The Monkees

Season 2 Episode 19

The Monkee's Paw

Aired Monday 7:30 PM Jan 29, 1968 on NBC

Episode Recap

At a club, the manager watches The Monkees' playing and singing "Goin' Down," for an audition. Impressed, he hires them and fires Mendrek, a broken-down magician who's been employed there for 12 years. Later that day, The Monkees offer Mendrek sympathy as he's packing up his things. When Micky notices a monkey's paw, Mendrek tells them that it's a charm that will grant them 3 wishes. Then in flashbacks, relates how he came to have it with Micky as a young Mendrek climbing the mountains in Tibet in the snow searching for the unknown to find The High Llama, only to come across The Regular Llama (Michael) since The High Llama is sleeping it off (they don't call him High Llama for nothing!). Then Regular Llama ends up giving in him a magical monkey's paw. Back in the present, Micky decides to buy the it from Mendrek for $0.25. Back at the pad, Micky has been on the phone talking to the union who say they can't work unless they pay their dues, but the problem is they need to work in order to get the money. Micky wishes on the monkey's paw for a way for them to get the money and soon the manager storms in their pad offering to pay their dues and take it out of their first week's salary but he insists on a 142% interest in exchange!

At Mendrek's place, the magician informs his daughter that he sold the monkey's paw to the quartet. She reminds him of the paw's curse, but the magician feels that, having rid himself of the paw, his luck should immediately change…and he suddenly wins $1 million in an over-the-phone contest! Meanwhile, the guys complain of hunger, so Micky wishes for a big spaghetti dinner and is immediately deluged with spaghetti ("Well, I didn't wish for how it should be served!"). Later, backstage at the club, Micky, completely hung up over the paw, tries to think of another wish and, as they're prepared to go on, unwittingly wishes he would stop talking and loses his voice (giving a whole new meaning to the phrase "be careful what you wish for"!)! The Monkees perform "Goin' Down" again, but Micky isn't able to sing, and the audience boos at him lipsynching over the backing track. When the manager demands to know what's going on, the boys, to cover up, explains Micky is singing with his feet, but to no avail. Michael is sure the boys are in a lot of trouble when the manager threatens to fire them if Mick isn't singing by tomorrow morning.

At the pad, the guys try to convince Micky that he can talk as he tries to recite The Gettysburg Address but he remains speechless. Remembering that the trouble all started when Mendrek sold them that monkey's paw, the guys head over to his place; there they are surprised to find the now-rich magician wallowing in luxury and business deals offered to him over a plethora of phones on his desk. They question them about the Monkey's paw while assisting him in answering the phones but he avoids there questions by continuing to busy himself with the phones until they all give up. Back at the pad again, the guys try to analyze what is wrong with Micky and believe him to be sick and the solution is chicken soup (in which they bathe him in!). A half-a-day later of non-speaking, the boys decide that, in 12 hours, Micky simply forgot how to talk, and they soon give him lessons in speech by trying to make him to say "pencil," but the only word he can say is "crayon." Next, they conclude Micky has a mental problem and take him to a psychiatrist. However, when he attempts to give Micky a Rorschach test, the guys keep interfering with their opinions causing the impatient psychiatrist to end up going crazy and kicks them all out. That night, the boys attempt to salvage what remains of their act by incorporating Micky's silence into it; they run through an old Marx Brothers act (with Michael as Groucho, Micky as Harpo [silent, get it?], and Peter, Chico), but the unimpressed manager still fires them.

Then they decide to see Mendrek again who no longer has phones on his desk since he's giving up show business and is devoted to helping the needy. The guys explain to him about Micky's problem, so he sends David and his daughter to go to the library to find the book of mystery in order to break the spell while he works on Micky using the pocketbook edition. David and the manager's daughter look through the book where David is briefly distracted by her beauty, while Mendrek uses different kinds of torture to break the curse from tickling him with feathers to using a gong but Micky remains mute. Finally, David and the daughter find the solution in the book that reveals that Micky has to sell the monkey's paw to somebody else to reverse the curse, but Michael tries to think of someone deserving of the charm, meaning someone nasty. The manager shows up to offer Mendrek's job back and Michael realizes they have their pigeon. Mendrek tries to convince him to buy the monkey's paw revealing the magic powers it has which he can use to do all his magical tricks and demonstrates to the musical romp "Words" . So impressed is the manager that he buys it for a quarter, immediately wishes for a million dollars and is deluged with cash. Then the taxman comes to arrest the manager for tax evasion and drags him off.

At the end of the show, Micky's voice is restored and he talks non-stop until stopped by Michael just as The Monkees give a wrap-up to the audience by singing the Monkees theme song.


Tag Sequence:

An outtake from this episode wherein guest Hans Conried exhumes frustration with the boys' on-the-set shenanigans; Peter airs his feelings about the demise of the hippie movement in the 12th and last end-of-show Monkees interview segment of the series.