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Episode No. 29:

“The Monkees Get Out More Dirt”

The Monkees' friendship is threatened when they all fall for the
same girl: a luscious proprietress of the local Laundromat.

Vital Stats, Credits and Releases On Home Video:

Production No. 4738
Filmed At: Screen Gems Studios, Hollywood, CA.
Filming Dates: January 23-25, 1967
Original Air Date: April 3, 1967
Ratings: 19.1 rating/34.0 share (10,490,000 viewers)
© Raybert Productions; 4-3-67; LP37976
Sponsor This Week:
Yardley Of London™
Rerun Dates: February 7 and August 15, 1970, February 6 and October 16, 1971 (CBS); November 4, 1972, June 30, 1973 (ABC)

Written by Gerald Gardner and Dee Caruso.
Directed by Gerald Shepard.
Produced by Robert Rafelson and Bert Schneider.
Associate Producer: Ward Sylvester.
Background Music Composed and Conducted by Stu Phillips.
“A Girl I Knew Somewhere” Written by Michael Nesmith; Produced by Douglas Farthing Hatlelid.
Guest cast:

Dr. Sisters....................................................................Claire Kelly
Man With Paper...........................................................Digby Wolfe
Girl.........................................................................Patricia Foster
Julie Newmar as April Conquest

Home Video Releases:

  • The Monkees - Volume 5 (Musicvision VHS #60810/Beta #20810, June 25, 1987)
  • The Monkees: The Collector's Edition - VHS Tape #4 (Columbia House #19943, May 22, 1995)
  • The Monkees Deluxe Limited Edition Boxed Set - VHS Tape #17 (Rhino R3 2960, October 17, 1995)
  • The Monkees - Season 1 DVD Boxed Set - Disc 5 (Rhino RetroVision DVD R2 976076, May 13, 2003)
  • The Monkees - Season 1 DVD Boxed Set - Disc 5 (Eagle Rock Entertainment DVD EM351359, September 27, 2011)
  • The Monkees - The Complete Series - Blu-Ray Disc 4 (Rhino BD2-552705, July 8, 2016)

Synopsis:

The Monkees enter April's Laundromat (“Clothes Lines Are For The Birds”) to do their laundry where each of the guys meet its beautiful proprietress April Conquest, and become instantly smitten. As the boys stand dazed muttering “soap!,” Wally Cox enters with a box of detergent with a question mark and begins to arm wrestle with an arm sticking out of the washing machine.

At the pad, they're still lovestruck over April and one by one they fib to each other about going other places and they split. Then David, Michael and Micky and Peter (inside the washing machine) all wind up at the Laundromat mooning over April, who, an alumnus at The Laundromatic Institute Of San Radu, reveals she runs her business while working for a degree in her major, Laundry Science, and explains to them the art of laundry science. Back at the pad, Michael and David bicker over falling for the same girl until Micky breaks it up. To get the minds off it, The Monkees decide to watch TV where Dr. Lorene Sisters, who solves problems in love lives; she reads a letter from a viewer on how to win a girl's affection. She advises that the way to win a girl is to have the hobby she likes and become that man. The guys follow her advice and each makes a phone call to find out what kind a man April likes. David phones April’s mother as David Armstrong Jones of BBC, Michael calls April as Dr. Frigmund Fried pretending to do research on women, Micky as a DJ from radio station MOT pretending to give a radio telephone quiz and Peter phones her neighbor asking about her hobbies. They soon learn that April’s into cycling, ballet, chamber music and pop art.

Later, each show up at the Laundromat masquerading the different types of men April loves with David as an artist painting the walls (a big red X and a blue arrow), Micky a ballet dancer literally flying through the air, Peter riding in on a bicycle piano playing chamber music and Michael riding in on a motorcycle. To impress her each Monkee tries to outdo the other all to the tune of the “(theme from) THE MONKEES” , leading to chaos at the Laundromat when Micky accidentally lands on Michael's motorcycle before he collides into the wall David was painting. They all succeed in winning the affections of the fickled April who declares her love to all of them. Back at the pad, the guys are still mooning over April, and a musical sequence set to “A Girl I Knew Somewhere” has each mad Monkee going his own wild way of how to woo and win April; the romp ends with the boys putting the moves on each other in white-clean judo outfits until April, in white, appears on a rocking horse. There is an explosion, and opposite to the old Ajax commercial (“Stronger Than Dirt!”), The Monkees’ outfits are dingy and dirty.

