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The Monkees

Everett

Remember, this is not a musical top-100 list—see the entry on American Idol. But whatever contributions the Prefab Four didn’t make to music, their show was a form-breaking tribute to video chaos. This sitcom-cum-marketing-platform was surrealistic, experimental, self-referential and as trippy as a network show of the time could reasonably be. (It’s funny to think that it was on the same network that was airing the drug-paranoid Dragnet ’67.) Davy, Micky, Mike and Peter made up what they lacked in musical cred with real acting chops, using improv in a way that foreshadowed shows like Reno 911! while the show’s psychedelic wackiness presaged the hallucinatory Saturday-morning shows of Sid and Marty Krofft. And as for its show of TV’s power to fabricate pop sensations? Again… see American Idol.

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