‘The Monkees’: Micky Dolenz Revealed How Bill Cosby Influenced the Show

During an interview, The Monkees‘ Micky Dolenz said Bill Cosby influenced him. He said Cosby influenced Mike Nesmith as well. Dolenz revealed how Nesmith reacted to some of Cosby’s material.

The Monkees' Micky Dolenz with a guitar
The Monkees’ Micky Dolenz | Michael Putland/Getty Images

The Monkees’ Micky Dolenz ‘was a huge Bill Cosby fan’

As an entertainer, Cosby is most known for shows like I Spy and The Cosby Show, as well as his standup material. In addition, he created numerous comedy albums. One of his early albums is called Why Is There Air? It includes Cosby’s commentary on San Francisco, kindergarten, personal hygiene, and other subjects.

During a 2010 interview with Goldmine Magazine, Dolenz discussed albums that changed his life. He mentioned a mix of musical albums, including the West Side Story soundtrack, the Oklahoma! soundtrack, and The BeatlesSgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, as well as comedy albums. One of these comedy albums was Why Is There Air?

Dolenz discussed his reaction to Why Is There Air? “I don’t recall buying this album,” he said. “I don’t know where it came from. I was a huge Bill Cosby fan. That album had an enormous influence on me.”

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The way The Monkees’ Micky Dolenz and Mike Nesmith reacted to Bill Cosby’s ‘Why Is There Air?’

Dolenz recalled listening to Why Is There Air? with Nesmith. “When I first met Mike Nesmith, before we had even done the series, it was very early on — we had either done the pilot or were getting ready to do the pilot — I remember that Mike and I were hanging out at my place, an apartment that I was renting at the time,” he said. “I started playing him this Bill Cosby album, amongst others.”

Dolenz and Nesmith had strong reactions to Why Is There Air? “I recall so vividly both of us rolling on the floor to the Bill Cosby album,” Dolenz added. “If you watch old episodes of The Monkees, you’ll definitely see a little bit of Bill Cosby sneaking in once and a while between Mike and I more than anyone else.”

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The way the world reacted to ‘Why Is There Air?’

Why Is There Air? became a huge hit. The album reached No. 19 on the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed on the chart for a whopping 152 weeks. None of Cosby’s other albums lasted as long on the Billboard Hot 100.

Why Is There Air? was popular with critics as well. The album won the Grammy Award for Best Comedy Performance at the 8th annual Grammy Awards. Cosby was nominated for 17 Grammy Awards, winning nine of them. Why Is There Air? was a huge hit and The Monkees’ show might not have been the same without it.

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