The Monkees Second Season - Episode No. 36:

“MONKEE MAYOR”

Michael tosses his wool hat into the ring on a ticket of stopping a corrupt
construction tycoon bent on converting the city into parking lots.

Technical & Telecast Info:

Production No.4760
Revised 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).
Background Cues Recorded:September 11, 1967, at United Recorders Studio A, Hollywood (from 9:30am-12:30pm)
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)

Production Credits:

Written byJack Winter.
Directed byAlex Singer.
Produced byRobert Rafelson & Bert Schneider.
Story Editor: Neil Burstyn.
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

Releases On Home Video:

  • The Monkees TV Show 7 (VAP Video VHS Tape VPVU-63091 [Japan], November 1, 1992)
  • The Monkees - Special TV Collection - Disc 7 - Side 1 (VAP Video VPLU-70215 [Japan], December 1, 1992)
  • 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)
  • The Monkees - Volume 16 (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. Upon being handed one of the eviction notices, Michael tries to convince his neighbors that they can't be evicted because it violates every zoning regulation, which makes no immediate difference as a distance blasting from one of the neighbors' blocks shakes the boys' own beachhouse and causes parts of its roof to come 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 continuously thwarted by the secretary. Fed up, Michael threatens the secretary that unless he gets satisfaction he will dump it on the opposing party's lap, until Mayor Motley arrives and Michael makes his complaints which unfortunately fall on deaf ears, as His Honor gives him the runaround with a deliberately absurd speech that parodies Richard Nixon, talking about throwing people out of their homes as the American way, and Michael is thus thoroughly confused enough to leave. It turns out the Mayor is in the reluctant pocket of Wilbur Zeckenbush, a corrupt southern-fried construction tycoon bent on the annihilation of much of Los Angeles' landscape for parking lots so that no one may enter or exit without being tolled, thus fattening up the city's coffers as well as his own cut.

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, who telephones Motley to make the announcement, but Zeckenbush initially doesn't take it seriously as Michael is not owned by him. 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. Unfortunately, all their little political tricks go wrong because Zeckenbush pays two beautiful beauty pageant contestants, an old lady, and a heavyset citizen to vandalize Michael's campaign - the bathing beauties attack Michael when he picks a rival in their contest; the old lady attacks Micky with her umbrella when he helps her cross the street. Later Michael "stops" a staged robbery by Peter and David, but is held up himself by bystanders, while Peter is slapped by a "baby" who's actually an adult midget. To make matters worse, the boys return home to find their pad completely ransacked and photos of Michael 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.

With City Hall empty at 3 PM for coffee break (which usually lasts 9 to 5!), The Monkees easily 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 Daily Clarion 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 he has the cancelled checks in the millions to prove it. He thus warns of the consequences should Michael continue with his campaign and not withdraw, or else he'll be ruined by revelation about Zeckenbush's campaign monies, and Michael has no alternative but to acquiesce. At the WXIU-TV studio, the others try in vain to convince Michael not to back down, and he goes on air to make a moving speech to the public about his intentions of only wanting to help his neighbors who have no power to be heard:

"Uh, hello. Uh, my name is Michael Nesmith, and as most of you know, I’ve been running for, uh, as an independent candidate for the mayor of the city. And, um, politics is a, is a real interesting game, but it’s a dirty one, too, I found out, and I don’t guess I’m tough enough to play that game. Um, in the beginning, when-when I, when I started all this, I sort of wanted to do something for the city, uh, well, because, uh, uh. Well, you see, Mrs-Mrs. Fil—oh, you don’t know who Mrs. Filchok is, but, uh, there are, are some people in this town, uh, who are, who are the little people, and…well, no, they’re not the little people! What I mean to say is, is that, there are, there are some people in this town without power, and, um, they’re people like my next door neighbors, and what I wanted to do was to go down to city hall and make their voice be heard, because I didn’t think that it was right just because they didn’t have any power that nobody would listen to them. Well, um, I suppose that was a noble enough motive, but, somehow in doing that, I  got sucked up in the very forces that I was trying to conquer. Well, um, the newspaper ads and the skywriting and this television show, as much as I hate to say it, were all financed by funds that I got from an improper source. I didn’t know they were improper; I don’t suppose that’s any excuse, but if I can be tricked like that, then I don’t guess I’m smart enough to be your mayor, so I’d like to take this opportunity to announce my withdrawal from the race—"

But this speech has a surprising effect on an unexpected corner of the election, Mayor Motley, who, impressed by Michael's honesty, has summoned the courage to decide 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! (Micky hilariously describes it as "a watchfob for The Jolly Green Giant!"!) 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 tour the nation and 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").

“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"), "The 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.

The three beauty pageant contestants seen during the “No Time” number in "Monkee Mayor"---Miss Zuma Beach, Miss Hermosa Beach, and Miss Redondo Beach---previously appeared as three of four beauty pageant contestants in The Miss Surfside Beauty Contest filmed as a scene for Luthor Kramm's film I Married A Teenager From Out Of Town in Episode No. 31, “The Monkees At The Movies”. (Only the actress who portrayed Miss Redondo Beach in “The Monkees At The Movies” returns here.)

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, “The 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, “The 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, “The 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" (a.k.a. "Physical Culture"), No. 40, "The 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 Daily Clarion 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 15-6, 1967 episodes of Batman (ABC, 1966-68), "Black Widow Strikes Again/Caught In The Spider's Den" (prod. #9753), 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. Kathleen Rae Wakefield is a well-known songwriter, singer and fiction author known for co-writing The Supremes' hit single "Nathan Jones" that was released by Motown and used as a soundtrack for the Oscar-winning film Rain Man (United Artists, 1988) and for co-writing the Grammy-winning song "One Hundred Ways."

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 ("The Monkees Marooned") in a February 27, 1966 episode of the series, "A Clean And Quiet Town."

The late Queenie Smith (Mrs. Filchok) enjoyed a long career in film and TV, matriculated at age 13 with the Ballet School of Metropolitan Opera and, as a teenager, was solo danseuse of the Metropolitan Opera Company in "Aida", "Samson and Delilah", "Faust", and "La Traviata". Three of Ms. Smith's first four films had a Mississippi River setting: Masks and Memories (Warner Bros., 1934), Mississippi (Paramount, 1935), and the 1936 Universal version of Show Boat. She was even once engaged to Archibald Leach, AKA screen legend Cary Grant! Smith shared a birthday with fellow "Monkee Mayor" guest Irwin Charone: September 8.

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