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Episode No. 9:

“The Chaperone”

David can't date a retired general's daughter unless
a chaperone is present, so Micky suits up like a lady.

Vital Stats, Credits and Releases On Home Video:

Production No. 4711
Revised Final Draft: July 14, 1966.
Filmed At: Screen Gems Studios, Hollywood, CA.
Filming Dates: July 18-22, 1966.
Original Air Date: November 7, 1966.
Ratings: 17.8 rating/28.8 share (9,770,000 viewers)
© Raybert Productions; 11-7-66; LP37612
Sponsor This Week:
Kellogg's™
Rerun Dates: February 21 and August 1, 1970, June 10, 1972 (CBS); January 6 and August 18, 1973 (ABC).

Written by Gerald Gardner and Dee Caruso
Directed by Bruce Kessler
Produced by Robert Rafelson and Bert Schneider
Associate Producer: Ward Sylvester
Music Supervision: Don Kirshner
Background Music Composed and Conducted by Stu Phillips.
“This Just Doesn't Seem To Be My Day” by Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart; Produced by Tommy Boyce, Bobby Hart & Jack Keller
“Take A Giant Step” by Carole King & Gerry Goffin; Produced by Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart
Guest cast:

Babbitt.....................................................................Henry Corden
Mrs. Weefers..........................................................Diana Chesney
Leslie....................................................................Sherry Alberoni
Cynthia....................................................................Judy Murdock
Arch Johnson as Vandenburg

Original Commercials This Week:

  • Kellogg's Sugar Frosted Flakes (:30)
  • Black Label Aftershave by Yardley (:45)
  • Slicker Dolly Kits by Yardley (:15)
  • Kellogg's Corn Flakes (:30)
  • Kellogg's Pop Tarts (:30)
  • The Monkees for Kellogg's Rice Kirispies (:30)

Home Video Releases:

  • The Monkees: The Collector's Edition - VHS Tape #10 (Columbia House #19938, May 22, 1995)
  • The Monkees Deluxe Limited Edition Boxed Set - VHS Tape #12 (Rhino R3 2960, October 17, 1995)
  • The Monkees - Season 1 DVD Boxed Set - Disc 2 (Rhino RetroVision DVD R2 976076, May 13, 2003)
  • The Monkees - Season 1 DVD Boxed Set - Disc 2 (Eagle Rock Entertainment DVD EM351359, September 27, 2011)
  • The Monkees - The Complete Series - Blu-Ray Disc 2 (Rhino BD2-552705, July 8, 2016)

Synopsis:

David falls for Leslie Vandenburg, daughter of retired General Harley Vandenburg. After a while watching her with binoculars while she’s sitting on her front porch along with Micky, Michael and Peter behind some bushes, David, upon Micky's urging, approaches her disguised as an employee of a TV polling service in an attempt to talk to her. However she is soon ordered inside by her father, and David is lovestruck. The three then dash out from behind the bushes and approach David; Peter asks what TV show was Leslie watching, Micky sees fit to self promote and says, "Ours, I hope!"

David makes more attempts to see her, but, despite his next 2 disguises as a magazine subscription salesman and, with Micky, a bomb shelter inspector, he can’t get past her authoritarian father. Cynthia, Leslie's friend who is staying over tells David from a bedroom window that Leslie’s father not only runs the house like an army camp, but will only allow Leslie to attend chaperoned parties. Back at the pad, Micky calls Mr. Vandenberg on the phone and disguising his voice claims to be an old army friend of his Col. “Dodo” Dolenz (whose son Micky is having a party) and invites Leslie and her friend, assuring him a chaperone will be present, and Vandenburg agrees. The boys then frantically decorate their pad to the tune of “This Just Doesn't Seem To Be My Day”: Micky tries to clamber the tornado staircase with decorations; Michael, in charge of snacks, tries to open a pretzel bag without much success, until he takes a hammer to it; Peter distributes used paper plates and tries in vain to remove the words "USED PAPER PLATES" written on them in marker; Micky slides down the banister of the staircase, landing face first into a tall cake prepared by Michael; and The Monkees end by zooming around the pad on cycles and wheelchairs strewing about decorations.

