The Monkees First Season - Episode No. 6:


David's grandfather is coming to America for a visit, so the
boys conspire to make David appear rich and successful.

Technical & Telecast Info:

Production No.4710
Final Draft:June 2, 1966
(2nd) Final Draft:June 8, 1966.
Revised Final Draft:August 19, 1966.
Filmed At:Screen Gems Studios, Hollywood, CA, and on location at Los Angeles International Airport and at Malibu Beach, CA.
Filming Dates:August 29-30, 1966.
Background Cues Recorded:October 3, 1966 (from 2:00-7:00 pm)
Original Air Date:October 17, 1966.
Ratings:16.1 rating/28.1 share (8,840,000 viewers)
© Raybert Productions; 10-17-66; LP37611
Sponsor This Week:
Slicker and Black Label by Yardley Of London™
Rerun Dates:May 29, 1967 (NBC); October 29, 1969, June 13, 1970 (CBS); January 3 and August 25, 1973 (ABC).

Production Credits:

Written byGerald Gardner & Dee Caruso and Bernie Orenstein.
Directed byJames Frawley.
Produced byRobert Rafelson and Bert Schnieder.
Associate Producer:Ward Sylvester.
Music Supervision:Don Kirshner.
Background Music Composed and Conducted by Stu Phillips.
Musical numbers produced byTommy Boyce & Bobby Hart.
"I Want To Be Free" byTommy Boyce & Bobby Hart.
"Sweet Young Thing" byMichael Nesmith, Gerry Goffin & Carole King.
French Song” (1969–73 Repeats):Written by Bill Chadwick.
"Sweet Young Thing" (1969–73 Repeats):Written by Gerry Goffin, Carole King & Mike Nesmith.
Music Assistant (1969–73 Repeats):Brendan Cahill.
Guest cast:

Grandfather........................................... Ben Wright
Messenger.............................................. Ray Ballard
Old Woman............................................. Ceil Cabot
Rolls Owner............................................ Donald Foster
Ice Cream Man...................................... Charles Callas

Releases On Home Video:

  • The Monkees TV Show 2 (VAP Video VHS Tape VPVU-63086 [Japan], October 5, 1992)
  • The Monkees - Special TV Collection - Disc 2 - Side 1 (VAP Video VPLU-70215 [Japan], December 1, 1992)
  • The Monkees: The Collector's Edition - VHS Tape #6 (Columbia House #13226, May 22, 1995)
  • The Monkees Deluxe Limited Edition Boxed Set - VHS Tape #4 (Rhino R3 2960, October 17, 1995)
  • The Monkees - Volume 5 (Rhino VHS R3 2239, June 18, 1996)
  • The Monkees - Season 1 DVD Boxed Set - Disc 1 (Rhino RetroVision DVD R2 976076, May 13, 2003)
  • The Monkees - Season 1 DVD Boxed Set - Disc 1 (Eagle Rock Entertainment DVD EM351359, September 27, 2011)
  • The Monkees - The Complete Series - Blu-Ray Disc 1 (Rhino BD2-552705, July 8, 2016)


While Micky, David and Peter are playing cards with Mr. Schneider, a messenger arrives at their pad about a letter for David. When the messenger demands $1.80 for his services, Michael quickly instructs him over to Mr. Schneider, their pet dummy whom he dubs as their advisor, since “he’s the only one working”. After David reads the letter, his mates express surprise when he tells them he's afraid to meet his grandfather who is arriving from England to visit that night, which should be good news. The reason becomes clear when David informs them he wrote his grandfather lying about being a success in America; even worse, being his legal guardian, he can force him to return to England should he learn the truth...and cause David to leave The Monkees, reducing the group to a trio! That’s not their only problem when the guys look on as the messenger is arguing with Mr. Schneider over his pay! The guys must thus scramble to make David masquerade as a rich celebrity before his grandfather arrives. Micky dupes a wealthy old man into taking his Rolls Royce telling him that the car needs service, and cons the messenger into switching outfits; Michael gets hired and then fired as a chef at an Italian restaurant leaving with the chef’s uniform; and Peter greets an ice cream man, leaving with the shirt off his back (literally!).

