Carte”||James Frawley||Gerald Gardner, Dee Caruso and Bernie Orenstein||November 21, 1966|
|The Monkees pose as the Purple Flower Gang to save their favorite Italian restaurant from a gangster (Harvey Lembeck).|
Songs: “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone,” “She”
|12||12||“I’ve Got a Little Song Here”||Bruce Kessler||Treva Silverman||November 28, 1966|
|After Mike is fleeced by a fraudulent music publisher (Phil Leeds), Micky acts as a flashy Hollywood producer to get Mike’s money back.|
Songs: “Gonna Buy Me a Dog”, “Mary, Mary”
Note: First appearance of Davy, Peter and Micky in their Monkeemen superhero costumes.
|13||13||“One Man Shy”|
“Peter and the Debutante”
|James Frawley||Gerald Gardner, Dee Caruso and Treva Silverman||December 5, 1966|
|With the band’s help, bashful Peter tries to win the heart of lovely debutante Valerie Cartwright (Lisa James) while dealing with her haughty boyfriend Ronnie Farnsworth (George Furth).|
Songs: “I’m a Believer“, “You Just May Be the One” (original version)
|14||14||“Dance, Monkee, Dance”||James Frawley||Bernie Orenstein||December 12, 1966|
|Peter wins a free dance lesson at Renaldo’s (Hal March) Dance Au Go Go; the rest of the band follows suit… only to learn that they’ve signed lifetime contracts.|
Songs: “I’ll Be Back Up on My Feet” (original version), “I’m a Believer”
|15||15||“Too Many Girls”|
“Davy and Fern”
|James Frawley||Story by : Dave Evans|
Teleplay by : Dave Evans, Gerald Gardner & Dee Caruso
|December 19, 1966|
|A gypsy tea room owner (Reta Shaw) predicts Davy will fall in love within 24 hours and leave the group. Her true plan, though, is to force Davy to join her daughter, Fern (Kelly Jean Peters), in a talent show competition. It forces the rest of the Monkees to enter the show (Peter as a magician, Mike as a folk singer, Micky as an impressionist).|
Songs: “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone” (performed live on set), “I’m a Believer”, “Different Drum” (played for laughs).
Notes: The episode includes a beauty pageant scene in which Fern appears wearing a bathing suit, but NBC blurred Kelly Jean Peters’ cleavage. The syndicated reruns from the 1970s showed her uncensored. In the talent show, Mike (as singer “Billy Ray Hodstetter”) comically plays a sped-up version of “”Different Drum,” a song he authored that became the first major hit of Linda Ronstadt (with the Stone Poneys).
|16||16||“Son of a Gypsy”||James Frawley||Story by : Treva Silverman|
Teleplay by : Gerald Gardner, Dee Caruso and Treva Silverman
|December 26, 1966|
|After they get a party gig at Madame Rantha’s mansion ahead of a quartet of musical gypsy brothers; the gypsies’ mother, Maria, (Jeanne Arnold), forces the Monkees to steal a priceless statuette, the Maltese Vulture, from the Rantha mansion.|
Songs: “Let’s Dance On,” “I’m a Believer”
|17||17||“The Case of the Missing Monkee”||Robert Rafelson||Gerald Gardner and Dee Caruso||January 9, 1967|
|Peter becomes involved in a kidnapping plot against the respected rocket science professor Milo Schnitzler (Norbert Schiller)… and winds up disappearing himself.|
Songs: “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone”
|18||18||“I Was a Teenage Monster”||Sidney Miller||Story by : Dave Evans|
Teleplay by : Gerald Gardner, Dee Caruso and Dave Evans
|January 16, 1967|
|Mad scientist Dr. Mendoza (John Hoyt) and his assistant Groot (Byron Foulger) hire the Monkees to teach music to the monster they’ve built (Richard Kiel), only to instead transplant their talents into the beast.|
Songs: “Tomorrow’s Gonna Be Another Day,” “Your Auntie Grizelda”
|19||19||“Find the Monkees”|
|Richard Nunis||Dave Evans||January 23, 1967|
|When television producer Hubbell Bensen (Carl Ballantine) hears a tape of the Monkees, he frantically stages auditions in the hope of finding them for his new television show, unaware that they’ve been desparately trying to audition for him.|
Songs: “Sweet Young Thing,” “Papa Gene’s Blues,” “Mary, Mary”
Note: This episode’s epilogue tag, lasting an abnormally long 3 minutes, features an interview segment with the band and producer Robert Rafelson discussing the recent Sunset Strip curfew riots, which Micky Dolenz had witnessed.
|20||20||“Monkees in the Ring”||James Frawley||Gerald Gardner and Dee Caruso||January 30, 1967|
|A crooked fight promoter (Ned Glass) prepares to cash in on a big bet by making Davy a stooge in a bout with the champ.|
Songs: “Laugh” (without background vocals on first verse), “I’ll Be Back Up on My Feet” (original version)
|21||21||“The Prince and the Paupers”||James Komack||Story by : Peter Meyerson|
Teleplay by : Gerald Gardner and Dee Caruso
|February 6, 1967|
|The band convinces Davy to swap places with his doppelganger, a shy prince who wants to win the heart of young socialite Wendy Forsythe (Heather North) so that he can marry before his 18th birthday and avoid forfeiting his country’s throne to evil Count Myron (Oscar Beregi Jr.).|
Songs: “Mary, Mary”
Note: In scenes with both Davy and the prince, disc jockey Rodney Bingenheimer was used as Davy’s double, seen from the back only.