Next, a frantic search then ensues for a suitable chaperone; Michael suggests their landlord, Mr. Babbitt, but they reject his services because of his over-expensive fees. Then Mrs. Weefers, their cleaning lady who comes on a second Tuesday every month, arrives to clean, and The Monkees decide they have their chaperone. Soon they coach her on how to act properly by playing Professor Higgins to her Eliza Doolittle but she spikes the punch with liquor behind their backs and when the guests arrive they find Mrs. Weefers passed out stone-cold drunk upstairs and are unable to revive her. With Michael, David and Peter downstairs stall Mr. Vandenberg, who won’t let Leslie and Cynthia go in unless there’s a chaperone. Micky, in desperation, dresses in drag at the final minute and descends the tornado staircase, and Michael introduces him as their chaperone Mrs. Arcadian.

So instantly smitten is General Vandenburg at the sight of “Mrs. Arcadian” that he decides to stay and spends most of the evening pursuing Micky to his dismay. Meanwhile, Peter tries to cheer up a girl who states she wants a real man, to sweep her off her feet; just then, Tarzan swings into the pad on a vine and indeed sweeps her off her feet by carrying her off! Another female guest removes a potato chip from Mr. Schneider's mouth and asks him advice. To avoid Mr. Vandenberg, Micky suggest the guys play poorly and soon takes part with his Monkee mates as they perform “Take A Giant Step” (he amazingly doubles as himself and Mrs. Arcadian during the number!), as partiers (including Tarzan and Mr. Clean!) dance away. After the song, Micky has more worries when Mr. Babbitt arrives with pretzels and falls head over heels for him, too. When Leslie comments on Mrs. Arcadian being a strange woman, David confesses to her the truth which is overheard by her irate father. Outraged on being deceived, The General employs the use of military tactics and marches The Monkees, Leslie and Cynthia into one corner; then switching the music on their jukebox from rock 'n' roll music to marching music, he marches everyone out of the door.

He stuns everyone when he states that Mrs. Arcadian has consented to be his wife just before he whips off Micky’s wig and expresses his outrage but Leslie interrupts accusing her own outrage of his too-over-protectiveness which led to David’s extreme measures to see her. Then Mrs. Weefers, having reemerged from her stupor, is seen seated on the staircase; Babbit returns expressing his infatuation with “Mrs. Arcadian,” but Micky orders him out. Then David explains it was the only way he could be with Leslie and the strict father finally acquiesces.

The next day, Leslie explains to David that her father won’t give her chaperones anymore and seems to have a lot confidence in her now—which a distressed David finds hard to believe, chased up a tree by Leslie’s huge new dog! While Michael, Micky with Cynthia and the girl Peter tried to woo at the party watch on in amusement, Michael questions Peter’s whereabouts when suddenly Peter dressed in a Tarzan costume, swings by on a vine in an attempt to impress the girl but splashes in the public fountain. Orange sharkskin suit-clad Monkees finish the set by hamming it up in the fountain, and singing “You Just May Be The One” on the bandstand.

Production Notes:

Bruce Kessler makes his directorial debut on The Monkees TV series with this episode.

The Monkees' cleaning lady will be given brief mention in Episode No. 36, "Monkee Mayor".

“You Just May Be The One” (appearing here and in Episode No. 13, “One Man Shy” [a.k.a. "Peter And The Debutante"], and No. 24, “Monkees A La Mode” [both of which also uses the same footage of the song's accompanying musical number as does “The Chaperone”], in an alternate version of the song that was later remade for The Monkees' Headquarters), though showcased here, was not credited. In fact, “The Chaperone” was originally slated for retelecast on August 7, 1967 with its soundtrack revised to include the The Monkees’ Headquarters’ remake of “You Just May Be The One” in the place of the original, but nothing came of it, and Episode No. 10, “Here Come The Monkees,” was rebroadcast in its place.

Collector's Note: The original version of “You Just May Be The One” remained unreleased for 24 years until its inclusion as a CD bonus track on Rhino's January 1990 Missing Links Volume 2 (R2 70903). A special Mono TV Version of the tune is included as a bonus cut on Rhino Handmade's limited-edition, November 11, 2014 3-CD, 100-track set, The Monkees (Super Deluxe Edition) (R2-543027).

Of the three episodes of The Monkees TV series to feature the early version of “You Just May Be The One”, “The Chaperone” is the only one not to list “You Just May Be The One” in its end titles.

