The Monkees

Season 1 Episode 3

Monkee vs. Machine

Aired Monday 7:30 PM Sep 26, 1966 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
35 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Monkee vs. Machine

The Monkees need money to pay their rent, so Peter applies for a job with a toy company but is not hired. Mike steps in and gets the job but soon discovers that an elderly toy maker (Walter Janovitz) is about to be replaced by a computer and schemes to prevent it.

Monkee Music Includes:

Saturday's Child

Last Train To Clarksville


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  • When the Monkees need some extra cash, an ad in the paper catches their attention.After Peter fails the job interview, they send in the reliable Mike, who gets the job. Once there, Mike and the Monkees realize that toy making is not all fun and games.moreless

    I absoultely love this episode, maybe for the wrong reason though. I absolutely love seeing the boys dressed up in drag! They may not be the prettiest mothers in the world, but they sure are the funniest. I also love seeing the boys dressed up as the mama's boys. They were so cute and I it always makes me laugh when Davy puts his arms out toward Peter because he doesn't want his "mother" to go. This episode also has a recurring theme throughout the series, The Monkees helping out the little guy, in this case Pop Harper. They Monkees were so sweet the entire episode trying to get the toy company president to manufactor his new toy. All in all a great episode, that has me laughing from start to finish.moreless
  • This episode is fantastic, one of the best first season episodes.

    What makes this episode stand out is the brillant sense of satire and the plot. In Monkee Vs Machine the boys come to the aid of an aging toymaker who faces obsolescense in the computer age and as a sales concept to justify the manufacture inferior product. The Monkees are in need of Rent money. Peter applies for a job at a toy factory but is rejected by the computer interviewer, and failed the aptitude test given by DJ61. Mike applies for the same job and short circuits the computer. The manager of the company, Daggart thinks Mike is a genius and hires him. The Monkees infiltrate the testing with child consumers. Davy, Peter, and Micky all pose as children and their mothers.moreless
  • One of the better first-season episodes

    "Monkee vs. Machine" is a nicely satirical episode about corporate America's growing reliance on computers to replace creativity, and though the computers in this episode look almost pre-historic next to today's, the satire still works because much of what is satirized (focus groups are still widely used, for example) continues to affect the way the toy industry operates--not to mention practically every other industry. Also, the episode makes use of two brilliant satirical performers: Stan Freberg, creater of some of the cleverest commercials of all time as well as a number of still hilarious albums of comedy material, and Severn Darden, one of the original members of Chicago's Second City. Although the ending of the episode does get a bit sentimental, overall the jabs at the corporate world still hold true today.moreless
Severn Darden

Severn Darden

J.B.) Guggins (Jr.)

Guest Star

Walter Janowitz

Walter Janowitz

Pop Harper

Guest Star

Dorothy Konrad

Dorothy Konrad

Mrs. Zuckerman

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (26)

    • This episode marks one of 2 rare occasions on The Monkees where one of the boys mutters the word "sex"!

    • When Daggart rips off the bottom half of one of the mother's dresses, he is still holding the dress in his hands when he apologizes. When the mother starts hitting him with her purse, he is no longer holding on to it.

    • When Davy is playing with the yo-yo, the other children walk up to him twice, one far away shot and one close up shot.

    • "Monkee Versus Machine's" original ending was the landlord phoning The Monkees for the rent and being upset about Peter's sending him a bunch of toys instead of money.

    • When Mike is tying Peter's tie, the close up of Peter shows that he hasn't started yet, but in the long shot the tie is already half way tied.

    • The lights on the DJ-61 are not consistent from shot to shot.

    • When Peter finds out that they put an ad in the paper just to reach him, his head changes position from the close up shot to the long shot.

    • The street that The Monkees house was on, Beachwood, was actually the name of the street that went through the middle of Screen Gems studio.

    • When Micky is trying to get Peter to leave he has his arm around his shoulders. However, in the close up shot where Peter slips up, Micky's arm in no longer there, but in the next shot it is back again.

    • When Micky is sitting there watching his "son" Peter play with some of the toys, his hands are on the table, but in the next shot he has them crossed.

    • The boy to Micky's left is scratching his head in one scene with his right hand. However, in the next shot his hands are both down and he is facing the front.

    • The little girl that is in the testing group with the boys, is watching the boys walk over to Davy while Daggart is trying to get them to play with the toys. However, in the close up shots she, along with the boys, is watching Davy play with the yo-yo.

    • At the beginning of Peter's interview, his suit jacket is buttoned, but when he gets up to leave it is no longer buttoned.

    • When Daggart rips off the bottom half of one of the mother's dresses, you can see Micky cover Peter's eyes in background.

    • When Daggart realizes that Micky and Peter are frauds, Micky's left hand is on Peter's shoulder, but in the next shot it is down at his side.

    • When Micky is watching Peter play with one of the toys, the toy Peter is playing with keeps changing postitions.

    • When Mike is standing next to Davy, dressed as Micky's mother, Mike's hands keep changing positions.

    • This is Robert Rafelson's first directed Monkee episode.

    • When Peter finds out that they put an ad in the paper just to reach him, no one is standing near him. However, when they cut to a long shot Micky and Mike are standing on either side of him.

    • When Mike answers the phone while Peter is playing chess, Peter's fingers keep changing postition as he listens to Mike on the phone.

    • The late Walter Janowitz (Pop Harper) is best remembered in CBS classic sitcom Hogan Heroes as the recurring character Oscar Schnitzer.

    • This episode has Mr. Schneider, their dummy who was named for their co-creator and co-producer Bert Schneider, making his first appearance.

    • When DJ-61, the interview machine, spits a stack of forms out at Mike, he brushes them off onto the floor, but after Daggart enters they are again in a neat stack on the machine.

