The Monkees First Season - Episode No. 19:

(a.k.a. “THE AUDITION”)

A TV producer searches for The Monkees, who haven't been
invited to audition, unaware that they can't get to see him.

Technical & Telecast Info:

Production No. 4721
Revised Final Draft: September 8, 1966
Second Revised Final Draft: September 21, 1966
Filmed At: Screen Gems Studios 2 and 7, Hollywood, CA, and on location in Los Angeles.
Filming Dates: September 23, 26 (8:00 am) -27, 1966
Original Air Date: January 23, 1967
Ratings: 19.2 rating/30 share (10,540,000 viewers)
© Raybert Productions; 1-23-67; LP37670
Sponsor This Week:
Slicker and English Eyes by Yardley Of London™
Rerun Dates: February 28, March 28 and August 22, 1970, December 11, 1971 (CBS); December 9, 1972, July 14, 1973 (ABC)

Production Credits:

Written by Dave Evans
Directed by Richard Nunis
Produced by Robert Rafelson and Bert Schneider
Associate Producer: Ward Sylvester
Music Supervision: Don Kirshner
Background Music Composed and Conducted byStu Phillips.
“Papa Jean’s Blues” & “Mary, Mary”: Written by Michael Nesmith
“Sweet Young Thing”:
Written by Michael Nesmith, Gerry Goffin & Carole King; Produced by Michael Nesmith
Guest cast:

Masseur.................................................... Joe Higgins
Inspector.................................................. Art Lewis
Bobo Lewis as Miss Chomsky
Carl Ballantine as Bensen

Original Commercials This Week:

  • Slicker by Yardley (:30)
  • Oh de London by Yardley (:30)
  • Kelloggs Corn Flakes with Cowboy and Son (1:00)
  • English Eyes by Yardley (1:00)

Releases On Home Video:

  • The Monkees TV Show 4 (VAP Video VHS Tape VPVU-63088 [Japan], October 5, 1992)
  • The Monkees - Special TV Collection - Disc 4 - Side 1 (VAP Video VPLU-70215 [Japan], December 1, 1992)
  • 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)


Micky is awakened from his nap on his hammock in The Monkees' pad by four alien-looking men giving him a scare thinking they are Martians.  They are actually The Four Martians, a local rock n’ roll group who come by ask for a B guitar string since they received an invitation to audition from Hubbell Benson, a TV producer who’s auditioning rock n’roll bands to sing on his new TV show.  After they leave, the guys go through the mail hoping to find an invitation as well, but discover that it’s all bills.  Then The Foreign Agents, another local group, arrive to tell the guys about their also receiving an invitation, leaving the guys more upset at not being invited themselves.  Lastly, another band, The Jolly Green Giants arrive with a “Yo ho ho”  to tell the guys they received in the mail an autograph picture of Annette Funicello, which raises the guys’ spirits a little---but they learn they also received an invitation from Mr. Benson which depresses them even more.

Later that day, the guys literally take their disappointment of not getting an invitation lying down. David suggests they send Hubbell Benson a recording of them singing from a tape recorder they had rented, but Micky informs them that he left the tape in the recorder when they returned it.  Meanwhile, in the studios at the local station KNBC-TV Channel 4, producer Hubbell Benson is getting a massage on a bed while talking on the phone attached to it and seconds later after pressing a button, the bed is rolling with him still on it into his office where he contacts his secretary, Irene Chomsky on phone asking for his Dictaphone but she informs him it’s broken.  Soon he rolls into the lobby where Miss Chomsky tells him that she rented him a tape recorder while his Dictaphone is being prepared.  When she plays the tape, they hear a recording of The Monkees singing the song “Mary, Mary,” and once Benson hears it, wants to hire them to star in his new TV show, but doesn’t know who or where they are! Meanwhile, the guys arrive at the studios to see Mr. Benson uninvited (it’s the only way they can think of to get to see Mr. Benson), but Peter suddenly comes down with the hiccups (he always gets them when performing for a big producer!).  David tries to cure him by telling him to imagine himself on the high seas heading for Madagascar, but Peter’s face turns green from being seasick. Then Micky attempts to cure him by telling him to imagine himself a thousand miles away in the spring in a field of new-mown hay, but Peter’s face turns yellow from hay fever!