The version of “Take A Giant Step” used in this segment is alternate to the take which was used on the B-side of the Colgems 66-1001 single and the first album, as it featured a single vocal part by Micky Dolenz.

Collector's Note: This special Mono TV Version of “Take A Giant Step” is included as a bonus cut on Rhino Handmade's limited-edition, November 11, 2014 3-CD, 100-track set, The Monkees (Super Deluxe Edition) (R2-543027).

When “The Chaperone” was repeated on CBS and ABC Saturday Afternoon, “This Just Doesn't Seem To Be My Day” was replaced by an edited version of Micky Dolenz's “Midnight Train” from The Monkees 9th LP, Changes. While the CBS version of “The Chaperone” continues to air in syndication to this very day, Rhino has resurrected the original NBC firstrun edition for release on home video. Happily, said NBC version finally made it into the rerun cycle during a Memorial Day Monkees episode marathon on IFC, May 25, 2015.

A week after this episode finished, The Monkees would finish sessions for their first album and begin recording tracks for their second LP, More Of The Monkees.

“The Chaperone” was the ninth episode of The Monkees to be produced by Raybert Productions and to be telecast on the NBC-TV network.

Production on “The Chaperone” wrapped on writer Gerald Gardner's 37th birthday.

Trivia Notes:

“The Chaperone” offers Monkee viewers a first glimpse of the second floor of The Monkees pad, which is an entire bedroom for 2 of The Monkees. The upstairs bedroom will be used by all four Monkees in Episode No. 43, "A Coffin Too Frequent", No. 55, "The Monkees Mind Their Manor", and No. 58, "Mijacogeo" (a.k.a. "The Frodis Caper").

More footage of the boys swimming in the fountain (some of which are seen at the start of the “You Just May Be The One” sequence in “The Chaperone”) is edited into the “Tomorrow’s Gonna Be Another Day” romp seen in Episode No. 2, “Monkee See, Monkee Die”.

The brief snippet of the winking stuffed vulture seen during the musical romp set to “This Just Doesn't Seem To Be My Day” is from the previous episode, “Don't Look A Gift Horse In The Mouth”.

A clip from the opening sequence to Tarzan (NBC, 1966-68/CBS, 1969) can be seen here, despite the fact that the series was produced at a rival company! (20th Century-Fox Television produced Tarzan, whilst Raybert/Screen Gems produced The Monkees. How Raybert managed to secure rights to use that Tarzan clip is beyond me...)

The following scenes from “The Chaperone” were edited into The Monkees' first season main title opening: Micky sliding down the bannister of their spiral staircase landing facefirst into a tall cake clutched by Michael; Peter swinging on a vine.

The “Take A Giant Step” dance sequence features an interesting cameo by the immortal TV commercial icon Mr. Clean!

The copyright statement at the end of the main title sequence of “The Chaperone” and several other early episodes of The Monkees (telecast on NBC between September and, I believe, November 1966) stated the show was "Copyright © MCMLXVII by Screen Gems, Inc." and not Raybert Productions!

Monkee extra Valerie Kairys and Monkee stand-ins David Price, David Pearl and John London can be seen among the party guests.

This is the one of 2 Monkees episodes where a man falls for a cross-dressed Monkee; the other one is No. 56, "Some Like It Lukewarm" (a.k.a. "The Band Contest").

David and Peter do a parody of the 1964 Warner Bros. musical My Fair Lady in the scene where they teach Mrs. Weefers (Diana Chesney) manners. Also, look at that boss blue smoking jacket worn by David in his parody of the Professor Henry Higgins role, portrayed by Rex Harrison in the film; Peter will be seen wearing the jacket in the tag sequence of Episode No. 29, “The Monkees Get Out More Dirt”, Luthor Kramm (Jerry Lester) is seen wearing it during the "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You" romp in Episode No. 31, “The Monkees At The Movies” (in the scene where he, Philo [Hamilton Camp] and Frankie Catalina [Bobby Sherman] view the Monkee-sabotaged dailies), and Michael will be seen with it in No. 57, "The Monkees Blow Their Minds". (By the way, a reference to Rex Harrison is made in No. 24, “Monkees A La Mode”.)

