The Monkees’ Micky Dolenz Revealed How Stan Freberg’s Comedy Changed His Life

Stan Freberg was a comedian known for his skits and songs. During an interview, The Monkees‘ Micky Dolenz revealed how Freberg changed his life. Notably, Freberg once appeared on an episode of The Monkees’ show.

The Monkees' Micky Dolenz with a guitar
The Monkees’ Micky Dolenz | James Jackson/Evening Standard/Getty Images

The Monkees’ Micky Dolenz discussed why he loves musical theater

Freberg released an early concept album: Stan Freberg Presents the United States of America Volume One: The Early YearsStan Freberg Presents the United States of America Volume One: The Early Years covers hundreds of years of history, beginning with Christopher Columbus’ arrival in the Americas and ending with the American Revolution. During a 2014 interview with Music Radar, Dolenz named the album one of the records that changed his life.

“This is an interesting album,” Dolenz opined. “We learned it inside and out. It’s a satirical record done in the style of a musical, so together with West Side Story it played a big part in developing my love for musical theater.”

Dolenz said he loved Stan Freberg Presents the United States of America Volume One: The Early Years. “It’s hysterical — a comedic look at the history of America, with big production numbers, very much like a Broadway show,” he said. Dolenz said the record inspired him to listen to more comedy albums.

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The Monkees’ Micky Dolenz revealed his father’s connection to Stan Freberg

During a 2010 interview with Goldmine, Dolenz discussed his father’s connection to Freberg. “I don’t remember how I even got ahold of this, but I think it was because my father had The Marquee restaurant in Los Angeles, and it was a very famous hangout for a lot of celebrities in the ’50s and early ’60s,” Dolenz recalled, “I remember that Stan Freberg used to patronize. I remember that my dad would bring home stuff that Stan Freberg had done.”

Dolenz discussed the way Freberg inspired him. “The music is all very satirical,” he said. “In my case, Stan’s comedy certainly had an influence on my comedic senses. In fact, Stan went on to do an episode of The Monkees.” Freberg appeared in the episode “Monkees vs. Machine,” in which he portrayed a villain.

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The way the world reacted to ‘Stan Freberg Presents the United States of America Volume One: The Early Years’

Stan Freberg Presents the United States of America Volume One: The Early Years became a minor hit. It reached No. 34 on the Billboard Hot 100. On the other hand, The Official Charts Company reports the album did not chart in the United Kingdom.

In 1966, Freberg left the music industry. In 1996, Freberg released Stan Freberg Presents the United States of America, Volume TwoStan Freberg Presents the United States of America Volume One: The Early Years is a classic comedy album and The Monkees might not be the same without it.

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