    • The Barbie outfits you see on the shelf in the background of the office are Benefit Performance (on the left) and Magnificence (on the right). It looks like Ken's Goin' Hunting is on the bottom shelf.

    • When Davy is dressed as a mother, you can see Mike shoo him away. The same shot is seen twice- one up close and one in the distance.

    • Before the intro, Peter is walking toward the bottom right of the screen, after the intro Peter is walking toward the top left of the same shot.

  • QUOTES (12)

    • J.B.: By George, anybody who wants to fire you is going to have to talk to me first! (pounds his fist on his desk)
      Daggart: I want him fired!
      J.B.: (timidly) I'm glad you talked to me first.

    • Daggart: Uh, excuse me, madam. Pardon me, madam.
      Micky: (in a high pitch voice) Oh! I never speak to strangers. Oh! My husband is insanely jealous. Come on, Junior, we have to go now.
      Daggart: I believe I've seen your son somewhere before.
      Micky: Oh, no, no! Impossible! No, he's never permitted to cross the streets.
      Daggart: He looks rather mature for ten.
      Micky: No, no, no! Actually, he's just a little infant. Yes, I have to help him with his reading. Every morning before he goes to school I read to him. Come on…
      Peter: While I'm shaving!

    • Daggart: (to Peter dressed as Davy's mother) Pardon me, madam. We're only accepting children between the ages of eight and eleven.
      Peter: (in a high pitched voice) He is between the ages of eight and eleven...he's thirteen.

    • Daggart: Harper. Use to design all our toys. Totally useless. I'd fire him like that (snaps fingers), but J.B. promised him his job for life. What are you gonna do?
      Mike: Oh, wow! You're all heart.

    • Mike: Hey, here's one. Says must have your own bicycle. Boy to deliver…pianos!

    • Davy: Hey, man, there's loads of jobs here. We can get work! Listen to this…Wanted! Keeper at city zoo. Apply meal time at the lion's cage. If the lion likes you the job's yours.

    • Mike: Plaster's falling down, plumbing don't work, we're two days late on the rent and he calls up grousing.

    • Computer: What is your name?
      Mike: (pulls the chair up to the computer) What is yours?
      Computer: What.
      Mike: Thank you Mr. What. What's your first name?
      Computer: It's not what.
      Mike: Oh good, Mr. Not What. And what is your occupation?
      Computer: It's not Not What. I'm computer DJ61.
      Mike: Oh, you're a DJ, look I bet you have a great record collection? (computer starts smoking) Now tell me about your mother?
      Computer: My mother was a duplicating machine.
      Mike: Sex? (computer over heats) I bet you're a real swinger when you're turned on. (computer breaks down) You dirty old man.
      Computer: I am not programmed for these questions.
      Mike: Oh, you want a new program, why didn't you say?
      (Mike punches keys rapidly, computer explodes).

    • Mike: Look, man, it's okay. Besides, you've got something that the machine don't have.
      Peter: Mmm?
      Mike: You've got friends.
      Micky: Hey, you've got some friends, Pete? Bring 'em over someday!

    • Mike: All you gotta do is stay very cool. And remember these three little words: Don't argue.
      Peter: That's two words.
      Mike: You're starting already.

    • Micky: A toy factory needs unskilled help, in nonessential job requiring no training or no experience.
      Mike: Hey, Peter, you don't have any training, and he sure doesn't have any experience. You're the only one qualified.
      Micky: Probably the only one in the city with those qualifications. At least the only one that can read the ad.
      Peter: Just think, they put an ad in the paper to reach me.
      Mike: That's right.
      Peter: Why didn't they phone?

    • Computer: Name, please.
      Peter: bewildered What?
      Computer: Thank you. Last name, What. And what is your first name, Mr. What?
      Peter: It's not "What"!
      Computer: Mr. Notwhat What.
      Peter: Wait a minute! That's not my name at all! My name is …
      Computer: And what is your occupation?
      Peter: … "Peter"! You dig? Pete!
      Computer: You dig peat. Occupation: peat digger.
      Peter: shakes his head in despair
      Computer: What is your mother's maiden name?
      Peter: Thompson.
      Computer: Sex?
      Peter: Female, of course!
      Computer: Alright, Mrs. Notwhat.
      Peter: No, my mother is female!
      Computer: What do you do in your spare time, Mrs. Notwhat?
      Peter: desperate Listen, I'm a MAN!
      Computer: In your spare time, you are a man.
      Peter: No, no, that's not it at all. First of all, you've got my name wrong…
      Computer: Name is misspelled. Please give correct letter.
      Peter: Well, I …
      Computer: Correct letter is "I." Name is not "Notwhat", but "Nitwit."
      Peter: overwhelmed Oh, brother!
      Computer: Brother is also a nitwit.
      Peter: indignant Now just a minute…!
      Computer: That will do, Nitwit. Test complete. Interview ended. Application rejected.

  • NOTES (5)

    • 8,620,000 viewers watched this episode.

    • The Monkees' first single, Last Train To Clarksvill, is #26 on Billboard's Top 100 during the week this episode is shown. It was #43 last week.

    • The voice of the J-61 computer was none other than Monkees director James Frawley.

    • This episode was the fourth episode shot and it was filmed between June 13 and June 17 1966.

    • Features the songs: "Saturdays Child" and "Last Train to Clarksville." A repeat of this episode on May 22, 1967 (which coincided with the release of The Monkees Headquarters [#COM/COS-103]) added a new song: "You Told Me," and when it appeared during the CBS Saturday Afternoon run, it was updated again, to include Michael Nesmith's "Listen To The Band."