Back at the office, after no success from Miss Chomsky on finding out about the band on the recording, Mr. Benson decides to find them himself (“When I want an idiot to do a job, I’ll do it myself…idiot!”) as he rises out of the bed and leaves the office in his red polka-dotted underwear!  While Peter is now hopping up and down on one foot while counting to cure his hiccups, Mr. Benson passes them as he leaves the building.  Soon Miss Chomsky chases after him with his pants and when the guys hear her call him by his name, they realize he’s the man they’re looking for and Peter’s hiccups suddenly stop just before they dash off after him too.  Mr. Benson, with one coat sleeve torn out from shaking off The Monkees mistaking them for autograph hounds, arrives at The Bureau of Missing Persons hoping the find the group but he’s greeted by a absent-minded guy who fumbles through the office for a missing pencil.  Meanwhile, The Monkees, carrying Benson’s torn out coat sleeve, decide to go right up to Benson's office and just see him, and arrive back at the studios.  They confront Miss Chomsky at the desk claiming they know Mr. Benson personally, but Peter gets a hiccup relapse, and they all leave the office.  Back outside, this time, the others' attempt to cure Peter's hiccups by scaring him with scary monster masks and a dinosaur only results in making him worse than before! Only a luscious female passerby is able to cease Peter's hiccups once and for all---and starts Micky, Michael and David to hiccupping.

Meanhwile, there's still no success on finding the mystery band so Mr. Benson, seeing his search as a great publicity gimmick, comes up with an idea to tell his story to news reporters. The Monkees now carrying their instruments are heading back to the station when Michael decides to audition for Mr. Benson by phone, and they head for a phone booth where they perform the song “Sweet Young Thing,” only to have the wrong number. David dials up Mr. Benson who is still talking to the reporters when Miss Chomsky tells him of a Mr. Jones wanting to speak to him. He wrongly assumes it’s a Byron Jones from the New York office and puts the phone hook on the desk placing a cloth over it while he continues with the reporters. Soon The Monkees are performing again while a group of impatient people are in line wanting in the wings to use the phone booth, including Daily Planet reporter Clark Kent! The guys are then interrupted by the operator who tells them they have to deposit $.10 for 3 more minutes and David gets a dime that’s taped to Peter’s boot and puts it in but isn’t able to reach him so they give up.  After they leave, Clark Kent gets stuck in the phone booth and reemerges as Superman! The next morning at The Monkees’ beach pad, the guys are in their pajamas as Michael and Micky play 21 with Mr. Schneider, their pet dummy while David plays the guitar and Peter reads the funnies and the editorial section of the morning paper.  Suddenly David finds a section in the newspaper about Mr. Benson’s search for the mystery band.  Unaware that they’re the band he’s looking for, they come up with the idea to pretend to be that band and all head out the door still in their PJs, and to the tune of “Papa Jean’s Blues”, The Monkees disguise themselves as a Salvation Army band, country singers, a marching band and gypsy singers as they pop up wherever Benson goes hounding him with gypsy, hillbilly, parade and calypso numbers, but they are avoided at every turn.

Back at the office, Benson, tired of looking for the mystery group, gives up and decides to audition the groups to whom they sent invitations: The Martians, The Agents, and The Giants (“Maybe they’re something! Baby!”). They arrive, and Benson sends in the Jolly Green Giants first and as Miss Chomsky turns on the tape, once again it plays The Monkees singing. The Jolly Green Giants tell Mr. Benson who they are and where they live and Benson, Chomsky, and all three bands head for The Monkees pad. There, The Monkees are rehearsing when they hear music playing outside and soon Mr. Benson storms in their pad along with The Jolly Green Giants, The Foreign Agents, The Four Martians and Miss Chomsky and insists on them to play for him. So impressed is Benson by the boys’ impromptu rendition of “Sweet Young Thing,” he tells them of his plans to use them for a theme song for his new show and asks Miss Chomsky how it goes, but when she sings to the tune he’s so taken by her talent that decides to star her instead, and they leave the pad together to the disappointment of all the bands.

