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Episode No. 36:

“Monkee Mayor”

Michael casts his wool hat into the ring to stop a crooked
construction tycoon from turning the city into parking lots.

Vital Stats, Credits and Releases On Home Video:

Production No. 4760
Final Draft: May 26, 1967
Filmed At: Screen Gems Studios, Hollywood, CA, on location in Los Angeles, CA, and Fred Niles Film Studios, Chicago, IL.
Filming Dates: June 5-8, 1967 (this episode); August 2, 1967 (“Pleasant Valley Sunday” musical number).
Original Air Date: October 2, 1967
Ratings: 14.7 rating/27.7 share (8,230,000 viewers)
© Raybert Productions; 10-2-67; LP40045
Sponsor This Week:
Yardley Of London™
Rerun Dates: April 15, 1968 (NBC); April 4, 1970, December 4, 1971 (CBS); March 17, 1973 (ABC)

Written by Jack Winter.
Directed by Alex Singer.
Produced by Robert Rafelson & Bert Schneider.
Associate Producer: Gerald S. Shepard.
Production Executive: Ward Sylvester.
Background Music Composed and Conducted by Stu Phillips.
“No Time” Written by Hank Cicalo; Produced by Douglas Farthing Hatlelid.
“Pleasant Valley Sunday” Written by Gerry Goffin & Carole King; Produced by Douglas Farthing Hatlelid.
Guest cast:

Zeckenbush...............................................................Monty Landis
Mr. Swezey................................................................Peter Brocco
Mrs. Homer..............................................................Violet Carlson
Mrs. Filchok.............................................................Queenie Smith
Publisher............................................................Walker Edminston
Skywriter....................................................................Bill Benedict
Secretary..............................................................Kathy Wakefield
Irwin Charone as Mayor

Home Video Releases:

  • The Monkees: The Collector's Edition - VHS Tape #1 (Columbia House VHS #13688, May 22, 1995)
  • The Monkees Deluxe Limited Edition Boxed Set - VHS Tape #6 (Rhino R3 2960, October 17, 1995)
  • Rhino VHS R3 2319 (April 11, 2000)
  • The Monkees - Season 2 DVD Boxed Set - Disc 1 (Rhino RetroVision DVD R2 970128, November 18, 2003)
  • The Monkees - Season 2 DVD Boxed Set - Disc 1 (Eagle Rock Entertainment DVD EM351369, September 27, 2011)
  • The Monkees - The Complete Series - Blu-Ray Disc 5 (Rhino BD2-552705, July 8, 2016)

Synopsis:

As The Monkees are preparing for dinner, their elderly neighbors, Mr. Swezey, Mrs. Filchok and Mrs. Homer each barge in the pad to take back their chairs, dishes and the table that they lent to the guys. They claim that they're all being evicted from their homes because they’re being torn down to make way for a parking lot. Michael tries to convince them that they can't be evicted because it violates every zoning regulation, but soon they hear the sound of a wrecking ball as parts of the roof comes down.

“Private Citizen” Michael goes to the Mayor's office to complain about his neighbors' eviction but his first two attempts to see the Mayor are thwarted by the secretary until Mayor Motley arrives and Michael makes his complaints which unfortunately fall on deaf ears. It turns out the Mayor is being paid by Wilbur Zeckenbush, a corrupt construction tycoon bent on tearing down the whole city for parking lots, so that no one may enter or exit without paying them a toll. Meanwhile, the guys have invited their neighbors to stay with them until the find other places to live. The guys convince Michael run for Mayor (he's the only one with a hat to throw in the ring) and Micky selects himself his campaign manager. Michael searches for a public image, trying out as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Lyndon Baines Johnson, but finally settles on his own little wool hat. Then Micky, David and Peter act as campaign manager, campy aide, and aide-de-camp, respectively, as they launch an outrageous campaign singing “No Time,” where the guys deal with violent beauty pageant contestants, an umbrella attacking elderly woman, kissing a grown man in baby stroller. Unfortunately, all their little political tricks go wrong because Zeckenbush pays everybody off; to make matters worse, the boys return home to find their pad completely ransacked and photos of Mike with a beard drawn on it. Their neighbors tells them two men did the deeds; suspecting the perpetrators responsible were goons from Mayor Motley’s office, and that he's hiding something, The Monkees realize their only chance is to get evidence of dishonesty, and they set out for City Hall.