This is the first episode of the series in which Davy Jones is referred to as David (aside from his credit in the show's end titles). He will be called David again in Episode No. 23, “Captain Crocodile”, No. 28, “The Monkees On The Line”, No. 33, "It's A Nice Place To Visit...", No. 34, "The Picture Frame" (a.k.a. "The Bank Robbery"), No. 35, "Everywhere A Sheik Sheik", No. 49, "The Monkees Watch Their Feet", No. 51, "The Monkee's Paw", No. 52, "The Devil And Peter Tork", No. 55, "The Monkees Mind Their Manor", the 1968 movie HEAD, and the 1969 TV special 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee.

"I'm A Believer" b/w "(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone" was issued as The Monkees' 2nd single (Colgems #1002) on November 12, 1966, a good 5 days after this episode aired...the exact same time The Monkees' self-titled debut LP peaked on the Billboard charts.

This episode features the second of three parties held in The Monkees' pad. The first was held by the boys and several patrons of The Vincent Van Gogh Gogh Discotheque in Episode No. 4, “Your Friendly Neighborhood Kidnappers”, and a third, in No. 27, “Monkee Mother”, followed the wedding of Milly Rudnik and Larry the moving man.

The word "divoon," uttered by David, is repeated by Madame Quagmeyer in “Monkees A La Mode”.

Peter is seen demonstrating marbles with Mrs. Weefers. 4 episodes later, in No. 13, “One Man Shy” (a.k.a. "Peter And The Debutante"), he can be seen playing marbles with Ronnie Farnsworth (George Furth) during a musical romp.

Miss Wiefers states she comes to clean The Monkees' pad on the second Tuesday of every month with an 'R' in it. “The Chaperone” did indeed air on NBC in a month with an 'R' in it (November), however, it was the first Monday of it!

Hand grenades are hanging from both sides of The General's chest during his phone conversation with Micky “Col. Dodo” Dolenz. 

David makes reference to George Huntington Hartford (September 5, 1833 – August 29, 1917) in one scene ("Huntington Hartford hates pickled herrings!") Hartford was legendary for founding, in 1859 with George Gilman, The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company, b.k.a. A&P, the 456-store supermarket chain with locations in Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and the District of Columbia under several banners.

For the first and only time on The Monkees, Mr. Babbitt reveals his Christian name: Henry.

Guest Cast Notes:

Sherry Alberoni (Leslie), a former Mouseketeer, later provided cartoon voices for Hanna-Barbera, including Alexandra Cabot on Josie And The Pussy Cats (CBS, 1970-74; NBC, 1975-76) and Wendy Harris on Superfriends (ABC, 1973-85). Alberoni previously appeared in an October 21, 1966 episode of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (NBC, 1964-68), "The Pop Art Affair" (prod. #8423), which also featured Monkee guest Sharyn Hillyer ("The Monkees On The Wheel") and Monkee writer Stanley Ralph Ross ("Monkees Marooned" and "The Wild Monkees"); with pre-Monkee guest Cliff Norton ("The Picture Frame" [a.k.a. "The Bank Robbery"]), she had a turn in a November 15, 1963 episode of The Farmer's Daughter, "Miss Cheese."

Trivia Footnote: Alberoni was considered for a part in the original series pilot, but was unavailable.

The late Arch Johnson (Vandenburg) portrayed Commander Wivenhoe, the gruff camp counselor on the ill-fated Camp Runamuck (NBC, 1965-66). Johnson later appeared together with David Jones in an October 23, 1970 episode of Love, American Style (ABC, 1969-74), "Love And The Elopement". With Monkee guest alumni Olan Soule (“The Monkees In Manhattan” [a.k.a “The Monkees Manhattan Style”]) and James Griffith ("The Monkees In Texas"), Johnson appeared in an October 8, 1967 episode of Bonanza (NBC, 1959-73), "Judgement At Olympus."

“The Chaperone” marks Judy Murdock's only acting job. Since 1989 she has been a make-up artist.

The late Diana Chesney, who portrays the cleaning lady, Mrs. Weefers, later appeared with Monkees guest actress June Whitley Taylor (“Here Come The Monkees”) in the TV movie Rescue From Gilligan's Island (NBC, 10/14 & 21/78), which reunited most of the cast of the very show which aired against The Monkees in the 1966-67 season: Gilligan's Island (CBS, 1964-67). Chesney previously appeared with Monkee guest Stuart Nisbet ("The Monkees In Texas") in a December 17, 1965 episode of The Farmer's Daughter (ABC, 1963-66), "Jewel Beyond Compare."

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