The Monkees (1966–1968)
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Here Come the Monkees 

The Monkees' manager, Rudy Gunther, sends them to the Riverdale Country Club to audition for a Sweet Sixteen party. The organizer, Charles Russell, happens to be an old Marine buddy of ... See full summary »


Mike Elliot

On Disc

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Episode cast overview:
Davy Jones ... Davy (as David Jones)
Micky Dolenz ... Micky (as Micky Braddock)
Michael Nesmith ... Mike
Peter Tork ... Peter
Bing Russell ... Rudy Gunther
Jill Van Ness Jill Van Ness ... Jill
Richard St. John Richard St. John ... Charles Russell
Robyn Millan ... Vanessa Russell
Larry Tucker Larry Tucker ... Dr. Lionel B. Turner
Paul Mazursky ... TV Interviewer
Joe Higgins ... Guard
June Whitley Taylor June Whitley Taylor ... Mrs. Russell


The Monkees' manager, Rudy Gunther, sends them to the Riverdale Country Club to audition for a Sweet Sixteen party. The organizer, Charles Russell, happens to be an old Marine buddy of Rudy's. His daughter Vanessa immediately falls for Davy and starts neglecting her homework. Realizing they will surely lose the job if she flunks, the boys decide to help her study for her final. Written by The TV Archaeologist

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Music





Release Date:

14 November 1966 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (as color by Pathé)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Rudy the Manager (Bing Russell) and his daughter Jill (Jill Van Ness) were supposed to be recurring characters on the show, before disastrous ratings of this pilot led to most of their scenes being cut. See more »


When The Monkees sneak Vanessa out of the house to tutor her, she's wearing a sweater and jeans, and her hair is in two ponytails. In the next shot they are at the beach and her hair is all wet from the water. Then in the next shot she's back in the sweater, jeans, and two ponytails, with no sign of her hair having been wet. See more »


Micky: Let's split!
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References Get Smart (1965) See more »


I Wanna Be Free
(slow version)
Written and Produced by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart
Performed by The Monkees
See more »

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User Reviews

The original pilot from November 1965
3 December 2013 | by kevinolzakSee all my reviews

"Here Come the Monkees," although the 10th episode broadcast (Nov 14 1966), was actually the original pilot, shot Nov 11-20 1965, slightly reshuffled with some new footage of the group filmed for the musical numbers. There is a brief appearance from The Monkees' manager (Bing Russell, father of Kurt), never to be seen again, and wisely dropped for the resultant series. There is the introduction of 'Davy's in Love,' complete with starry eyes, as the band perform at the Sweet Sixteen party for Vanessa Russell, played by actual 16 year old Robyn Millan, who later entranced David Cassidy's Keith on THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY ("Dora, Dora, Dora," with Jack Burns as her father). There are brief appearances from Paul Mazursky and Larry Tucker, the writers of the pilot, whose greatest success was 1969's "Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice." The final romp features many surreal elements, an integral part of the series' success, concluding with black and white footage from both Davy and Mike's screen tests (the unaired pilot put these introductions at the very beginning). All three songs were composed by original producers Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, with their own vocals accompanying the slower, more folksy versions recorded in 1965. "(Theme from) The Monkees" and "Let's Dance On" (the final releases) were recorded the same day (July 5 1966), while both versions of "I Wanna Be Free" were recorded July 19. The slow version of "I Wanna Be Free," featuring Davy alone backed by string quartet, featured prominently on the debut album, while the faster, organ-based, more bluesy version sung mainly by Micky (here billed for the last time as 'Micky Braddock') did not see release until 1990's MISSING LINKS 2. A simple reedit by Robert Rafelson, helping the test audience identify the group members, salvaged the pilot and ensured that NBC would pick up the series for 1966, with filming starting the last day of May with "Don't Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth" (the offscreen voice interviewing The Monkees at the end of many episodes belonged to Rafelson).

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