Dressed in suits, the guys break into the Mayor's office where they find a skeleton in the closet (literally!!) and retrieve a key from its coat pocket to open the file cabinet. They find some of the Mayor's files that reveal a Master Plan to turn the city into parking lots, and Peter snaps a picture of the files as evidence. Soon they hear voices and hide in the closet just as Zeckenbush and Mayor Motley enter. The Mayor wants to show Zeckenbush the files and opens the closet where he amazingly takes no notice of Micky, who's now in the skeleton's place as he gets the keys. He soon spots the camera on a tripod in the room and figures that The Monkees were behind it. He swears he'll play dirty with Nesmith as well and break him in two, just as the guys make their hasty exit unseen. Back at the pad, Peter processes the photos in their secret darkroom, but they find the photos are not of The Master Plan but of the file cabinet from which they came! Meanwhile, Zeckenbush thinks Michael’s cleverly playing a waiting game when they don’t hear of the evidence, and does a background check on Michael in hopes of finding anything to use to smear him. But their efforts are in vain when they can't find anything on him (he even brushes his teeth thrice a day!), so he decides to use Plan W to handle him instead.

With 2 days left until election, The Monkees are ready to give up for lack of funds and evidence when Micky arrives with a sackful of mail each containing a $100 check. Micky, David and Peter use it to finance a headline in The Typesetters' Union newspaper, skywriting, and a TV broadcast for Michael exposing the whole racket. Then Zeckenbush appears at their pad, revealing the money came from his employees and warns of the consequences should Michael continue with his campaign and not withdraw. At the WXIU-TV studio, the others try to convince Michael not to back down but when he goes on air Michael makes a moving speech about his intentions of only wanting to help the little people like his neighbors who have no power to be heard. Then, admitting to being tricked into taking money from improper sources to finance everything, announces his withdrawal from the race, but Mayor Motley is impressed by Michael's honesty and decides against Zeckenbush's plans by promising to follow his example in making things right again, and they all jump for joy. Back at their pad, Swezey, Homer, and Filchok move back to their own homes, and The Monkees feel everything is perfect, what with Zeckenbush behind bars, the people back in their homes, and the Mayor’s pledge not to build a parking lot. Then to their surprise, their roof falls in and a wrecking ball appears! The Monkees finish by singing “Pleasant Valley Sunday.”

Production Notes:

Formerly known as “Micky For Mayor.” 

“Monkee Mayor” was the sixth and final episode of The Monkees TV show to be directed by Alexander Singer.

The Monkees put filming on hiatus to record their fourth album Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones, Ltd..

One day prior to the beginning of “Monkee Mayor”'s production, The Monkees TV series picked up 2 Emmy Awards for Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Directorial Achievement In A Comedy.

“Monkee Mayor” originally ended with The Monkees putting up posters again after a derrick appears in their pad!

In The Monkees' second-season opening credits, two snippets of Peter, which pop up inbetween segments of David accidentally recieving his credit and then being corrected, are from “Monkee Mayor.”

Footage from the “Pleasant Valley Sunday” musical number (seen in its entirety @ the outset of “Monkee Mayor”) can be seen in Episode No. 34, "The Picture Frame" (a.k.a. "The Bank Robbery").

Recordings of Stu Phillips' music cues for this and the previous episode, "Everywhere A Sheik Sheik", were cut from 9:30am to 12:30pm at United Recorders Studio A, Hollywood, on Monday, September 11, 1967, the same date which saw The Monkees' second season premiere. 

“Monkee Mayor” has the honor of being one of 23 episodes of The Monkees television series to air on all 3 networks! Others are “The Royal Flush”, “Monkee See, Monkee Die”, “Monkee Versus Machine”, “Your Friendly Neighborhood Kidnappers”, “The Spy Who Came In From The Cool” , “The Success Story”, “Don't Look A Gift Horse In The Mouth”, “The Chaperone”, “I've Got A Little Song Here”, “One Man Shy” (a.k.a. "Peter And The Debutante"), “The Case Of The Missing Monkee”, “Find The Monkees” (a.k.a. "The Audition"), “Captain Crocodile”, “Monkee Mother”, “The Monkees Get Out More Dirt”, “The Monkees At The Movies”, "I Was A 99-lb. Weakling" (a.k.a. "Physical Culture"), "Monkees Marooned", "The Card-Carrying Red Shoes", "The Monkees On The Wheel", "The Monstrous Monkee Mash", and "The Devil And Peter Tork"

Blooper:

Throughout the better part of “Monkee Mayor”'s teaser sequence, Michael Nesmith is not wearing his wool hat, but in the last shot, when all the dust and rubble falls in, he is wearing his hat.

