7 Things You Never Knew About The Monkees

Monkees Davy Jones, Mickey Dolenz, Peter Tork, Michael Nesmith, 1966-68
Everett Collection

It is rare that a fictional band on television actually becomes a real band in its own right. The Monkees began as a musical television series starring Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork and Davy Jones as members of the group, often called the “Prefab Four.” In honor of the grooviest band of the 1960s, let’s go over some interesting facts about The Monkees.

1Davy Jones and Michael Nesmith missed a few episodes of the show… for good reasons

The Monkees Mickey Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, Davy Jones, Peter Tork, 1966-68

Everett Collection

Peter Tork and Micky Dolenz are the only two to appear in every episode of the television show. Jones missed one episode to attend his sister’s wedding while Nesmith missed several due to a family trip, a tonsillectomy and the birth of his son Jonathan.

2Davy Jones dodged being drafted

In 1967, it came out that Davy Jones was being drafted by the Army after applying for an immigration visa to America (he is native to England). It was just after the first season of The Monkees and he reportedly fasted so he would fail the physical.

3Jack Nicholson wrote their movie ‘Head’

Head The Monkees-top: Mike Nesmith, center: Peter Tork, bottom: Davy Jones, 1968

Everett Collection

The Monkees’ very psychedelic and odd movie in 1968 was written by none other than actor Jack Nicholson. It was a flop at the box office and only made $16,000 despite the show’s fame. Nicholson later revealed that he wrote the screenplay while on acid… so that explains it.

4Two of the Monkees auditioned to play the Fonz on ‘Happy Days’

Happy Days Henry Winkler, 1974-1984

Everett Collection

Dolenz and Nesmith both threw their hats in the ring to play Fonzie on Happy Days. Dolenz was reportedly a frontrunner. Both Monkees members were deemed too tall and towered over the other cast members, so Henry Winkler was cast not only for his height but his talent. He is only 5’6″!

5Michael Nesmith’s mom was an inventor

The Monkees Mike Nesmith, 1966-1968

Everett Collection

His mother, Bette Nesmith Graham invented “liquid paper” in her kitchen and called it Mistake Out in the 1950s. However, a rival company made Wite-Out which became more popular. Still pretty impressive!

6Two of the Monkees directed an episode

The Monkees (from left): Peter Tork, Micky Dolenz, 'Monkees In A Ghost Town', (Season 1, aired Oct. 24, 1966), 1966-68.

Everett Collection

Tork, credited as Peter H. Thorkelson directed the episode “The Monkees Mind Their Manor,” while Dolenz directed the series finale “Mijacgeo” (a.k.a. “The Frodis Caper”).

7The Monkees once outsold The Beatles and The Rolling Stones

They proved they were a real contender when they outsold two of the biggest bands ever in 1967. Now tell us, who is your favorite Monkee?

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