I Was A Teenage Monster
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Episode No. 18:

“I Was A Teenage Monster”

A mad scientist hires The Monkees to teach his monster music -
and then transplants their musical talent into the monster!

Vital Stats, Credits and Releases On Home Video:

Production No. 4725
Filmed At: Screen Gems Studio 7, Hollywood, CA.
Filming Dates: November 1 (8:00 a.m.)-3, 1966
Original Air Date: January 16, 1967
Ratings: 19.9 rating/30 share (10,930,000 viewers)
© Raybert Productions; 1-18-67; LP37669
Sponsor This Week:
Kellogg’s™
Rerun Dates: September 13, 1969, October 10, 1970, May 22 and October 30, 1971 (CBS)

Teleplay by Gerald Gardner & Dee Caruso and Dave Evans; Story by Dave Evans.
Directed by Sidney Miller.
Produced by Robert Rafelson and Bert Schneider.
Associate Producer: Ward Sylvester.
Music Supervision: Don Kirshner.
Background Music Composed and Conducted by Stu Phillips.
“Your Auntie Grizelda” Written by Jack Keller & Diane Hilderbrand; Produced by Jack Keller & Jeff Barry.
Guest cast:

Dr. Mendoza...................................................................John Hoyt
Monster...........................................................................Dick Kiel
Groot.......................................................................Byron Foulger

Home Video Releases:

  • The Monkees - Volume 3 (Musicvision VHS #60714/Beta #20714, November 1986)
  • Image Entertainment laserdisc #ID7461RC (1991)
  • 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)
  • Rhino VHS R3 2243 (September 17, 1996)
  • The Monkees - Season 1 DVD Boxed Set - Disc 3 (Rhino RetroVision DVD R2 976076, May 13, 2003)
  • The Monkees - Season 1 DVD Boxed Set - Disc 3 (Eagle Rock Entertainment DVD EM351359, September 27, 2011)
  • The Monkees - The Complete Series - Blu-Ray Disc 3 (Rhino BD2-552705, July 8, 2016)

Synopsis:

This parody on teenage horror flicks finds The Monkees arriving at a spooky old Gothic mansion on Rosebud Lane in the pretext of being hired to do a gig at a party. They soon learn that Dr. Mendoza, a mad scientist has instead hired them to teach a youngster to sing. Little do they know the youngster is really a 7“ monster he created in his lab whom he plans to turn into the greatest rock n' roll singer in the world!

Dr. Mendoza takes the guys to see the "little monster" downstairs in his lab and The Monkees are shocked at the sight of the creature who's strapped up to a board. The frightened musicians are reluctant to teach the android the art of rock and roll but decide to stay when the doc offers to pay them $200. Later, the guys work with the monster first by changing his image, giving him a Beatle haircut, groovy clothes, sunglasses, and a Gretsch guitar. Then they try teaching him to be a rock n’ roll singer first with David and Peter showing him some dance moves by shaking his hips which results in him knocking both Monkees to the floor. Micky tries to teach him how to play the drums but the monster tears a hole in the drums. After The Cool Quartet are finished with their teaching, the monster can only play the guitar out of tune and repeatedly sing “Goorah!” The guys offer to come back the next morning to teach him some more but Dr. Mendoza insists they stay the night since the roads are hazardous at nights and has Groot, his valet, take them to their room. He then informs Groot of his next plans to transfer The Monkees’ talents into the monster.

Meanwhile, the guys settled in their room are still spooked by their surroundings and even more spooked when Micky opens the closet door to find a young woman in white inside who claims to be the doctor’s beautiful daughter but has nothing to do with the story since she’s in the sequel. To calm their nerves, the guys decide to watch television and turn on the TV. They are starting to relax watching a horror movie about brain transplants when they start to disappear one by one, with David sliding in a secret passage in the couch, Michael sitting in chair against a wall which suddenly turns around, Micky being grabbed and pulled by the feet from behind a curtain, and finally Peter gets a blanket thrown on him from behind by Groot and taken away. Later, all four guys are in the doctor’s lab in the basement strapped to a board with headgear on their heads. Dr. Mendoza tells them he plans to transplant their musical prowess into the body of the monster who’s also strapped to a board and proceeds with the operation by turning on the machine causing electric vibrations. After it’s done, the doctor orders the band to sing and when they do they find that they can’t sing anymore and when the monster, with all the talent, starts singing the “(theme from) THE MONKEES”, he sings with their voices. Michael threatens to tell the police but the doctor touches them with a stethoscope to erase their memory.

