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Episode No. 24:

“Monkees A La Mode”

A highfalutin, ultra-chic magazine features The Monkees as
cultured, sophisticated and impeccably dressed young men.

Vital Stats, Credits and Releases On Home Video:

Production No. 4736
Filmed At: Screen Gems Studios, Hollywood, CA.
Filming Dates: January 10-12, 1967
Original Air Date: February 27, 1967
Ratings: 21.7 rating/33.3 share (11,910,000 viewers)
© Raybert Productions; 2-27-67; LP37974
Sponsor This Week:
Kellogg’s™
Rerun Dates: May 9 and July 18, 1970, February 19 and May 27, 1972 (CBS)

Written by Gerald Gardner and Dee Caruso.
Directed by Alex Singer.
Produced by Robert Rafelson and Bert Schneider.
Associate Producer: Ward Sylvester.
Music Supervision: Don Kirshner.
Background Music Composed and Conducted by Stu Phillips.
“Laugh” Written by
H. Medress, P. Margo, M. Margo & J. Seigal; Produced by Jeff Barry.
“You May Just Be The One” Written & Produced by
Michael Nesmith.
Guest cast:

Toby..........................................................................Valerie Kairys
Assistant #1..............................................................Nancy Walters
Assistant #2............................................................Carole Williams
Rob Roy’s Asst. .......................................................George Stratton
Eldon Quick as Rob Roy
Patrice Wymore as Madame Quagmeyer

Original Commercials This Week:

  • Kellogg’s™ Corn Flakes (:30)
  • Clairol Summer Blonde Shampoo (:30)
  • Score - "The 'No-Hair Cream' Hair Cream!" (:30)
  • Kellogg’s™ Pop Tarts (:30)
  • Kellogg’s™ Raisin Bran (:30)
  • The Monkees for Kellogg’s™ Rice Krispies (:30)

Home Video Releases:

  • The Monkees: The Collector's Edition - VHS Tape #16 (Columbia House #10030, May 22, 1995)
  • The Monkees Deluxe Limited Edition Boxed Set - VHS Tape #13 (Rhino R3 2960, October 17, 1995)
  • The Monkees - Season 1 DVD Boxed Set - Disc 4 (Rhino RetroVision DVD R2 976076, May 13, 2003)
  • The Monkees - Season 1 DVD Boxed Set - Disc 4 (Eagle Rock Entertainment DVD EM351359, September 27, 2011)
  • The Monkees - The Complete Series - Blu-Ray Disc 3 (Rhino BD2-552705, July 8, 2016)

Synopsis:

Madame Quagmeyer, a sophisticated, influential well-to-do editor of Chic magazine, is searching for the typical American young people as the subjects of their annual Young America issue. Rob Roy Fingerhead, the aesthetic chief photographer, shows her photos of at least a couple of possibilities: polo champion Davies Van Patten and socialite Vernon Equinox, whom she turns down. Her editorial assistant Toby Willis shows her photos of The Monkees whom she photographed a week ago and Mme. Q is impressed, vowing to make them into their own image. Meanwhile, as the guys are having their breakfast, they receive their copy of Chic magazine in the mail containing an adjoining letter stating they've been chosen as the typical young Americans of the year. The guys are confused by this since they don’t even subscribe to Chic magazine to begin with - while Peter indulges in its cereal of the month, Corn Flakes which he pours into the bowl from the magazine!

