Did ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ Beat ‘The Monkees’ at the Emmys?

During 1967, The Andy Griffith Show and The Monkees were up for the Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series. Only one of the two television series walked away with the gold. Here’s a look at that Emmys ceremony — and the acclaimed inspirations behind one of the shows.

Andy Griffith, Ron Howard, and Frances Bavier
Cast members of The Andy Griffith Show | CBS via Getty Images

The shows ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ was up against at the 1967 Emmys

The 1967 Emmys had some stiff competition. The shows up for Oustanding Comedy Series were The Andy Griffith Show, The Monkees, Bewitched, Get Smart, and Hogan’s Heroes. Each one of those shows would become staples of classic television. Interestingly, all of the series besides The Andy Griffith Show had a significant camp component.

The Monkees won the award. In addition, director James Frawley’s work on The Monkees won him the 1967 Emmy for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy. Outside of his television work, Frawley is most known for directing The Muppet Movie, the first theatrical film to feature Jim Henson’s beloved puppet creations.

The Andy Griffith theme

How Micky Dolenz reacted to ‘The Monkees’ winning Emmys in 1967

The show’s Emmy wins meant quite a bit to Micky Dolenz, a member of the Prefab Four. He told Billboard “I was so thrilled to get an Emmy because I was a child of television. I was so thrilled to get two Emmys that everything else after that is kind of icing on the cake.”

Why The Monkees’ wins made sense

It’s arguable which show deserved the award more. However, the praise The Monkees received is understandable given how it drew inspiration from some of the most acclaimed filmmakers of all time — the French directors François Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard.

“Daydream Believer”

“I wrote a pilot for the show about eight years before the Beatles phenomenon,” Monkees creator Bob Rafelson told The Hollywood Reporter. “And when they happened, that gave television permission to try it. I wanted the show to be radical for the time with super-fast editing, cuts and balloons with dialogue coming out of people’s mouths. From my point of view, we were taking what Truffaut and Godard were doing and applying that to TV. But it had to be madcap like my original inspiration, the Marx Brothers.”

Micky Dolenz on the Prefab Four’s history with TV and acclaimed inspirations

While The Monkees are most remembered for their music, Dolenz actually emphasized their television origin. “Because don’t forget,” Dolenz told Billboard. “The Monkees started out and was first and foremost a sitcom, a TV show about a rock ‘n’ roll group. It wasn’t a rock ‘n ‘roll group to start with. It was a TV show.” 

“(Theme from) The Monkees

‘The Andy Griffith Show’: How Ron Howard’s Desire to Become a Director ‘Evolved’ from the Show

In addition, he compared The Monkees to Glee, another comedic television show about fictional singers. Dolenz also likened The Monkees to the Marx Brothers, just like Rafelson did. The Marx Brothers were an acclaimed comedy troupe — so it makes sense a show inspired by them would win an Emmy.