Soon afterward, The Monkees’ affections for April cause their tried-and-true friendship to sour, and they resort to splitting their pad into four different sections. While watching Dr. Sisters, she reads a letter from Peter (under the pseudonym Tormented) explaining their troubles with April. Then she explains that April is in a dangerously emotional state because she’s in love with four different boys, an unresolved conflict which could result in her having a nervous collapse! To prove it, she reads a letter signed “Laundromat” from April revealing her love for The Monkees and her nervous condition (she was too nervous to even write the letter!). Then the guys rush out to the Laundromat to let April decide among them when they find it “closed due to illness” as a result of her collapse! Feeling responsible for her condition which will cause her business to decline, they decide to choose fingers to pick one of them for her and Peter wins. The other three head off to April’s place to end her confusion, leaving Peter to run the Laundromat in her stead. At her place, Micky, Michael and David confront a bedridden April and each confesses to her he has given up his hobby and Peter is the man for her and she recovers from her condition; meanwhile, at the Laundromat, all is complete chaos with Peter taking over as a crowd of harasses Peter over the damages ("I'm not responsible for loss and damage!!"). Just then the other Monkees show up to relieve him, along with April who declares her gratitude to him.

Later at the pad, a dressed up Peter is preparing a candle lit dinner for his date with April while the others sulk. But April shows up and introduces her new fiance, Freddy Fox III ("I've never met a singer before!"). April and Freddy then both skip away, leaving Peter's heart shattered to a million pieces. A devastated Peter starts bawling and all are now depressed until four pretty women show up claiming to be their new neighbors and asking for directions to the Laundromat. Realizing there is one for each, The Monkees advance on the young ladies and leave the pad with them (and leave their front door open!).

Production Notes:

The Monkees went to work on filming “The Monkees Get Out More Dirt” on the day immediately after they finished their first tour at The Cow Palace in San Francisco, CA. In the weekend prior to the episode's firstrun airing on NBC, The Monkees held two occasional concerts in Canada---one at The Arena in Winnipeg on Saturday, April 1, the other at The Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto on Sunday, April 2---as warm-ups for their impending summer tour.

The newly minted Michael Nesmith song “The Girl I Knew Somewhere”, which made its debut appearance here, was erroneously billed as “A Girl I Knew Somewhere,” in this and the next episode, "The Monkees In Manhattan." A third and final episode to feature the tune, No. 32, “The Monkees On Tour”, the show's first season finale, would properly list the title in its end credits. For “The Monkees Get Out More Dirt”'s entry in the CBS Saturday Afternoon run, “The Girl I Knew Somewhere” was replaced by Chip Douglas's “Steam Engine” on the episode's soundtrack.

Director Gerald Shepard is promoted to associate producer in The Monkees' second season (in lieu of Ward Sylvester, who had the honor of being promoted to production executive and producer). Under the name Jerry Shepard, he had one more Monkees directorial effort: Episode No. 46, "The Monkees On The Wheel."

April Conquest’s love was originally going to be named Monte Rock III. Also, a proposed romp climax in “The Monkees Get Out More Dirt” was rather antithetic to the actually aired version; it had The Monkees rolling around the floor tussling until they get dirty, and April, in white, appears on a rocking horse and makes them sparkling clean!

April Conquest is also the name of a company which was responsible for the psychedelic artwork for Rhino's 1990 Missing Links Volume 2 (R2 70903); the company obviously derived its moniker from the title character in “The Monkees Get Out More Dirt.”

2 days after “The Monkees Get Out More Dirt” made is firstrun telecast over NBC, The Monkees began production on episodes for their second season.

Effective this episode, the screen credit of now-ousted Musical Supervisor Don Kirshner is deleted from the series' end titles.