Trivia Notes:

At the start of the romp, archive footage from Herbert Hoover's election campaign can be seen.

After the “No Time” musical romp, when the boys return from their futile campaign and find their house in complete disarray, it is stated by Micky that the cleaning lady (having ruled her out as a suspect) comes the second Thursday of every month with an "R" in it. What Mick's seemed to have forgotten was that the cleaning lady (Ms. Weefers, played by Diana Chesney in Episode No. 9, "The Chaperone") actually came to clean the second Tuesday of every month with an "R" in it! Also, Micky says to Mayor Motley, "we'll be seeing you at the polls, Thursday!" even though elections take place on Tuesdays, providing the second misuse of Thursdays in this episode.

Peter says to the airplane pilot "On second thought, get me Rickenbacker! His penmanship is better." He is referring to early-20th century aviation hero Eddie Rickenbacker. (Rickenbacker is also the name of a brand of guitars.)

Monkee stand-in David Pearl cameos as the cameraman who is coached by David Jones. Another stand-in, David Price, has a brief cameo in the “No Time” musical romp. Also in the romp, the prop used by Peter as a bazooka to mug David (prior to being foiled by candidate Michael) also appears briefly in Episode No. 58, "Mijacogeo" (a.k.a. "The Frodis Caper").

The camera that Peter uses to snap a photo of Wilbur Zeckenbush's Master Plan is the same one that Micky used to snap a publicity shot of Michael, David, J.L. (Cliff Norton) and Harvey (Jonathan G. Harper) in Episode No. 34, "The Picture Frame" (a.k.a. "The Bank Robbery"). A similar-looking camera was employed in the premiere episode, “The Royal Flush”.

Also, when Peter irreparably botches that attempt to snap the photo which would have made Michael mayor, the other Monkees put his hands over his eyes -- for the second time. The first such occurrence happened at the end of Episode No. 28, “The Monkees On The Line”.

The studio where Michael delivers his speech to the public, WXIU-TV, is the same taping location as The Ho Ho The Clown Show, the subject of a January 12, 1967 episode of Bewitched (ABC, 1964-72), in which Darrin (Dick York) is fired when Tabatha (Erin Murphy) wins all the prizes on the show. An earlier episode of Bewitched, "Remember The Main" (aired 5/20/65), found WXIU-TV airing a debate concerning legal fund allocations for a new drainage system. Both episodes of Bewitched featured Monkee guest actors Joey Forman (“Captain Crocodile”, “Monkee Chow Mein”) and Stuart Nisbet ("The Monkees In Texas"), respectively.

Samuel Yorty was Mayor of Los Angeles, California at the time of production of “Monkee Mayor”; he served from 1961 to 1973.

This is the first episode in which The Monkees drop out of "character" intentionally. They will do it again in Episode No. 44, "Hitting The High Seas", and No. 46, "The Monkees On The Wheel".

"The little people" are mentioned for the second time on The Monkees, following Episode No. 12, “I've Got A Little Song Here”.

This is the last of 11 episodes in which The Monkees appear in grey business suits, following the series premiere, “The Royal Flush”, No. 2, “Monkee See, Monkee Die” (David and Micky, under their guises as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson), No. 5, “The Spy Who Came In From The Cool” , No. 6, “The Success Story” (David only), No. 12, “I've Got A Little Song Here” (David and Peter only), No. 23, “Captain Crocodile” (in the Huntley-Brinkley Report lampoon), No. 24, “Monkees A La Mode” (wearing different colored shirts), No. 32, “The Monkees On Tour” (Peter only, in its teaser sequence), "The Picture Frame" (a.k.a. "The Bank Robbery"), and the previous episode, "Everywhere A Sheik Sheik" (Micky, Michael and Peter). They can also be seen wearing them in the first-season musical numbers for “Papa Gene's Blues” and “She.”

In the scene where The Monkees storm the Mayor's office at City Hall, they appear in dark navy blue business suits. They were previously seen wearing only the jackets of these suits in Episode No. 32, “The Monkees On Tour”, onstage at The Coliseum in Phoenix, AZ, and David Jones can be seen wearing his dark navy blue suit in No. 55, "The Monkees Mind Their Manor".

