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The Monkees TV series originally aired from 1966 to 1968 but has since been a staple on MTV, Nickelodeon and IFC, so its audience spans generations. The musical sitcom starred Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork and Michael Nesmith, and followed the adventures of a struggling wannabe Beatles-like boy band – and the group went on to real success beyond the show. Here are some things you might not have known about this TV classic.

1. The show’s casting call referenced being high

The casting for the show was pretty specific, looking for “folk & roll musicians and singers for acting roles.” At the end of the Variety ad they added “Must come down for interview,” which, according to the show’s creator, was a “a sly reference to being high.” They were looking for people who represented the contemporary youth culture of the ’60s, and drugs were a big part of that.

the monkees

2. They purposefully took on issues of censorship

During one episode of the second season they made a joke about the fact you couldn’t say the word “hell” on network TV. They were having a conversation where they were using the word a lot in reference to Peter Tork selling his soul to the devil, and at one point Micky Dolenz says “You know what’s even more scary? You can’t say ‘hell’ on television” (which was still bleeped out for the joke). They new the network wouldn’t be pleased, but they did it anyways.

the monkees

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