During a quiet drive in their Monkeemobile, the boys try to hide their disappointment, but Peter expresses his depression over losing the job was so great he wanted to chuck show biz for The South Seas before realizing it was only a $100 per week job.  However, when Mike tells him that TV stars make about $5,000 a week, Peter suddenly disappears!  The Monkees then head for The Bureau of Missing Persons to find him convinced he’s probably still heading for The South Seas and the absent-minded man at the desk starts fumbling through papers for his missing pencil once again as the guys start fumbling around the office too, flooding the office with papers and manila folders.

Tag Sequence:

The Monkees discuss the clashes of youth demonstrators with the LAPD over curfew issues outside a popular teenage nightspot, Pandora’s Box, inciting a riot that led to its ultimate annihilation - a catastrophic event which would become the cryptic inspiration for the Michael Nesmith tune "Daily Nightly."

Production Notes:

The onscreen credits of "Find The Monkees!" (a.k.a. "The Audition") list Dave Evans as its author - but its entry in The Monkees' original Screen Gems Storylines lists Gerald Gardner and Dee Caruso in Evans' stead! The original script, however, credits all 3 writers.

In the end credits song listing for "Find The Monkees," “Papa Gene's Blues” is misspelled as "Jean's"--which reflects one of two covers of The Monkees' first album with a misspelling of “Papa Gene's Blues” as "Jean's" on the label and cover, and the corrected copy, which featured an RE suffix after the record # on the back cover. The album featuring the misspelling proves to be the most rare among collectors.

This episode's interview segment was filmed in the same locker room which would be used as a set for the very next episode, “The Monkees In The Ring”!

An alternate print of this episode featured The Monkees’ singing “I’m A Believer” (from Episode No. 15, “Too Many Girls” [a.k.a. "Davy And Fern"]) in the place of The Monkees’ interview segment.

Sadly, "Find The Monkees!" (a.k.a. "The Audition") was the last directorial duty of TV director Richard Nunis, who succumbed to cancer at age 39 on November 12, 1966, a scant month after its compleetion. 

A scene with The Monkees standing in front of the sign of the station KNBC-TV Channel 4—the Burbank NBC-TV flagship—had been cut by MTV to accommodate tight airtime space; until the October 1995 release of the Rhino Monkees Deluxe Limited Edition Box Set (R3 2960), it hasn’t appeared with this scene intact since.

Trivia Footote: The number "4" seen on the wall in The Monkees' pad could be in reference to the dial position of KNBC-TV, Los Angeles, and, to an extent, NBC's East Coast flagship, WNBC-TV, New York.

Snippets of 2 Monkees in monster masks and Monkeeman capes are borrowed from the “Tomorrow's Gonna Be Another Day” romp seen in Episode No. 2, “Monkee See, Monkee Die”; they appear in the scene where Micky, Michael and David attempt to scare Peter out of his hiccups.

A current syndicated print of “Find The Monkees!” (a.k.a. “The Audition”) deletes the sub-main title credits (writer and director) and closing interview segment for commercial time. 

The “Papa Gene's Blues” romp finds The Monkees in country/farmhand gear for the second time on the show, following Episode No. 8, “Don't Look A Gift Horse In The Mouth”. In No. 39, "Hillbilly Honeymoon" (a.k.a. "Double Barrell Shotgun Wedding"), Michael and Micky don similar farmhand garb in their guises as pseudohillbilly cousins Roland and Clem. 

As The Monkees peruse the KNBC-TV building directory to locate Benson's office, several names listed look familiar: the late director Richard Nunis, Monkees prop man Jack Williams, key Monkees director James Frawley, and special effects man Chuck Gaspar, who also concocted several special effects for the 1968 Columbia Picture HEAD, which starred The Monkees.

The matching striped jackets with straw hats and Polynesian outfits The Monkees are seen wearing in the “Papa Gene's Blues” musical sequence is reused from the the “I’ll Be Back Up On My Feet” musical number in Episode No. 14, “Dance, Monkee, Dance”.