An actual sting quartet was hired to perform live on the set of “The Monkees Get Out More Dirt” during the scene where Peter performs a piece of classical music on his bicycle piano. 

A clip from Episode No. 24, “Monkees A La Mode”, which features the boys as a four-piece string combo (Micky, Michael and David on violins, Peter on bass fiddle), can be seen during the musical romp set to “The Girl I Knew Somewhere”

Inconsistency:

In April's Laundromat, Michael is wearing black boots, yet when he and his Monkee mates return to their pad, the shoe that he holds upside-down is a soaked, black high-top sneaker.

Trivia Notes:

Dr. Lorene Sisters (Claire Kelly) is based on Dr. Joyce Brothers.

The hand reaching out of the white box to take the phone from Micky (and then tries to pull Micky down into it!) is based on Thing of The Addams Family (ABC, 1964-66). It is one of 3 TV shows parodied in “The Monkees Get Out More Dirt”: the others are Michael's lampoon of the shoe phone from Get Smart (NBC/CBS, 1965-70), and Peter's spoof of the phone on the pole from Green Acres (CBS, 1965-71).

In his over-the-phone conversation with April in his guise as a representative of the British B.B.C. (Better Be Clean), David takes on the moniker, David "Armstrong" Jones. It's the same alias he uses in the very next episode, “The Monkees In Manhattan” (a.k.a “The Monkees Manhattan Style”), as he masquerades as a millionaire.

At one point in this episode David exclaims that he would like to be a boxer. Didn't he already try that one out, in Episode No. 20, “The Monkees In The Ring”?

When April says she's working on her doctor's thesis, Michael responds, "Why can't your doctor work on his own thesis?" This is a repeat of a joke first rendered in Episode No. 21, “The Prince And The Paupers”.

When Peter takes charge of April’s laundry mat, he is wearing a white sweater with a blue “A” on it. It replicates a similar sweater (with a red “A” on it) that he wears in the movie HEAD during The War Chant scene in The Pasadena Rose Bowl. (Unquestionably the "A" stands for "April".)

After April dumps Peter for Freddy Fox III, David quotes "The Waste Land" (1922) by T. S. Eliot (1888-1965): "April is the cruelest month!"

Towards the end, before being interrupted by Micky ("Please...no morals!"), Michael quotes a line from Shakespeare’s Hamlet: “This above all: to thine ownself be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.” Interestingly, in the scene from Episode No. 2, “Monkee See, Monkee Die”, where Harris Kinsgley (Mark Harris), Ralph the butler (Milton Parsons), and Madame Roselle (Lea Marmer) all collapse from drugged wine, David declares, "This is like the last act of Hamlet!" And in another episode, No. 13, “One Man Shy” (a.k.a. "Peter And The Debutante"), Peter mentions Hamlet to Valerie Cartwright (Lisa James) at her coming-out party.

When Wally Cox enters the scene in the teaser, placing a box of detergent with a question mark on it on his arm to form a "muscle", he's spoofing a series of TV spots he did at the time for a (now-defunct) product called Salvo, a detergent from Proctor and Gamble in tablet form when the idea was new at the time. At the end of the spots, he'd do the muscle bit with the Salvo box and say the tagline "Salvo--The Fortified Detergent". The subsequent scene with the arm coming out of the washing machine at the laundromat was a takeoff on the ads Colgate was doing then for their Action bleach packets, which were concentrated powdered bleach packed tightly in special plastic wrap which were dropped whole in the washer like Salvo, and the wrap then dissolved releasing the bleach. The slogan was "Put a giant in your washer!" as the arm was supposed to be that of a costumed giant, smashing through the top of the washer holding a box of Action. (A brief reference to Salvo was made in the original 1965 pilot episode.) This and April Conquest's lampoon of Ajax during the romp set to “The Girl I Knew Somewhere” is part of 3 Monkees episodes making satirical references to commercial products, following No. 9, “The Chaperone” (Mr. Clean), and No. 16, “The Son Of A Gypsy” (Crest).

