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The Monkees: Don't Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth (a.k.a. Gift Horse)

The Monkees are saddled with the responsibility of babysitting a real live horse.

Episode Info  

Episode number: 1x8
Production Number: 4708
Airdate: Monday October 31st, 1966

Director: Bob Rafelson
Writer: Dave Evans (1)

Guest Stars
Henry CordenHenry Corden
As Babbitt
Jim BolesJim Boles
As Farmer Fisher
Jesslyn FaxJesslyn Fax
As Mrs. Purdy
Charles BailCharles Bail
As Jenkins
Kerry MacLaneKerry MacLane
As Jonathan
Jerry ColonnaJerry Colonna
As Dr. Mann
Main Cast
Davy JonesDavy Jones
As Himself
Micky DolenzMicky Dolenz
As Himself
Michael NesmithMichael Nesmith
As Himself
Peter TorkPeter Tork
As Himself


A little boy leaves his horse with Davy. The Monkees try, unsuccessfully, to hide the horse from their landlord. They try to give the horse back to the child, but his father won't let him keep the horse because they can't afford it. The Monkees offer to work on the father's farm to make up the cost, but they are dismal farmhands. They have one last chance to help the boy keep his horse, by having Davy ride him in a race...

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Episode Notes
The Monkees television series began production with the filming of this episode, directed by Bob Rafelson. He has directed 5 other episodes of the series, and, of course, he went on to direct (as well as write and produce with Jack Nicholson) his first movie: The Monkees' 1968 feature film HEAD.

On the first day of shooting, Bob Rafelson took The Monkees TV cast and crew by truck and van to Malibu Canyon where several locations, including a farm, had been selected beforehand. When they arrived at the farm, Rafelson discovered the gate was locked and there was no farmer; he suggested knocking over the gate and worrying about it later to a Screen Gems official, who refused to do so without an OK from Screen Gems. So Rafelson sent him to search for the farmer and then, in his absence, commandeered the first truck to ram the gate, and the crew marched in.

For the first and only time on The Monkees TV series, Davy Jones exhibits his superior jockeying skills. Jones chucked the stables for stardom when he weighed too much to be a pro jockey. He fondly recalls his old jockey career in Episode 10, "Here Come The Monkees" and in "I Was A 99-lb. Weakling," and he is seen mounting a horse and riding off--facing the wrong way!-- in Episode 45, "The Monkees In Texas." When Davy, Micky and Peter go horseback riding in Episode 32, "The Monkees On Tour," Peter mentions that Davy had been a jockey.

This episode originally ended with Micky, Mike and Peter stepping in to prevent Davy from minding a baby elephant.

The scene in which Mike dressed as a matador waving his red cape in this episode can be seen in the first season main title sequence for The Monkees.

This episode retains the only appearance of Jesslyn Fax as The Monkees' neighbor Mrs. Purdy. Other episodes which bear onetime appearances of other neighbors are No. 6, "The Success Story," No. 36, "Monkee Mayor," and No. 58 "Mijacogeo"(a.k.a. "The Frodis Caper").

Snippets from this episode of The Monkees performing "Papa Gene's Blues" previously appeared in "The Monkees In A Ghost Town." It turns up again in Episode 19, "Find The Monkees" (a.k.a. "The Audition")

This is one of four Monkees episode to use the shot of The Monkees beach pad in the submain title credits(writer's and director) sequence; others are the premier episode, "The Royal Flush," Episode 4, "Your Friendly Neighborhood Kidnappers," and No. 52, "The Devil And Peter Tork.

ArtistSong TitlePlayed When
The MonkeesPapa Gene's Blues 
The MonkeesAll The King's Horses 

Episode Goofs
Davy acquires a horse from a little boy on the beach by his apartment. Later we see that the boy lives on a farm- miles away from Davy. One has to wonder how a little boy like that could find his way to and from the beach where he left the horse.

Mike's head changes position between shots while the Monkees are working in the barn.

When the horse gets sick, Mike somehow has the number to the vet memorized.

Other Episode Crew

DeveloperPaul Mazursky  |  Larry Tucker
ProducerBert Schneider (1)  |  Bob Rafelson
Associate ProducerWard Sylvester
MusicStu Phillips
Music SupervisorDon Kirshner
Set DecoratorFred R. Price
GafferPat Blymyer
Director of PhotographyIrving Lippman
Story EditorGerald Gardner  |  Dee Caruso
Art DirectorMalcolm C. Bert  |  Ross Bellah
Script EditorDee Caruso  |  Gerald Gardner
Main Title Theme Written ByBobby Hart  |  Tommy Boyce
Film EditorGerald Shepard
StylingDean Jeffries
Assistant DirectorRichard Landry
Music CoordinatorIgo Kantor
Post Production ExecutiveLawrence Werner
Make-up SupervisorBen Lane
Main Title Theme Performed ByThe Monkees
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