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The Monkees: The Devil and Peter Tork

Peter sells his soul to the Devil during a lesson in music and morality.


Episode Info


Episode number: 2x20
Production Number: 4737
Airdate: Monday February 05th, 1968



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7/10 (1 Vote cast)
Guest Stars
Lee Kolima
As Atilla The Hun
Recurring
Monte Landis
As Mr. Zero (The Devil)
Recurring
Peter Canon
As Billy the Kid
Recurring
Ted de Corsia
As Blackbeard the Pirate
Recurring
Billy Beck
As Judge Roy Bean
Episode Notes


"The Devil And Peter Tork" was the third and final Monkees episode to be based on a fantasy novel, following Episode 21, "The Prince And The Paupers," and the previous segment, "The Monkees Paw."

Contrary to popular belief, this episode (the fifth completed for the second season), was held back by NBC due to its satanical jabs at network censorship--the word "hell"--rather than the lyrical content of the song "Salesman." Note that a distinct "cuckoo" is heard when Mike, Davy and Micky utter the word (or try to, anyway). Previously, "censored" Monkees episodes wherein a "cuckoo" replaced an offending expletive are No. 15, "Too Many Girls" (a.k.a. "Davy And Fern") and the closing moments of the previous episode, "The Monkee's Paw." (Footnote: Craig Smith, composer of "Salesman," was considered for a role on The Monkees in 1965 but was unavailable for an interview.)

"The Devil And Peter Tork" recieved and Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Directorial Achievement In A Comedy Series for 1967-68; sadly, it lost out to the Bruce Bilson-directed "Maxwell Smart, Private Eye" segment of Get Smart (NBC/CBS, 1965-70). Ironically, Gerald Gardner and Dee Caruso, the writing team who cowrote this and several other Monkees episodes, composed several episodes of Get Smart prior to writing for The Monkees. ( Is it any coincidence that three of their previous Monkees scripts, Episode 5, "The Spy Who Came In From The Cool," No. 17,"The Case Of The Missing Monkee," and No. 26, "Monkee Chow Mein," were all spy-oriented?)

The late writer/actor/producer Robert Kaufman wrote episodes for Combat (ABC, 1962-67) and screenplays for such films as Dr. Goldfoot And The Bikini Machine (1965, featuring a cameo by HEAD co-star Annette Funicello as a Girl in a dungeon), its sequel, Dr. Goldfoot And The Girl Bombs (1966) and I Love My Wife (1970; he served as associate producer and appeared in a bit part as Devil), which features Monkee guest star Heather North ("The Prince And The Paupers") as Betty. Kaufman also produced the flop 1973 ABC-TV sitcom Here We Go Again (which co-starred Monkee guest alum Nita Talbot ["The Monkees Watch Their Feet"] as Judy Evans), and later on executive-produced She's Out Of Control (1989), which starred Ami Dolenz, Micky's daughter.

Shockingly, Peter Tork played not one lick of music on the harp. He mimed the harp, and all of the harp pieces heard in this segment -- including the solos of "I Wanna Be Free" and "Pleasant Valley Sunday" -- recorded by another musicain, were dubbed in.

Peter Canon, Ted DeCorsia and Lee Kolima had previously had guest shots on The Monkees; Canon as the bully whom Davy knocks senseless in the teaser Episode 20, "The Monkees In The Ring," DeCorsia as seaman Frank Reynolds in Episode 44, "Hitting The High Seas," and Kolima, Yakimto in Episode 5, 'The Spy Who Came In From The Cool."

Ted DeCorsia was also previously featured in several TV episodes with pre-Monkee guests: Burt Mustin ("Monkees Marooned," "The Monkees Christmas Show") in February 27, 1964 episode of Dr. Kildare (NBC, 1961-66), "Why Won't Anybody Listen?"; with Boothe Coleman ("The Spy Who Came In From The Cool") in a 2-part episode of Daniel Boone (NBC, 1964-70), "Cain's Birthday" (April 1 & 8 1965); and with Jim Boles ("Don't Look A Gift Horse In The Mouth," "Hillbilly Honeymoon" [a.k.a. "Double Barrell Shotgun Wedding"]) in a January 9, 1966 episode of Get Smart, "Back To The Old Drawing Board."

Screen Gems' original storyline for "The Devil And Peter Tork" reveals an alternate ending which finds Peter at the same pawnshop, this time eyeing a French horn. As the proprietor approaches him to make a deal, Micky, Mike and Davy rush Peter out of the shop. They synopsis also reveals a deleted scene where Mr. Zero pricks Peter's finger and makes him sign the contract in blood, and a deleted portion of the musical romp in which The Monkees are forced to dance until they drop.

The shot during the "No Time" number of The Monkees dancing a hilarious can-can is used as the final clip in The Monkees second season opening sequence (with the "jagged" Monkees logo superimposing over them). Other clips from this episode which were edited into The Monkees' second season opening titles features Micky doing a double take, then smiling.