Rob Roy arrives with Toby at the Monkees’ pad to tell them more about their plans of doing an article on them. Rob Roy repeatedly and snobbishly views David, Micky, Michael and Peter and their surroundings with extreme distaste. To impress him, the guys show him supposedly objects with great historical significance. First David shows a hatchet and in a fantasy sequence Peter as George Washington uses to ax to chop his father's (Michael) cherry wood table and then feigns innocence. Then Micky shows a lantern and another comical fantasy sequence of Micky as Paul Revere on a wagon announcing The British are coming (over his house for a party!) with David as a redcoat. Then the boys, since they believe young people aren't at all typical, don't feel they are right for the magazine article, but Toby persuades them to go along with it as this is their chance to become famous. Later at the Chic Magazine headquarters, the Monkees are greeted by Madame Q then interviewed by three beautiful sophisticated college graduates, Miss Collins, Miss Osborne and Miss Dilessips. Then in the studios, Rob Roy tries to introduce them to high fashion teaching them everything from prodding Peter against a pole to improve his posture (with a nail on it!) to showing David how to pose (only to be mistaking as a coat racket) and tries to teach Micky how to combine colors in the wardrobe (who gets everything confused and makes a mess). Singing “Laugh,” the guys romp around the studios wrestling with a stuff tiger, a stuff monkey, a giant chain and pencil, and dressed as scuba divers, Indians, etc. Toby writes and submits a factual story on The Monkees, but Madame Quagmeyer discards it and, in a bold attempt to mold The Monkees into her own image, substitutes a wild exaggeration by Rob Roy.

Back at the pad, the guys, to their confusion, keep receiving unfriendly reactions from antagonized friends, having read (and been deluded) by the phony article. David’s girlfriend first shows up to return his friendship ring, then Micky’s girlfriend Linda arrives to gives him a slap, Michael gets an angry call from old pal and someone throws a rock throw the window bearing a hateful note stating “You guys are no good, you never were any good, you never will be any good; signed, A Friend”. Just then Toby quits her job and goes to The Monkees' pad to show them Rob Roy's phony article in the magazine and The Monkees are shocked as she reads it which pictures them as sophisticated, eloquent, madcap snobs who like pheasant under glass (two live ones!) polo, croquet and who prefers chamber music and organ recitals. Outraged by the fabrication, simply because they can't live up to the image as so inaccurately depicted in the article, the boys hatch a plan to alert the sponsors in attendance of their awards ceremony later that evening (where they're to receive a Typical American Young People's Award) just what kind of highfalutin junk their money has been financing.

Later at the banquet, Mme. Quagmeyer introduces each of the guys in grace, chic, and gentility. However, in an attempt to sabotage the ceremony, they guys deliberately humiliate Madame Q with their usual clownish antics: Peter, the "picture of grace," trips and stumbles into Mme. Q's podium; David, the "embodiment of the Chic coiffure," rips of a wig to reveal an immaculately shaven head; and Micky, the "paragon of quiet gentility," knocks Mme. Q aside to shriek into her microphone. As if this weren't enough, Michael, the recipient of the award, shocks everyone by declaring Rob Roy more deserving of the trophy and all the credit for everything. Rob Roy tries to leave the stage and inadvertantly breaks his camera and is then dragged back by the guys to receive the trophy. An irate Mme. Q orders Rob Roy to get them off the stage fearing she’ll lose her job if she loses those advertisers, but the guys continue to show off their clownish act to the audience off stage while a furious Madame Q to be restrained from tearing The Monkees to shreds. The next day, The Monkees are back at the Chic Magazine offices asking for a retraction only to be confronted by Toby, now the ruthless new editor with Mme. Quagmeyer and Rob Roy as her assistants. The Monkees end with their performance of “You Just May Be The One.”

Production Notes:

2 days after “Monkees A La Mode” was compleeted, The Monkees returned to the road to finish the last 4 dates of their tour. Their second album, More Of The Monkees, was released on the first day of principal photography for “Monkees A La Mode” (unbeknownst to them!).

TV Guide's original listing for “Monkees A La Mode” mistakenly lists Alexandra Hay as Toby Willis! (The late Ms. Hay portrayed Clarisse Rawlings in Episode No. 27, “Monkee Mother”, and later starred in such films as Skidoo [Paramount, 1968; as Darlene Banks], with Monkee songwriter Harry Nilsson and Monkee guest alum Richard Kiel [“I Was A Teenage Monster”] and The Love Machine [Columbia, 1971; as Tina St. Claire], with Monkee guest alum Maureen Arthur [“Alias Micky Dolenz”].) (Picture of the TV Guide listing of “Monkees A La Mode” showing this error, 174k gif)

This is the Monkees directorial debut for Alexander Singer; he would really leave his mark in episodes of The Monkees second season, in that he directed 5 of them: Episode No. 35, "Everywhere A Sheik Sheik", 36, "Monkee Mayor", 37, "Art For Monkee's Sake", 38, "I Was A 99-lb. Weakling", and 49, "The Monkees Watch Their Feet".