Color stills from this episode can be found in the 2006 Deluxe Edition of More Of The Monkees (R2 77744).

In the original script for “Find The Monkees!” (a.k.a. “The Audition”), The Foreign Agents were known as The Double-O-Sevens, an atypical Monkee homage to James Bond.

Trivia Notes:

The Jolly Green Giants make a reference to former Mouseketeer Annette Funicello when they report to The Monkees that, along with an invitation for Hubbell Benson, they recieved her autographed picture in the mail. Funicello, of course, starred with The Monkees in their 1968 Columbia Picture HEAD, as Minnie.

While reading the morning paper, Peter Tork makes reference to the famous strips Li'l Abner and Peanuts. The Monkees make references to Peanuts in the previous segment, “I Was A Teenage Monster”, and in Episode No. 53, "The Monkees Race Again" (a.k.a. "Leave The Driving To Us").

The musical question, "Do you know Melancholy Baby?," first rendered in this episode, is repeated towards the end of Episode No. 52, "The Devil And Peter Tork" (by Judge Roy Bean [Billy Beck]). It's in reference to the tune My Melancholy Baby, composed by George A. Norton (lyrics) and Ernie Burnett (music) and originally made famous by Walter Van Brunt.

The telephone booth The Monkees use in this episode to phone their audition to Hubbell Benson reappears in Episode No. 58, "Mijacogeo" (a.k.a. "The Frodis Caper"). In No. 26, “Monkee Chow Mein”, a different booth, with all its bottom windows painted white to conceal Michael and David's transformation into Monkeemen, was used, and in an earlier segment, No. 12, “I've Got A Little Song Here”, a black booth appears, which Michael uses to phone family and friends.

In this episode, for the second of four occasions on The Monkees TV series is Micky Dolenz seen behind the wheel of The Monkeemobile, following Episode No. 17, “The Case Of The Missing Monkee”, and preceding No. 25, “Alias Micky Dolenz” and No. 33, "It's A Nice Place To Visit..."; Peter Tork and David Jones took their onetime spins of the Pontiac GTO in Episode No. 12, “I've Got A Little Song Here”, and No. 53, "The Monkees Race Again" (a.k.a. "And Leave The Driving To Us"), respectively. In every other one of her appearances on the TV series, The Monkeemobile was driven by (symbolically) Michael Nesmith.

The presence of the group The Jolly Green Giants in this episode is one of 2 references made on The Monkees to the famed advertising mascot for Green Giant Vegetables, created in 1928 by Minnesota Valley Canning Co. A second can be found in the closing scene from Episode No. 36, "Monkee Mayor", when a wrecking ball crashes through the roof of The Monkees' pad; Micky Dolenz declares it "a watchfob for The Jolly Green Giant!" Interestingly, 2 years before this episode's telecast, The Kingsmen scored a hit single with a Dewey Terry/Don "Sugarcane" Harris/Lynn Easton-written tune entitled, oddly, "The Jolly Green Giant", which peaked at #4 on Billboard and #8 on Cashbox

The brief presence of Superman in “Find The Monkees!” (a.k.a. “The Audition”) marks the second comic superhero reference made on The Monkees TV series in 2 weeks; Peter Tork previously took a swipe at SHAZAM! in Episode No. 17, “The Case Of The Missing Monkee”.

Monkee stand-ins John London, David Pearl, Richard Klein and David Price portray The Four Martians.

The newspaper from which the band reads the headline "TV EXCEC HUNTS MYSTERY GROUP" (and its corresponding article thereon) is The Daily Chronicle. The Chronicle surfaces again 2 episodes later, in No. 21, “The Prince And The Paupers”, in which it sees the caption "PRINCE LUDLOW HONEYMOONS IN GREECE."

The Monkees wear the exact same regular clothing in the teaser, the beginning of Act II and at the end of Act III of “Find The Monkees!” (a.k.a. “The Audition”).