With their newly acquired uniforms and accessories, Micky, Michael and Peter masquerade as David’s chauffer, chef and houseboy, respectively; at the airport, they meet his grandfather outside where Michael and Peter take turns disguising themselves as a fan asking for an autograph and a photographer taking pictures. A middle-aged lady observes and, convinced David is a celebrity approaches for her autograph. However, David thinks it's Michael in disguise until he arrives in goofball gear, which frightens David into splitting the scene! Back at the pad, Grandfather digs into a spaghetti supper, while David is stuck with a rubber meal, as the boys could afford only one serving. After dinner, David mentions he’s so hungry he could eat a horse and almost literally gets his wish! Grandfather is impressed by David's affluence and it seems like the guys pulled it off...until a neighbor barges in to borrow some food. She takes a look in their refrigerator and comments, "Your refrigerator is barer than mine!" Just then, the ice cream vendor, the messenger, the prorietor of the Italian Restaurant and the owner of the Rolls Royce arrive to reclaim their property, and soon all heck breaks loose in the apartment! David's grandfather asks for order than asks his grandson to explain everything. To make matters worse, the lights go out in the apartment for non-payment of their electric bill! David has no choice but to admit that he's not the success his grandfather thinks he is. Deploring the gross deception, Grandfather angrily demands that David must return to England with him.

Before the Joneses leave for the airport, Michael tries to reassure Grandfather that David posed as a success only to make him proud, but he tells Michael that David is wasting his life, and needs to be where he'll have some guidance. Michael is not convinced that the granddad is acting in David's best interest, but he can't change the old man's mind. Meanwhile a crushed, crestfallen David takes a final stroll along the beach reminiscing the good times with his mates, over the tune of "I Wanna Be Free". Back at the pad, David, all dressed up and packed, gives a sad farewell to his mates before leaving the country with his grandpa. At the airport, David, lamenting being separated from his mates, tells his grandfather he’ll meet him on the plane and goes in alone; meanwhile, there is not a dry eye amongst the remaining trio at the pad as they soon start bawling over David's departure. They come up with an idea to make David miss his flight and, with less than an hour to spare, leave for the airport too. There, the guys are all disguised as airline personnel with Peter as an passage handler, and Micky, a ticket clerk dubbing a English accent, as the three do everything possible to stop Grandfather from reaching the plane on time, resulting with Michael driving the grandfather all around the airport in a freeway as a now-winged Peter and Micky are in pursuit causing a whole lot of chaos in their wake!

Grandfather catches up with David and, seeing through Micky, Michael and Peter's disguises, he reasons that his friends must be special if they were willing to go through all of that to keep him there, in addition to setting the aircraft industry back a generation! He tells them he's happy David has such loyal friends, and, feeling he can leave him safely in their hands, allows him to stay in the United States. But he doesn’t leave alone since he’s soon accompanied by the same middle-age lady who asked David for an autograph on the plane. Some time later, as the happily-still intact Monkees, seated on a park bench, note the successful return of David's grandfather to England, Micky mentions instead of doing all those things to impress David's grandfather they should have just played for him and with that they're all soon romping around with a crowd of elderly people to the song “Sweet Young Thing.”

Tag Sequence:

David Jones is interviewed about his first trip back to England since the series' debut.

Production Notes:

Gerald Gardner, Dee Caruso and Bernie Orenstein's Revised Final Draft script for "The Success Story" was compleeted three days after the release of The Monkees' first single, “Last Train To Clarksville” b/w “Take A Giant Step” (Colgems #66-1001). In the original script, The Ice Cream Man was originally Sam The Hot Dog Man. 

"The Success Story" started production on the day which was to see The Beatles' last live concert performance: a 33-minute set at San Francisco's Candlestick Park. On the day before, The Monkees were in attendance of The Fab Four's next-to-last concert at The Dodger Stadium in their home base, Los Angeles, in order to get a feel of what their own concerts would be like. 