In the laundromat scene in the teaser, Peter wears a blue shirt (complete with an orange vest) which would also be worn by David in Episode No. 37, "Art For Monkee's Sake", and by Micky in No. 51, "The Monkee's Paw", and No. 58, "Mijacogeo" (a.k.a. "The Frodis Caper"). Peter can also be seen wearing the blue shirt in Episode No. 11, “Monkees A La Carte”, the teaser of No. 20, “The Monkees In The Ring”, the “Sometime In The Morning” musical number seen in No. 22, “The Monkees At The Circus”, and No. 27, “Monkee Mother”, and in No. 34, "The Picture Frame" (a.k.a. "The Bank Robbery").

We learn here that April lives with her mother.

David's, Micky's and Michael's methods on how to woo April -- pop art, ballet, and motorcycling, respsctively -- foreshadow events which will take place in Episode No. 37, "Art For Monkee's Sake", No. 41, "The Card-Carrying Red Shoes", and No. 42, "The Wild Monkees".

The green shirt Micky is seen wearing in Act 3 and the tag sequence of “The Monkees Get Out More Dirt” is the same one he wore in Episode No. 20, “The Monkees In The Ring”, and No. 25, “Alias Micky Dolenz”, and will wear in No. 53, "The Monkees Race Again" (a.k.a. "Leave The Driving To Us").

“The Monkees Get Out More Dirt”'s second CBS Saturday rebroadcast, August 15, 1970, fell on the eve of Julie Newmar's 37th birthday.

Guest Cast Notes:

Julie Newmar (April Conquest) is best known for her portrayal of that feline-ious femme fatale, The Catwoman, on Batman (ABC, 1966-68), the first of three actresses to do so (the other two being ex-Miss America Lee Ann Meriwether [in the 1966 movie version] and singer Eartha Kitt [in the series’ third and final season]). She and Henry "Mr Babbitt" Corden previously appeared in the 1953 MGM musical The Band Wagon starring Fred Astaire; Corden played the unnamed theatre orchestra conductor, and Newmar is clearly seen in the big "Girl Hunt" ballet. Owen McGiveney (“I've Got A Little Song Here”) had an uncredited role in the musical as a Prop man. (Interestingly enough, The Monkees' first single, “Last Train To Clarksville” b/w “Take A Giant Step” [Colgems #66-1001], was issued on August 16, 1966 -- Julie Newmar's 33rd birthday!) 

The late Wally Cox, who cameos at the end of “The Monkees Get Out More Dirt”'s teaser sequence, participated in a great many projects of TV, including Robinson Peepers on Mr. Peepers (NBC, 1952-55), Hiram Holiday on The Adventures Of Hiram Holiday (NBC, 1956-57), the voice of Shoeshine Boy/Underdog on The Underdog Show (NBC/CBS, 1964-73), and a stint on the Heatter-Quigley tic-tac-toe game of the stars, The Hollywood Squares (NBC, 1966-80). A reference to Wally Cox is made in Episode No. 34, "The Picture Frame" (a.k.a. "The Bank Robbery"), and the group Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young first came together at Peter Tork's mansion in Hollywood which was previously owned by Cox. Cox would later appear in a November 25, 1967 episode of Get Smart (NBC/CBS, 1965-70), "Dr. Yes," with Monkee guest alum Andre Phillippe (“Your Friendly Neighborhood Kidnappers”). Cox's cameo in “The Monkees Get Out More Dirt” makes him the second regular from The Hollywood Squares to appear on The Monkees, following co-Squares regular Rose Marie's performances in Episode No. 7, “The Monkees In A Ghost Town”, and No. 27, “Monkee Mother”. And in December 1968, shortly after finishing production on the TV special 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee, The Monkees (sans Peter Tork) appeared as panelists (or a panelist, since they shared one desk!) on The Hollywood Squares.

The late Digby Wolfe (Man With Paper) was a Guest Panelist in two 1966 episodes of What's My Line? (CBS, 1950-67). Monkee references to What's My Line? can be found in Episode No. 23, “Captain Crocodile”, and the next, “The Monkees In Manhattan” (a.k.a “The Monkees Manhattan Style”). Wolfe later co-created Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In (NBC, 1968-73).

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