Featured here was the longest epilogue tag interview on The Monkees television series between Bob Rafelson and the group; most interview tags lasted one minute (hence the frequent interjection, "We're a minute short!"), but this particular tag lasts nearly 3 minutes!

David takes a mercury dime off of Peter's boot at the phone booth.

Peter declares he wants to go to The South Seas at episode's end, precluding events in Episode No. 44, "Hitting The High Seas"

Benson makes an unwitting reference to this episode's title when, after one of The Jolly Green Giant ID's The Monkees, calls for Chomsky to "Catch the phonebook! We're off to the beach to find The Monkees!" 2 episodes later, in No. 21, “The Prince And The Paupers”, David makes another subliminal episode title mention when he, after spotting his doppleganger Prince Ludlow, says, "This is just like The Prince And The Pauper!" It is in the beginning of the interview segment of Episode No. 25, “Alias Micky Dolenz”, where David Jones makes the only direct on-air mention of a Monkees episode title. 

During the romp to “Papa Jean’s Blues”, in the scene when The Monkees are pestering Hubbell Benson on bicycles with sidecars, take notice of four 'director's chairs' with the Monkees' names on them on the sidewalk behind them.

“Find The Monkees!” (a.k.a. “The Audition”) is one of 4 episodes of The Monkees in which its entire soundtrack contains songs written and produced by Michael Nesmith. Others are No. 8, “Don't Look A Gift Horse In The Mouth”, No. 25, “Alias Micky Dolenz”, and No. 39, "Hillbilly Honeymoon" (a.k.a. "Double Barrel Shotgun Wedding").

Guest Cast Notes:

Art Lewis (Inspector)'s next showing on The Monkees is that of a Lawyer in Episode No. 34, "The Picture Frame" (a.k.a. "The Bank Robbery"). He appeared with Monkee guest alum Don Penny (“The Spy Who Came In From The Cool” ) in a January 26, 1967 episode of Bewitched (ABC, 1964-72), "The Corn Is As High As A Guernsey's Eye" (which, ironically, aired in the same week as “Find The Monkees!”!), and later appeared with Kelly Jean Peters (“Too Many Girls” [a.k.a. "Davy And Fern"]) in the September 17, 1974 NBC-TV movie Terror On The 40th Floor, aka The Blazing Tower.

The late actor-magician Carl Ballentine (Hubbell Benson) portrayed Lester Gruber on McHale's Navy (ABC, 1962-66). At the same time, Ballentine also happened to be married to Monkees guest actress Ceil Cabot (“The Royal Flush”, “The Success Story”). Ballentine passed away November 3, 2009 at age 92. 

The late Bobo Lewis (Chomsky) was a NY stage character actress who performed with The Circle Repertory Company for 25 years; she also portrayed Midge Smoot on Shining Time Station (PBS, 1990-93). Lewis also appeared with Monkee guest actor Cliff Norton ("The Picture Frame" [a.k.a. "The Bank Robbery"]) in a January 16, 1969 episode of Bewitched (ABC, 1964-72), "Cousin Serena Strikes Again (Part Two)."

Bill Calloway, an unsuccessful auditioner for The Monkees TV series in 1965, happily shows up on the TV series anyway in a guest shot as the frontman for The Foreign Agents group. He was later recruited by Hanna-Barbera Productions, where he provided the voice of Country on Cattanooga Cats (ABC, 1969-71), Square Bear on Help!... It's the Hair Bear Bunch! (CBS, 1971-73) and Clumsy on Smurfs (NBC, 1981-90).

Character actor Clark Ross has an uncredited role as the Clark Kent-esque Man Outside Phonebooth during the scene of The Monkees' telephoned audition, who subsequently changes into the capeless Man Of Steel. Originally a 1930s radio singer in his native New York, Ross got the acting bug and moved to Tinseltown. During his extensive acting career, he guested in roles on numerous series of 1960s TV, including The Monkees' NBC Monday night neighbors I Spy (1965-68) and I Dream Of Jeannie (1965-70) and numerous episodes of Batman (ABC, 1966-68), including its same-named 1966 big-screen spin-off.

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