“Monkees A La Mode” was slated to include the heretofore unreleased Goffin-King tune, "So Goes Love." For reasons unknown, it was replaced by “Laugh” at the final minute, and "So Goes Love" remained shelved for 20 years. It was eventually unearthed for Rhino's 1987 Missing Links (Rhino #RNLP-70150) LP.

“Oh My My”, a Jeff Barry/Andy Kim tune which served as Side A of The Monkees' final single, replaced “Laugh” on “Monkees A La Mode”'s soundtrack when the episode was rebroadcast on CBS Saturday.

Screen Gems' Synopsis for “Monkees A La Mode” indicates that Chic Magazine was originally called Style Magazine. Also, Mme. Quagmeyer (Patrice Wymore) was supposed to have shocked the audience by dropping her front as glamour queen and throwing plates and invective around the room!

3 times throughout “Monkees A La Mode,” quick stop-motion clips of The Monkees grinning, winking, smirking, frowning, blinking, staring and glaring all to the album version of the "(theme from) THE MONKEES," which were used for the closing credit titles of The Monkees, can be seen. (This, of course, was a direct take-off on the end titles from the very motion picture which started the whole thing: The Beatles' A Hard Day's Night [United Artists, 1964].)

Parts of footage from the “You Just May Be The One” musical number was used in Episode No. 9, “The Chaperone”, and No. 13, “One Man Shy” (a.k.a. “Peter And The Debutante”). This was the only time the number was seen in its entirety.

Collector's Note: On March 16, 1967, almost a good full month after the original 1966 cut of “You Just May Be The One” aired for the third and last time on The Monkees in “Monkees A La Mode”, a remake of the Nesmith song was recorded at RCA Victor Studio C in Hollywood during the sessions for The Monkees' Headquarters, with Michael on vocals and 12-string guitar, Peter on bass, Micky on drums and backup vocals, and David on tambourine, representing their musical roles on TV.

RCA officially sacks Don Kirshner as head of Colgems Records and, thus, from the Monkee project, just as “Monkees A La Mode” is transmitted first-run on NBC. His onscreen credit as Musical Supervisor lingers on the series throughout March, however.

A color production still of The Monkees shot inbetween takes of “Monkees A La Mode” was used on the sleeve of the Japanese release of The Monkees' third single “A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You” b/w ”The Girl I Knew Somewhere” (RCA Victor #SS-1746). 

Inconsistencies:

In the fantasy sequence which follows Micky about to describe the historical significance of the old lantern, lampooning the famous Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, Micky is supposed to be a Patriot, and David a Redcoat...yet, Micky is wearing a red cloak, and David a fancy blue outfit!

At the award banquet ceremony, the huge pictures behind the guys are in the order of Michael, Micky, Peter and David, but only Michael and Micky are sitting in the order of their pictures.

Trivia Notes:

Madame Quagmeyer is the fourth female character on The Monkees to be given the generic name "Madame"; previous ones are Madame Roselle in “Monkee See, Monkee Die”, Madame Olinsky in “The Spy Who Came In From The Cool” , and Madame Rantha in “The Son Of A Gypsy”.

Kellogg’s™ Corn Flakes, the "famous tall-up cereal," receives brief advertisement during this episode's teaser sequence: not only does Peter announce that the cereal for the month is Corn Flakes, but Micky prominantly displays the box (with its label blacked out by a black marker, no doubt!) while pouring a bowl, and Michael cradles the box in his lap (along with his hat) in a futile attempt to conceal Cornelius, Corn Flakes' famous green rooster. (Ironically, the first commercial shown immediately after the opening credits of "Monkees A La Mode" and Kellogg's billboard actually was Kellogg’s™ Corn Flakes!!!) The next occasion on the series which sees the boys seated at the table scarfing down Corn Flakes for breakfast would be a pivotal scene in Episode No. 37, "Art For Monkee's Sake"

In the “Laugh” romp, Michael's seen wearing 3 of his four wool hats: green, blue, and dark green.