The Monkees took time off from filming to commence on a 2-week promotion for their TV series right after finishing "The Success Story".

Writers Gardner, Caruso and Orenstein and director Frawley return to craft Episode No. 11, "The Monkees A La Carte."

The writing and directing credits appear at the very beginning of this segment's teaser, making it one of 2 episodes of The Monkees to lack a sub-main title sequence; the other is No. 32, “The Monkees On Tour”, the first-season finale. 

The May 29, 1967 repeat of "The Success Story" saw "Shades Of Grey" replacing "I Wanna Be Free" and CBS and ABC Saturday Afternoon repeats of the episode saw Bill Chadwick's "French Song", in turn, replacing "Shades Of Grey." The redubbed summer 1967 rerun was released in Japan on VHS and lasersisc in 1992; Rhino has since restored the original firstrun edition of "The Success Story" with its original soundtrack, while the syndicated version still airs the summer 1967 repeat of the episode.

At the end of the the one-minute short interview, Micky turns to the camera and says, "Tune in next week, ladies and gentlemen, when we're another minute short--!". Ironically, in the next episode, “The Monkees In A Ghost Town”, they were!

The Monkees finished its 6-year run on network television with a repeat of "The Success Story" on ABC Saturday Afternoon August 25, 1973. 2 years later, The Monkees television show's 58 half-hour episodes were packaged by Columbia Pictures Television, and premiered in local syndication during the week of Monday, September 8, 1975; the first 7 independent TV stations to have the honour of carrying the series locally were KBHK-TV in San Francisco (now KBCW-TV), WFLD-TV in Chicago (now FOX 32), WKBS-TV in Philadelphia (now defunct, as of Monday, August 29, 1983), WKBD-TV in Detroit (now The CW50), WLVI-TV in Boston (now The CW56), KDNL-TV in St. Louis (now ABC30), and WDCA-TV (now FOX5 Plus) in Washington D.C. (Peter Tork's hometown!!). For 9 years the show played on and off these and other local markets until the group's 20th Anniversary in 1986 put them over worldwide. 

The closing romp intersperses clips of The Monkees on the same stage from which they shot the videos to "Last Train To Clarksville" (used in both “Monkee See, Monkee Die” and “Monkee Versus Machine”) and the TV Theme used in the first season's intros. "Sweet Young Thing" was the final song whose video used that particular stage.

During the dinner scene, when David says, "I'm so hungry, I could eat a horse!," Michael replies "Well, why didn't you say so?!," and a clip from Episode No. 8, “Don't Look A Gift Horse In The Mouth”, wherein Micky, Michael and Peter try to tug Jeremy the black stallion, is seen.

In the kitchen of the Italian Restaurant, Michael is seen covered in spaghetti. This clip, of course is from Episode No. 11, “The Monkees A La Carte.” A brief Italian musical cue heard during this sordid scene was reused twice: in the final seconds of the teaser sequence of Episode No. 37, "Art For Monkee's Sake", and in the scene where Micky himself gets deluged with spaghetti in Episode No. 51, "The Monkee's Paw"

Continuity Goofs:

“The Success Story” is yet another unsung episode of The Monkees TV series to miscredit a Monkees song in the end titles: here, "I Wanna Be Free" was billed as "I Want To Be Free." A correction was finally made, in the end titles of Episode No. 10, “Here Come The Monkees,” the second episode of The Monkees to feature the Boyce-Hart tune (in 2 different versions, yet!). The song itself appears here in an alternate version, with no zither section.

In the scene where the owners of the uniforms and the Rolls Royce arrive to reclaim their property from Micky, Michael and Peter, the Ice Cream Man (Charles Callas) barges in and demands his jacket back from Peter, despite his already wearing another jacket!

David's grandfather leaves Micky's counter with an armfull of clothes; in the next shot he is running away and the clothes are nowhere to be seen! 

The horse scene is reversed (the sign print is backwards). 

Mr. Schneider misquotes George Bernard Shaw. 