The next morning, the guys, compleetly clueless of their ordeal the previous night,.are prepared to perform for the doctor only to discover that all of their musical talent has deserted them, and they end up refunding Mendoza. Then the doctor shows off to the guys his monster and they gape in awe as they watch the monster perform, with their voices, a brief snippet of “Tomorrow’s Gonna Be Another Day” in his world premiere as The Swinging Android. Later in their room, the guys are still confused about not being able to sing while the android could sing with their talent. Suddenly Micky remembers the laboratory where the doctor drained them of their musical talents and made them forget about it; soon the other Monkees remember as well, and they all head for the lab. Before Micky leaves with the others he opens the closet again only to see the doctor's daughter now reading a Monkees script and reveals to him about the sequel where a vampire turns David into a werewolf!

Realizing they must reverse the process to regain their musical abilities, The Monkees head to the lab to reverse the process and strapped themselves to the board with the headgear onto their heads, but Micky’s arm proves to be too short to reach the switch, so he has to use a cane. The first three attempts produce hilariously futile results: one turns the monster into a super hippie, the second has Michael growling in an unusually deep voice, and the third has the monster executing a fey interior decorator's stint. Then Micky accidentally knocks over and shatters a glass, attracting the attention of Mendoza and Groot, who enter the lab. Seeing that The Monkees are attempting to undo his plans, he unstraps the android and orders him to kill them. Peter manages to stop the monster and turn him against Dr. Mendoza who’s able turn him back against Peter and soon Peter and the mad doc are competing for control over the monster sending him back and forth between the two of them of whom he should kill. Then Micky turns on the record for an distraction (using a compass for he needle) and soon everyone madly capers about to the tune of “Your Auntie Grizelda” in which the guys eventually overpower Mendoza and Groot by strapping them to a board.

Later, Michael is on the phone to the police while Dr. Mendoza and Groot are still tied up. Micky tells them he reversed the process so they all have their musical talents back but when the guys decide to play their instruments to make sure, their fingers cut through the strings, shattering the amplifiers, and there’s a small explosion from the drum.

Production Notes:

This is the first example of The Monkees TV show's shifting from its regular sitcom format---something wich would occur with great frequency in its second season.

This episode also features excerpts from the album version of the “(theme from) THE MONKEES” and “Tomorrow’s Gonna Be Another Day.” After recieving a dose of Dr. Mendoza's devilish device, The Monkees slowly sing their own rendition of “(theme from) THE MONKEES” before the monster takes over with a rendition of the theme's album version. This is the first time on the series The Monkees actually sing their own theme song (aside from the end of the first-season opening titles); they will sing it again in Episode No. 40, "Monkees Marooned", No. 48, "Fairy Tale", No. 50, "The Monstrous Monkee Mash", and No. 51, "The Monkee's Paw". And the unbroadcast version of the series pilot had The Monkees lip-synching the theme to the vocals of its composers, Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart.

The mono cut of “Your Auntie Grizelda” used here and in Episode No. 26, "Monkee Chow Mein," is different to the track used on the mono version of The Monkees' 2nd LP, as its fuzz guitar part is more pronounced.

Collector's Note: Rhino inserted this particular mix into "The Original Mono Album" (in the place of the actual mono mix!) on Disc 2 of the August 15, 2006 2-CD Deluxe Edition reissue of More Of The Monkees (R2 77744).

“I Was A Teenage Monster” was the first episode to be shown in The Monkees' Saturday Afternoon run, which premiered @ noon (EDT), September 13, 1969, on CBS. For this occasion, its soundtrack was revised to include Side A of The Monkees' 11th single (Colgems #5005, released a full week before on Sept. 6, 1969), Michael Nesmith's “Good Clean Fun”. (Interestingly, it coincided with the 30th birthday of Richard Kiel, The Monster in "I Was A Teenage Monster.")