Drumsticks in hand, Micky Dolenz is seen tapping out what sound like the kettledrum solos heard in his first composition, “Randy Scouse Git”, the final track on The Monkees' 3rd LP, The Monkees' Headquarters.

Notice the geometric painting in Madame Quagmeyer's studio which bears a strong resemblance to Piet Mondrian's Composizione 1921; it foreshadows the colors of the vintage school bus of that other TV rock group, The Partridge Family (ABC, 1970-74).

Scenes from the “Laugh” musical number in “Monkees A La Mode” are another of sereral occasions which find The Monkees engaging in a rousing card game, following Episode No. 10, “Here Come The Monkees” (Original Pilot Film), No. 15, “Too Many Girls” (a.k.a. "Davy And Fern"), and No. 19, “Find The Monkees” (a.k.a. "The Audition"), and preceding No. 33, "It's A Nice Place To Visit...", No. 45, "The Monkees In Texas", and No. 58, "Mijacogeo" (a.k.a. "The Frodis Caper"). The tag interview sequence of No. 7, “The Monkees In A Ghost Town”, finds Michael Nesmith playing card tricks with movie camera filters.

Peter is seen with a red and black shirt which is similar to the one David wore in Episode No. 13, “One Man Shy” (a.k.a. “Peter And The Debutante”) (Peter can also be seen wearing the shirt here), and No. 15, “Too Many Girls” (a.k.a. “Davy And Fern”).

Sammy Davis, Jr., in the midst of shooting a segment of I Dream Of Jeannie (NBC, 1965-70), dropped in on The Monkees' set during production on “Monkees A La Mode”. He filmed a cameo for the segment, yet it never showed up in its final print. Ironically, Davis' guest appearance on Jeannie, "The Greatest Entertainer In The World," aired on NBC directly after “Monkees A La Mode”!

Guest Cast Notes:

Valerie Kairys (Toby Willis) is one of the unsung recurring heroines on The Monkees TV series, having made a record 13 appearances on the show, more than any other guest. Aside from this, her ninth appearance (the only one in which she received credit), she appeared in Episode No. 3, “Monkee Versus Machine” (in the “Last Train To Clarksville” musical romp as a girl being rescued by Monkee firefighters using seltzer water bottles atop a burning building), No. 4, “Your Friendly Neighborhood Kidnappers” (as Nancy), No. 5, “The Spy Who Came In From The Cool” (as a go-go-dancer), No. 9, “The Chaperone” (as a dancer at a party), No. 12, “I've Got A Little Song Here” (as a member of the Mammoth Studio crew), No. 15, “Too Many Girls” (a.k.a. "Davy And Fern") (as a girl staring at David), No. 17, “The Case Of The Missing Monkee” (in a mock rowboat with Michael Nesmith), No. 50, “The Monstrous Monkee Mash” (summoned by "Wolfman" Micky's howl), No. 53, "The Monkees Race Again" (a.k.a. "Leave The Driving To Us") (she kisses David after winning the race against Baron Von Klutz [David Hurst]), No. 55, "The Monkees Mind Their Manor" (as a spectator at The Ye Olde Fair) No. 56, "Some Like It Lukewarm" (a.k.a. "The Band Contest") (as Melody), and No. 58, "Mijacogeo" (a.k.a. "The Frodis Caper") (as a chick who greets David, Micky and Michael in the KXIW-TV studio [where they are stalked by TV repair men] and Peter on the street [on his way to KXIW-TV]). Toby Willis was Kairys' only other speaking role on The Monkees, following her turn as Nancy in “Your Friendly Neighborhood Kidnappers.”

Patrice Wymore (seen here as the infamous Mme. Quagmeyer) was a leading lady in the films Tea For Two (Warner Bros., 1964; as Beatrice Darcy) and Chamber Of Horrors (Warner Bros., 1966; as Vivian). Wymore was married to Errol Flynn from Oct. 1950 up to his death on Oct. 14, 1959. They moved to Jamaica to avoid legal troubles in the US. After Flynn's death, Wymore tried to restart her career but was unsuccessful; she then moved back to Jamaica and became a succesful farmer and businesswoman.

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