The Monkees' third album The Monkees Headquarters gets its final plug on The Monkees Tv show with the presence of "No Time" in "The Devil And Peter Tork."

The final seconds of "The Devil And Peter Tork" find the boys quoting the famous closing lines of The Cisco Kid (Syndicated, 1950-56).

This is the fourth and final time on the series The Monkees are seen choosing fingers to decide which one of them goes. Others are Episode 2, "Monkee See, Monkee Die," No. 28, ''The Monkees On The Line," and No. 29, "The Monkees Get Out More Dirt."

This is the ninth of 10 Monkees episodes in which Mike Nesmith is called Michael (aside from his credit in the show's end titles). Others are No. 34, "The Picture Frame" (a.k.a. "The Bank Robbery"), No. 40, "Monkees Marooned," No. 42, "The Wild Monkees," No. 45, "The Monkees In Texas," No. 47, "The Monkees Christmas Show," No. 48, "Fairytale," No. 50, "The Monsterous Monkee Mash," the previous episode, "The Monkee's Paw," and the next, "The Monkees Race Again" (a.k.a. "Leave The Driving To Us").

The late writer/actor/producer Robert Kaufman wrote episodes for Combat (ABC, 1962-67) and screenplays for such films as Dr. Goldfoot And The Bikini Machine (1965, featuring a cameo by HEAD co-star Annette Funicello as a Girl in a dungeon), its sequel, Dr. Goldfoot And The Girl Bombs (1966) and I Love My Wife (1970; he served as associate producer and appeared in a bit part as Devil), which features Monkee guest star Heather North ("The Prince And The Paupers") as Betty. Kaufman also produced the flop 1973 ABC-TV sitcom Here We Go Again (which co-starred Monkee guest alum Nita Talbot ["The Monkees Watch Their Feet"] as Judy Evans), and later on executive-produced She's Out Of Control (1989), which starred Ami Dolenz, Micky's daughter.

In this episode, Robert Rafelson and Bert Schneider are credited as producers for the 49th and final time on The Monkees TV series, and Ward Sylvester recieves his final credit as production executive.

After this episode aired, canned laughter was never heard on The Monkees TV series ever again---well, maybe except for a brief cue of boisterous laughter heard in Episode 55, "The Monkees Mind Their Manor."

In their disguises as demons in the "Salesman" musical sequence, The Monkees are seen wearing their Monkeman capes.

Micky was previously seen as Billy The Kid in a fantasy sequence of Episode 10, "Here Come The Monkees" (Original Pilot Film).

For the fourth time on The Monkees TV series a courtroom pops up, following previous appearances in Episode 14, "Dance, Monkee, Dance," No. 34, "The Picture Frame" (a.k.a. "The Bank Robbery"), and No. 43, "A Coffin Too Frequent." Here, The Monkees once more act on their own behalf in court, as they did in "The Picture Frame;" every other time, a courtroom was a featured part of a Monkee fantasy sequence.

The feather which replaces the stake in Micky's hands when Mr. Zero appears in The Monkees' pad is the exact same quill which Peter used to sign Zero's contract in the prologue of "The Devil And Peter Tork."

When Davy tells Mr. Zero to raise his right hand and put his left hand on the Bible, Zero replies by rendering Jones' trademark catchphrase: "You must be joking."

A CBS Saturday Afternoon repeat of "The Devil And Peter Tork" found its soundtrack remixed to feature "I Never Thought It Peculiar."



Music
ArtistSong TitlePlayed When
The MonkeesSalesman 
The MonkeesNo Time 


Episode Quotes
Peter: Hello, anybody home? (scared) Oh!
Devil: Buying or selling?
Peter: Neither, just browsing.
Devil: I’m sure by the time the days out, you’ll be doing a little of both. (touches Peter‘s shoulder, burning him)
Peter: You have a lot of groovy instruments here.
Devil: They represent musicians who have…fallen on hard times.
Peter: Don’t they ever come back to claim these?
Devil: You know how musicians are…here today, gone tomorrow?
Peter: That’s very true, I’m a musician and I’m here today too.
Devil: Well then…look around.
Peter: Oh, a harp. Look at that work. Oh, this is fine. I’d love to have this.
Devil: I’m sure when you say love, you mean need or desire? No one loves things anymore.
Peter: I do. I love this harp. But I don’t have any money. (Devil covers the harp with a cloth) I’d do anything to own this harp.
Devil: In that case then (removes the cloth, smiling. Snaps fingers and a contract and pen appear in his hand) All you have to do is sign this, and the harp is yours. Play now, pay later.
Peter: Kind of like consignment?
Devil: Exactly!
Peter: This is very kind of you.
Devil: (calls on phone) This is him. Make reservations for one. I just purchased the sole of a Peter Tork!



Cultural References
Based loosely on Stephen Vincent Benet's fantasy novel (and Oscar award winning 1941 RKO movie it spawned) The Devil And Daniel Webster (1938).



Warning: The Monkees season 2 episode 20 guide may contain spoilers
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