‘The Monkees’: Micky Dolenz Reflects on the ‘Charm’ of the Classic Show

by Taylor Cunningham

The Monkees only graced TV screens for a brief time, but actor and drummer Micky Dolenz says the story affected an entire generation.

The classic TV show aired from 1966 to 1968. In episodes, fans followed the misadventures of a band that was trying to raise to stardom, which never happened. However, the actors were actually the members of the real band by the same name, and they led a very different life.

In reality, The Monkees was a worldwide bubblegum pop sensation. The members, Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork, and Davy Jones, filled posters that decorated the rooms of millions of 1960s and 1970s teens. And their songs, such as Last Train to Clarksville and I’m a Believer, earned several Grammy nominations.

However, the series, which aired as part of the old-school Saturday morning lineup, began just as the band began. The Monkees officially formed just a few months prior to the television debut. So the singers and actors never knew how the story would turn out.

This week, Dolenz, one of the two band members who are still alive today, sat down with CBS Mornings’ Anthony Mason and reflected on the show’s lasting impression. Decades after its finale, people still talk to Dolenz about what it means to them. And he’s proud of the legacy.

“It’s quite amazing ’cause over the years, people come to me and, ‘you have no idea what the show meant.'” All those kids who are out there, in their basements and garages, and they were trying to be the Beatles,” she said. “The Monkees was a television show about a band, imaginary band, that wanted to be The Beatles. But we never made it on the television show. That, I think, had a lot to do with the charm of it.”

Filming ‘The Monkees’ Took Too Much Time Away From Dolenz’s Music Career

The Monkees proved its popularity during its run, too. In 1967, it won two Emmys, one for Outstanding Comedy Series and the other for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy. The following year, it won another nomination for the latter.

However, despite the fanbase, the series only lasted for two seasons. And Dolenz was fine with the early cancellation. While he loved doing the show and meeting “people along the way,” his true passion was music. And juggling an acting career with a singing career was too taxing.

“It was only a few years,” he once told Closer of the experience. “But between filming the television show 10 to 12 hours a day, then recording at night and rehearsing on weekends, it was very intense.”

“[But]… I’m very grateful,” Dolenz continued. “I’ve been blessed my whole life. I’m blessed with my children. I’m blessed with my marriages. And, of course, with getting cast on The Monkees.”