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10 Things You May Not Have Known About The First 10 Episodes Of "The Monkees"

50 years ago this month, producers Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider placed a classified ad in The Hollywood Reporter seeking "4 insane boys," a move which - just over a year later, on September 12, 1966 - led to The Monkees making its debut on NBC. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of that ad, Rhino issued the announcement that they'll be releasing the series on Blu-ray on January 29, 2016. (You can pre-order it here.) As an additional method of celebration, we've compiled 10 things you may not have known about the first 10 small-screen adventures of Davy, Peter, Micky, and Mike.

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1. "Royal Flush" (9/12/66)

Actress Ceil Cabot – whose character served as chambermaid to Princess Bettina (Katherine Walsh), Davy's first-ever crush of the series – had the distinction of appearing in the first episodes of two different series revolving around pop groups: she can also been spotted in the debut installment of The Partridge Family.

2. "Monkee See, Monkee Die" (9/19/66)

Via blogger.com

The Monkeemobile - a redesigned 1966 Pontiac GTO convertible - made its debut in this episode, provided by General Motors under the agreement that the words "Pontiac" or "GTO" would still appear on the vehicle post-redesign. As it happens, this episode also marked the first appearance of the Monkees' landlord, Babbit, played by Henry Corden, a.k.a. the voice of Fred Flintstone.

3. "Monkee vs. Machine" (9/26/66)

Via i2.cdn.turner.com

When the Monkees do battle against a toy factory that starts moving toward a computerized manufacturing method instead of producing their classic handmade playthings, their nemesis - an efficiency expert named Daggart - is played by famed satirist Stan Freberg, the man behind such classics as "John and Marsha" and "St. George and the Dragonet."

4. "Your Friendly Neighborhood Kidnappers" (10/3/66)

Via jacksonfineart.com

Given John Lennon's famous declaration that The Monkees were “the funniest comedy team since the Marx brothers,” it's notable that this episode featured the first occasion of one of the boys - Micky - doing a Groucho impression.

5. "The Spy Who Came in from the Cool" (10/10/66)

Although the script of this spy-parody episode wasn't attributed to Nostradamus, there's an interesting bit of foretelling at one point: when the boys are endangered and the head of the Central Intelligence Service - and, yes, you read that right - says he can save three of the four boys, Peter loses out, leading Mike to say, "Well, I guess we're just gonna have to form a trio; we're gonna miss you, ol' buddy." It was funny then, but it wasn't as funny when Instant Replay came out.

6. "Success Story" (10/17/66)

Via monkees.coolcherrycream.com

Talk about a success story: Ben Wright, the actor who played Davy's grandfather in this episode, spent several years on radio portraying Sherlock Holmes, played Zeller the Nazi in The Sound of Music, narrated Elizabeth Taylor's Cleopatra, and was a Disney voice actor of some note, playing Roger the dog-owning songwriter in 101 Dalmatians, Mowgli's wolf father in The Jungle Book, and - in his final performance - Grimsby in The Little Mermaid.

7. "Monkees in a Ghost Town" (10/24/66)

While fans of The Dick Van Dyke Show will certainly spot guest star Rose Marie, who plays The Big Man (don't ask), less instantly recognizable - particularly to those who really only know him for the work he did while wearing makeup - is the actor playing The Big Man's right-hand man, Lenny: Lon Chaney, Jr., a.k.a. the star of The Wolfman.

8. "Don't Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth" (10/31/66)

Via monkees.coolcherrycream.com

Beyond the fact that this episode was the only time that Davy Jones had a chance to exercise some of the skills he'd accumulated during his teens while he was training to be a jockey, also noteworthy is the big-eyed, mustachioed actor who played Dr. Mann, the veterinarian: Jerry Colonna, who served as Bob Hope's sidekick for an extended period of time, was a staple of radio and television throughout the 1940s and 1950s, and - in the role for which today's audiences would most likely recognize him - provided the voice of the March Hare in Disney's 1951 animated version of Alice in Wonderland.

9. "The Chaperone" (11/7/66)

Via blogger.com

Leslie, Davy's designated crush of the week, is played by Sherry Alberoni, who at the time was best known for having been one of the original Mouseketeers but later went on to provide voices to a couple of classic '70s cartoon characters: the despicable Alexandra Cabot on Josie and the Pussycats, and Wendy, who - along with Marvin and Wonder Dog - served as a junior crime fighter on the first season of Super Friends.

10. "Here Come the Monkees (Pilot)" (11/14/66)

Via torinofilmfest.org

Yes, it's notable that it took until the 10th episode of the series for the pilot episode - the episode that got the series picked up in the first place - to make it to air (although you'd be surprised how often that sort of thing happens), but what's even more notable is that the episode was co-written by Paul Mazursky and Larry Tucker, who in a mere three years would be nominated for an Oscar for their script for Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice.

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