Listen to the sound effects of Dr. Mendoza's machine, as Micky starts to activate it to transfer The Monkees' musical talents from the monster back to them. It emits the same beeping noise as the one heard from Dr. Marcovich's sinister braindrain in the previous episode, “The Case Of The Missing Monkee”.

The version of “I Was A Teenage Monster” as released by Rhino in October 1995 on their Deluxe Limited Edition Boxed Set, in September 1996 on the individual VHS select release, and in May 2003 on The Monkees Season One DVD Boxed Set features Kellogg’s™ cereal packages in the end credits; the version of the episode which was previously released on VHS in November 1986 by MusicVision/RCA/Columbia Pictures Home Video did not.

Just as this very episode of The Monkees in which their musical prowess is stolen was being prepped for telecast on NBC, Micky, David, Michael and Peter themselves were busy putting said musical prowess to good use, as that very afternoon they were well into cutting their debut recording session as a full-blown, full-fledged rock band at Goldstar Studios in Hollywood. 

The footage of the rampaging, shrieking dragon, used for the first time on The Monkees in “I Was A Teenage Monster” in the final seconds of the “Your Auntie Grizelda” romp, is stock footage from the movie Reptilicus (American-International, 1961). Further use of the clip will be in the next episode, "Find The Monkees," Episode No. 26, "Monkee Chow Mein," No. 40, "Monkees Marooned", and No. 55, "The Monkees Mind Their Manor." 

The German-lilted voice of The Mirror On The Wall is provided by none other than key Monkees director James Frawley. The presence of The Mirror in this episode is another of several Monkee references to Snow Whitee; others can be discovered in Episode No. 1, “The Royal Flush”, and No. 23, “Captain Crocodile”

Director Sidney Miller previously directed Monkee guest Cliff Norton ("The Picture Frame" [a.k.a. "The Bank Robbery"]) in a January 7, 1965 episode of Bewitched (ABC, 1964-72), "It's Magic." Miller also directed numerous installments for Get Smart (NBC/CBS, 1965-70), making him one of four members of The Monkees' TV personnel to also work on that sitcom; the others being director James Komack (who helmed Episode No. 21, “The Prince And The Paupers”) and writers Gerald Gardner and Dee Caruso.  

Trivia Notes:

The episode title "I Was A Teenage Monster" was inspired by the 1957 American International horror classic I Was A Teenage Werewolf starring Michael Landon. "I Was A Teenage Monster" was also the title of a novelty tune by The Keytones in February 1961!

Mendoza's daughter tells Micky, "Wait'll you see the sequel. A vampire turns Davy into a werewolf," which could be a reference to Episode No. 50, "The Monstrous Monkee Mash." However, Mendoza's daughter doesn't return in that episode, and it is Micky who is turned into a werewolf, not David!

The late Byron Foulger (Groot) portrayed Mr. Nash on Captain Nice (which followed The Monkees on NBC for the second half of its first season in 1967) and Wendell Gibbs on Petticoat Junction (CBS, 1963-70). In a week prior to this episode's transmission ver NBC, Foulger also appeared with Monkee guest actor Booth Coleman (“The Spy Who Came In From The Cool”) in the January 12, 1967 episode of Daniel Boone (NBC, 1964-70), "The Williamsburg Companion (Part 1),"; and with pre-co-“I Was A Teenage Monster” guest John Hoyt, he appeared in the January 13, 1967 episode of The Time Tunnel (ABC, 1966-67), "Visitors From Beyond The Stars". He previously appeared with James Griffith ("The Monkees In Texas") in a February 24, 1962 episode of Have Gun Will Travel (CBS, 1957-63), "The Waiting Room."

Listen, in the final moments of “I Was A Teenage Monster,” as Michael puts through a phone call to the police, he and Dr. Mendoza take a swipe at the Oscar-winning 1941 RKO mystery classic, Citizen Kane:

MIKE: Ah, that's right, officer. It's the big scary house on top of the hill. Oh, just a minute, I'll have to ask. Hey, Dr. Mendoza, what's the name of the street?
DR. MENDOZA: Rosebud Lane!
MIKE: Rosebu--I thought that was the name of a sled!