The gag of an off-camera peon tossing Michael his wool hat seen in “Monkee Mayor” replicates a similar gag previously seen nin Episode No. 28, “The Monkees On The Line”.

“Monkee Mayor” is one of two episodes of The Monkees which sees a Monkee disguised as George Washington. A fantasy sequence in Episode No. 24, “Monkees A La Mode”, finds Peter as "young" George and Michael as his dad ("George...who chopped up my new table?" "Search me!").

This was one of the last Monkees episodes to be released on VHS, along with Episode No. 11, “Monkees A La Carte”, in 2000.

Guest Cast Notes:

Take note of the ubiquitous Mr. Monte Landis making his second onscreen appearance on The Monkees--in the first of many villainous roles on the series! He would play the heavy in the next 5 of his 7 Monkees episode appearances: the next episode, "Art For Monkee's Sake", No. 38, "I Was A 99-lb. Weakling", No. 40, "Monkees Marooned", No. 52, "The Devil And Peter Tork", and No. 57, "The Monkees Blow Their Minds". (Interestingly, “Monkee Mayor” was also the last filmed episode of the series bearing the presence of Mr. Landis!)

The late William "Bill" Benedict, who's seen here as the Skywriter, can also be seen in Episode No. 55, “The Monkees Mind Their Manor,” as the Old Man (the Butler [Reginald Gardiner]'s father). He is best remembered for his role as Whitey in the East Side Kids/Bowery Boys films of the 1940s, and the role of Willie Trankis in the TV series Petticoat Junction (CBS, 1963-70). Benedict appeared in a November 1, 1966 episode of The Girl From U.N.C.L.E. (NBC, 1966-67), "The Garden Of Evil Affair" (prod. #8605), which featured “The Monkees Mind Their Manor” co-guest star Laurie Main and Monkee guests Oscar Beregi Jr. (“The Prince And The Paupers”), Arnold Moss ("Everywhere A Sheik Sheik"), and Arthur Malet ("Art For Monkee's Sake").

The late Walker Edmiston (the publisher of The Typesetters' Union newspaper who is easily bribed by Micky) played Regan in the short-lived Western The Rounders (ABC, 1966-67), portrayed a Teller in the March 15, 1967 episode of Batman (ABC, 1966-68), "Black Widow Strikes Again" (prod. #9753-Pt. 1), would later on appear with “Monkee Mayor” co-guest star Bill Benedict and Monkee guest alum Geoffrey Deuel (“The Monkees In Manhattan” [a.k.a “The Monkees Manhattan Style”]) in the February 9, 1973 "The Fighter" episode of Mission: Impossible (CBS, 1966–73) (he was also paired with another Monkee guest, Richard Devon [“The Monkees At The Circus”] in a February 19, 1972 "Casino" episode of the series), and perform a great many voiceover roles, including those in Smurfs, Monchichis, Transformers, The Gummi Bears and Jem and Sid & Marty Krofft's H.R. Pufnstuf (NBC, 1969-71; ABC, 1972-73, and the 1970 Universal picture it spawned, Pufnstuf). His most famous role was in another Sid & Marty Krofft series - as Enik, the Altrusian alien, on Land Of The Lost (NBC, 1974-76). Edmiston passed away on February 15, 2007 - 9 days after his 81st birthday. 

Kathy Wakefield (Secretary) had only one other film appearance: the obscure 1970 Geneni Film Distributors film Mother, which also featured Monkees guest alum Wally Cox and Claire Kelly (both from “The Monkees Get Out More Dirt”), as well as “The Monkees Get Out More Dirt”'s Julie Newmar and another fellow villain from Batman (ABC, 1966-68), King Tut himself, Victor Buono.

You Trekkies may recognize Peter Brocco (Mr. Swezey) as Claymare in a March 23, 1967 episode of Star Trek (NBC, 1966-69), "Errand Of Mercy." Brocco, who'd performed small parts in such films as The Return Of Monte Cristo (Columbia, 1946) and The Lady Gambles (Universal-International, 1949, which starred pre-Monkee guest actor John Hoyt [“I Was A Teenage Monster”] as Dr. Rojac), had been blacklisted in the 1950's. Brocco also portrayed a hotel desk clerk in the September 22, 1964 "World's End" episode of The Fugitive (ABC, 1963-67); he was also seen with Monkee guest alumnus Allan Emerson ("Monkees Marooned") in a February 27, 1966 episode of the series, "A Clean And Quiet Town."

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