At the end of the article, I'll go over some other geek-themed appearances by some of the guest-starring cast, some of which I'm sure will surprise you!
|"Toy factory needs someone with no training or experience."|
This time around, the Opening Credits Shot of the episode is Peter, coming out of the water in a wetsuit, and unzipping it to reveal his suit underneath, a la James Bond! I'll have to remember to call this out when it comes up in a regular episode (not that I recall it being part of any episode).
|"Name is not Not What, name is Nit Wit!"|
|"Nesmith. What's yours?"|
|Daggart and Guggins.|
|Pops Harper shows his toy.|
Later, at the pad, Mike's feeling depressed (he's not even wearing his wool hat), and Davy tries to cheer him up. Micky asks what's more fun than working with a toy factory, and Peter adds, "Yeah, playing with the kids and all!"
This leads us to a romp of sorts -- one that is only peripherally tied to the plot, and only by Peter's comment! The song is "Saturday's Child," written by David Gates, and of course included on the Monkees first album. The romp is just of the Monkees playing on the beach with a bunch of kids (probably not something that they could get away with in a current TV show, I'd imagine). It does appear that the Monkees genuinely enjoyed playing with the kids, especially Davy. After a bit, we get some footage of the guys riding their unicycles with the training wheels and generally goofing off, and then this is followed by scenes of the guys riding around in the Monkeemobile (yes, same footage as last time), and then scenes of the guys riding their motorcycles on the beach.
Back at the pad, Mike wants to come up with a plan to help Harper keep his job, and Davy provides the germ of the idea when he says, "It should be child's play!" Mike recalls that Daggart is having a panel of kids coming to the factory tomorrow to test the toys, and so Mike plans on sending his bandmates in there, in disguise! The next day, Mike and Daggart are waiting in the testing room when Guggins comes in, and he's browbeaten by Daggart to go to a special observation area. By the way, one of the unicycles the Monkees were riding is in the background of this scene, along with some toys that are somewhat recognizable! Anyway, the first group of kids come in, which includes Davy disguised as a child, with Peter disguised as his mother! Daggart questions Davy's age, and Davy kicks Daggart in the knee! The kids are supposed to play with the toys now, to see how long their attention span is held by them, but Davy pulls out a yo-yo and plays with it, distracting the kids away from all of the other toys! When Daggart takes the yo-yo away from Davy, all the other kids attack him.
The next group comes in to demonstrate the durability of the toys, and this time, the group includes Micky as the child, with Davy as his mother! When Daggart indicates this is an improvement, Micky kicks him in the knee! They start to play with a "Four and Twenty Blackbirds Baked in a Pie" toy, but Micky pulls out a detonator, connects wires to one of them, and blows it up! Micky then says, "My mommy won't let me play with toys that burn or bash or explode or go boom!"
The next testing group includes Peter as the child, and Micky as his mom! Of course, Peter kicks Daggart the first chance he gets. This test is supposed to test how long they can put together the toy. Peter starts trying to tell the other kids how to do it, but then Daggart takes the toy from Peter, and a fight starts, with the kids throwing the toys at Daggart.
Later, in Guggins' office, Daggart claims the machines plan for the obsolesence of the toys, so that when the toy gets broken, the parents will buy them a new one. Mike doesn't like this idea, saying that Guggins' has forgotten about the element of happiness in toys. He brings in Harper to show the toy that Harper's invented, but Daggart suddenly gets suspicious. He goes to the testing room, where Peter and Micky (both still disguised) are. Thanks to Peter's speaking up when he should be quiet, Daggart realizes that there's a plot afoot, and takes off Micky's wig. Another of the mothers comes in to get her child, and Daggart decides she's in disguise, too, and rips off her dress!
At Guggins' office again, Daggart tells Guggins he wants Mike fired, and of course, Guggins goes along with it. Back at the pad, Harper and the boys are feeling depressed, and Harper gives Mike his invention and tells him to throw it away. Mike protests, saying it's a great toy as he bends it in the middle, but since Harper insists, he hands it to Davy, who throws it out of the window of the beach house. Since it's now boomerang-shaped, it of course comes back, to land near Micky, who's once again cleaning his drums (which, by the way, don't have a Monkees logo on them yet). Micky picks it up, and tosses it out of the window himself, and it comes back in and lands near Davy!
|Out one window...|
|...and in the other!|
Back at the pad, we find that one of the computers has been given to the Monkees to help straighten out their careers! Mike puts information in it, but when Peter says they're musicians, what's there to straighten out, Mike says it's a good idea if they need extra money to pay the rent to have a plan. The machine then tells them what they should get employment as, to the tune of "Last Train to Clarksville." Jobs the computer picks for them seem to be focused on construction, and during the song we see them doing various jobs on a site. We also get to see a few shots of the guys performing the song on the same stage we see them performing the theme song in the opening credits. The computer also suggests they work on a farm, and we see the guys tossing hay (some of this footage shot here would be used in a later episode with the song "Papa Gene's Blues"), working as firemen.
|Playing "Last Train to Clarksville" in the second romp.|
By the way, Severn Darden, who played Guggins (and would return in the episode "The Monkees' Paw"), may be one of the guest stars with the most geek credits! He guest-starred in episodes of I Dream of Jeannie, It Takes a Thief, Alias Smith & Jones, Rod Serling's Night Gallery, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, The Ghost Busters, the New Adventures of Wonder Woman, The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman (playing Apploy in four Bigfoot episodes), Salvage 1, Foley in Beyond Westworld, and Beauty and the Beast. His movie appearances include Werewolves on Wheels, he was Governor Kolp in Conquest of the Planet of the Apes and Battle for the Planet of the Apes, Schwinn in The Day of the Dolphin, Van Helsing in Saturday the 14th, and Dr. Meredith in Real Genius.
Walter Janovitz, who played Pop Harper, was also in an episode of Mister Ed, My Favorite Martian, Billy the Kid Vs. Dracula, The Girl From UNCLE, I Spy, Hogan's Heroes (mostly as Oscar Schnitzer), The INcredible Hulk, and Jekyll and Hyde... Together Again.
Does Stan Freberg need any kind of expanding upon? He did voices for a bunch of cartoons for Warner Brothers (especially Junyer Bear in the Three Bears shorts), appeared in It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World, The Girl From Uncle, and many, many more voice and on-screen roles, but he may be better known to many for his comedy records!