|22||22||“Monkees at the Circus”||Bruce Kessler||David Panich||February 13, 1967|
|To save a financially bankrupt circus, the Monkees pose as a troupe of dazzling high-wire artists from France known as the Mozzarelli Brothers, but get in trouble when their guise requires them to actually perform as aerialists.|
Songs: “Sometime in the Morning,” “She”
Note: References to Micky’s previous TV series Circus Boy are made throughout.
|23||23||“Captain Crocodile”||James Frawley||Story by : Peter Meyerson & Robert Schlitt|
Teleplay by : Gerald Gardner, Dee Caruso, Peter Meyerson and Robert Schlitt
|February 20, 1967|
|The Monkees’ appearance on the children’s program The Captain Crocodile Show is sabotaged by its host (Joey Forman), who fears that his guests’ popularity is diminishing his own.|
Songs: “Valleri” (original version), “Your Auntie Grizelda”
|24||24||“Monkees à la Mode”||Alex Singer||Gerald Gardner and Dee Caruso||February 27, 1967|
|The Monkees are chosen as the typical young Americans of the year by Chic magazine, but feel adverse effects when the publication falsely presents them as clean-cut young men.|
Songs: “(Theme from) The Monkees” (excerpts), “Laugh,” “You Just May Be the One” (original version)
|25||25||“Alias Micky Dolenz”||Bruce Kessler||Story by : Dave Evans|
Teleplay by : Gerald Gardner, Dee Caruso and Dave Evans
|March 6, 1967|
|The police cash in on Micky’s striking resemblance to imprisoned crime kingpin Baby Face Morales in an attempt to bring down the rest of Baby Face’s gang and locate missing robbery loot.|
Songs: “The Kind of Girl I Could Love,” “Mary, Mary”
Notes: A stand-in doubles for Micky in scenes that he shares with Baby Face. Davy does not appear in the plot of the episode, but he speaks in the closing interview tag explaining his absence.
|26||26||“Monkees Chow Mein”||James Frawley||Gerald Gardner and Dee Caruso||March 13, 1967|
|Peter finds a secret message in a fortune cookie at a Chinese restaurant, forcing Monkeemen Davy and Mike to come to his rescue from the evil Dragonman (Joey Forman).|
Songs: “Your Auntie Grizelda”
Notes: References to Get Smart are made throughout. Second appearance of the Monkees as the Monkeemen, as Davy and Mike wear the costumes to rescue Peter and Micky. The episode also features Mike Farrell in a role as an FBI agent.
|27||27||“Monkee Mother”||James Frawley||Peter Meyerson and Robert Schlitt||March 20, 1967|
|Middle-aged widow Millie Rudnick (Rose Marie) moves in with the Monkees, but in a need to keep their personal space, the boys soon try to find her a husband.|
Songs: “Sometime in the Morning,” “Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow)”
Note: This was only one of two episodes featured entirely at the Monkees’ house, the other being Season 2’s “A Coffin Too Frequent”.
|28||28||“Monkees on the Line”||James Frawley||Gerald Gardner, Dee Caruso and Coslough Johnson||March 27, 1967|
|Instead of getting themselves a telephone answering service, the Monkees are hired by one; Peter’s actions on one call leads to the group’s pursuit by a crooked bettor (Milton Frome).|
Songs: “Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow)”
|29||29||“Monkees Get Out More Dirt”||Gerald Shepard||Gerald Gardner and Dee Caruso||April 3, 1967|
|The Monkees’ friendship is threatened when they all fall for and aim to woo the same girl, laundromat proprietress April Conquest (Julie Newmar).|
Songs: “(Theme from) The Monkees,” “The Girl I Knew Somewhere”
Note: Wally Cox makes a cameo appearance in the teaser.
|30||30||“Monkees Manhattan Style”|
“Monkees in Manhattan”
|Russell Mayberry||Gerald Gardner and Dee Caruso||April 10, 1967|
|In New York City, the Monkees fend off an irate hotel manager (Philip Ober) as they help a financially strained producer (Richard Anders) get backing for a Broadway musical.|
Songs: “The Girl I Knew Somewhere,” “Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow)” (with extra instrumental passage), “Words” (original version)
|31||31||“Monkees at the Movies”||Russ Mayberry||Gerald Gardner and Dee Caruso||April 17, 1967|
|Davy is selected to replace a snobbish film idol (Bobby Sherman) in a beach movie.|
Songs: “A Little Bit Me, a Little Bit You,” “Last Train to Clarksville,” “Valleri” (original version)
|32||32||“Monkees on Tour”||Robert Rafelson||Robert Rafelson||April 24, 1967|
|Scripted antics take a back seat to music in this mini-documentary chronicling the Monkees’ trip to Phoenix as part of their first concert tour.|
Songs: “The Girl I Knew Somewhere,” “I’m a Believer”
Notes: First episode with no laugh track. The teaser, in which Davy makes introductory remarks, was filmed on the set of Bewitched and was filmed during the Headquarters sessions (as evidenced by Mike’s, Micky’s and Peter’s beards). The on-location scenes in Phoenix were filmed in January 1967.
the complete MONKEES TV episodes are here! this is BOX 1 which contains the complete first season. 4 discs come packaged as shown in special multi-disc case, wrapped in plastic!