This is the second occasion in which Michael Nesmith is commended by his fellow Monkees for his dramatic acting! The first was in Episode No. 16, “The Son Of A Gypsy”.

In a scene during the “Your Auntie Grizelda” romp, there is a spoof on the Bugs Bunny/Gossamer Monster cartoons when The Monkees have the monster strapped in place and are grooming his hair and nails so he doesn't notice he is strapped down.

Another scene in the “Your Auntie Grizelda” romp which sees the monster chasing villagers with torches right in front of The Monkees' beach pad's front door (they are later seen toasting marshmallows over a boiling kettle in that same spot) refers to a one-liner made by Michael in Episode No. 8, “Don't Look A Gift Horse In The Mouth”

In the teaser, Peter becomes slackjawed from the sight of the interior of Dr. Mendoza's castle, and David closed Peter's jaw with his hand. This gag would be repeated in Episode No. 40, "Monkees Marooned", and No. 57, "The Monkees Blow Their Minds".

Michael's rather untrue comment that The Monkees "couldn't carry a tune in a bucket!" is repeated in Episode No. 32, “The Monkees On Tour”.

This is the only time The Monkees wore their trademark 8-button shirts throughout an entire episode.

For the second time on The Monkees, usage of the surname "Mendoza" is made. Micky first used it in his guise as comic-mimic Locksley Mendoza on Mr. Hack's Amateur Hour on KXIU-TV 3 episodes ago, in No. 15, “Too Many Girls” (a.k.a. "Davy And Fern").

Guest Cast Notes:

The late Richard “Dick” Kiel (seen here as the monster) would later star as Jaws in the James Bond flicks The Spy Who Loved Me (UA, 1977) and Moonraker (UA, 1979). Kiel previously appeared in the September 25, 1965 episode of I Dream Of Jeannie (NBC, 1965-70), "My Hero?" (its second), with pre-Monkee guest actors Henry Corden (“Monkee See, Monkee Die”, “Don't Look A Gift Horse In The Mouth”, “The Chaperone”, “Monkee Mother”) and Peter Brocco ("Monkee Mayor"); he also served with pre-Monkee adversary Theodore Marcuse (“The Royal Flush”) in a March 2, 1962 episode of The Twilight Zone (CBS, 1959-64), "To Serve Man." Kiel passed away September 10, 2014 at age 74.

The late John Hoyt (Dr. Mendoza) appeared with the late Clegg Hoyt (who will be seen as The Jailer in Episode No. 21, “The Prince And The Paupers,” his final TV appearance) in the original 1965 Star Trek pilot, "The Cage." John Hoyt later had a brief stint portraying Grandpa Stanley Kanisky on Gimme A Break! (NBC, 1981-87). Monkee guest Lou Antonio ("Hillbilly Honeymoon" [a.k.a. "Double Barrell Shotgun Wedding"]) directed Hoyt in a Jan. 23, 1970 episode of The Flying Nun (ABC, 1967-70), "Armando And The Pool Table."

The late Byron Foulger (Groot) portrayed Mr. Nash on Captain Nice (which followed The Monkees on NBC for the second half of its first season in 1967) and Wendell Gibbs on Petticoat Junction (CBS, 1963-70). In a week prior to this episode's transmission ver NBC, Foulger also appeared with Monkee guest actor Booth Coleman (“The Spy Who Came In From The Cool”) in the January 12, 1967 episode of Daniel Boone (NBC, 1964-70), "The Williamsburg Companion (Part 1),"; and with pre-co-“I Was A Teenage Monster” guest John Hoyt, he appeared in the January 13, 1967 episode of The Time Tunnel (ABC, 1966-67), "Visitors From Beyond The Stars". He previously appeared with James Griffith ("The Monkees In Texas") in a February 24, 1962 episode of Have Gun Will Travel (CBS, 1957-63), "The Waiting Room."

Original NBC Promo & Photo:


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