Trivia Notes:

This is the first time David Jones flaunts his new Prince Valiant-esque hairdo throughout the entire length of a Monkees episode. David would also masquerade as a millionaire (along with his mates) in Episode No. 30, “The Monkees In Manhattan” (a.k.a “The Monkees Manhattan Style”); Michael Nesmith would pose as one to fool The Great Oracullo (Monte Landis) in No. 57, "The Monkees Blow Their Minds"; Micky, David and Michael would disguise themselves to make Peter appear rich in No. 13, “One Man Shy” (a.k.a. "Peter And The Debutante")

Also in the teaser, you may recognize those gnarly beach threads The Monkees are guessed it! The boys donned this beach gear in Episode No. 31, "The Monkees At The Movies," which, naturally, was shot prior to "The Success Story."

A couple of brief snippets from the original unaired pilot of “Here Come The Monkees,” those which feature David sitting by the beach and Peter wearing a black wet-suit carrying his surfboard onto the beach, and a wide-angle shot of the “The Kind Of Girl I Could Love” discotheque sequence from the previous episode, “The Spy Who Came In From The Cool” (onto which its submain credit titles were superimposed), are adapted into “The Success Story”.

David's grandfather is given mention in Episode No. 53, "The Monkees Race Again" (a.k.a. "Leave The Driving To Us").

The dummy Mr. Schneider, with Micky's pull of the string on his chest, utters his first words of dialogue on The Monkees' TV series in this episode (courtesy of director Jim Frawley): "It's a shame to waste youth on children." It is a misquote of George Bernard Shaw: "Youth is a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children." Listen for Schneider to speak in Episode No. 9, “The Chaperone”, No. 26, “Monkee Chow Mein”, and No. 38, "I Was A 99-lb. Weakling"

Another episode of The Monkees to feature fictional Monkee relatives is No. 45, "The Monkees In Texas".

David Pearl appears as an Old Man in a wheelchair.

Guest Cast Notes:

The late Donald Foster (seen here as The Rolls Owner) portrayed Herbert Johnson on Hazel (NBC/CBS, 1961-66); he makes 2 other appearances on The Monkees: as the walking cane-breaking Courier in Episode No. 21, "The Prince And The Paupers," and as Mr. Thomas, the VP of The Ninth National Bank in Episode No. 34, "The Picture Frame."

The late Ben Wright (Grandfather) voiced several Disney movie characters, including Roger Radcliffe in 101 Dalmatians (Buena Vista, 1961), a Wolf in The Jungle Book (Buena Vista, 1967), and Grimsby in The Little Mermaid (Buena Vista, 1989). Wright was best known for playing many supporting and leading roles in radio, including Sherlock Holmes from Sept. 1949 to June 1960, and Tulku, faithful Tibetan aide to The Green Llama in summer 1949. Wright was also notable for a great many guest shots in both the 1958-60 CBS Radio and 1957-63 CBS-TV versions of the Western Have Gun Will Travel, and fans of Hogan's Heroes (CBS, 1965-71) will remember him as Major Feldcamp in the episodes "The Kommandant Dies At Dawn" (#5784-127, 10/31/69) and "The Big Gamble" (#5784-129, 11/21/69).

Ceil Cabot (seen here as The Old Woman) was previously seen as The Chambermaid in the premiere episode, "The Royal Flush." She even shared a birthday with Micky Dolenz: March 8, one of 3 guest actors of The Monkees to do so, besides Booth Coleman (“The Spy Who Came In From The Cool”) and Mickey Morton ("A Coffin Too Frequent").

Most commonly known for his work with Mel Brooks, Jerry Lewis, and Dean Martin, and his many stand-up appearances on television talk shows in the 1970s, Charles Callas (Ice Cream Man) was also known for his role as Malcolm Argos, the restaurant owner and former con man, on the Eddie Albert and Robert Wagner television series Switch (CBS, 1975–78). Callas was also known as the voice of Elliott the Dragon in Disney's live-action/animated musical film Pete's Dragon (Buena Vista, 1977).

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