Jul 162015

Daydream Conceiver

Daydream Reliever

A few years ago my wife got me hooked on Hogan’s Heroes, a show I enjoyed as a kid but never subscribed to, if you know what I mean: I had little rooting interest in the characters and plotlines other than an instinctive love of Newkirk’s turtleneck and sideburns. As an adult, however, I realized what a comic genius Werner Klemperer was as Klink, not to mention the comedic support provided by dummkopf Schultz. Bob Crane’s Hogan is an outstanding wiseass character, who my wife pointed out is very much in the vein of one of my old college friends. They’re all great, even LeBeau, the little Frenchman in Stalag 13, who used to annoy me with his spells of overt cuteness when I was a kid.

Every few years since childhood I tune into reruns of The Monkees. Once I even rented a DVD of the second season from Netflix. Each time I try revisiting The Monkees the show gets worse. I still enjoy seeing them lip-sync to one of my favorite Monkees songs, but the wacky hijinx style, which was innovative in its time, looks more and more like the Nickelodeon tweener sitcoms my boys used to watch when they were of that age. And speaking of spells of overt cuteness, I don’t think a single entertainer’s cutey-pie routine has ever annoyed me more than Davy Jones’ act. Not when I was a kid. Not to this day. If I want to gorge on cuteness I’ll watch a Shirley Temple movie. That’s cute! Davy just strikes me as the worst kind of attention-seeking ass kisser.

Look at me! Aren’t I adorable? And don’t you love my British accent? Here, let’s have a little tap dance!

Yuck! Any time he shows up and gets a few lines on an episode of The Monkees I want to denounce my fairly strong case of Anglophilia.

Over the last 2 years, as I’ve grown to admire and love that little French rascal Louis LeBeau, I’ve had a recurring thought: What if LeBeau replaced Davy Jones in The Monkees? The benefits, as I see them, would have been mind blowing, show altering, and even extend to exerting positive influences over Mike Nesmith and Mickey Dolenz’s burgeoning egos.


  9 Responses to “The Replacements (Not the Band…): Swapping Louis LeBeau for Davy Jones in The Monkees”

  1. misterioso

    Mod, an intriguing concept. How many hours of my youth were spent watching to Monkees on WLVI Channel 56 Boston and Hogan’s Heroes on WSBK TV38 Boston, is best not to ponder too much. But whereas I find that the Monkees are best now enjoyed in one’s mind’s eye through a nostalgic glow (as opposed to actually watching the show), I find that Hogan’s Heroes still makes me laugh.

    Mind you, as great as Clary was as Lebeau, I am not sure how many performances of “Aloutte” the Monkees could have accommodated. Perhaps Boyce and Hart could have reworked it. (“I Wonder Aloutte She’s Doing Tonight”?)

    But while your analysis of what Clary would have brought to the Monkees, with special attention paid to his hat, is formidable, you have paid no regard to the catastrophic affect Davy would have had on Hogan’s Heroes. I mean, a trade has to work for both sides. And there’s good reason to think that Newkirk would have stated that that barracks wasn’t big enough for him and Jones. He might have arranged for a nightttime beating such as William Holden unfairly received in Stalag 17, or quietly knifed him during roll call, or arranged for him to be turned over to Major Hochstetter (“What is this man doing here!”) for torture at the hands of the gestapo. Anyway, it would have been an unbalanced trade and probably would have been voided by the sitcom commissioner.

    By the way, did you know that Clary, a French Jew, survived Buchenwald during the war? I can’t help wondering if he ever thought about this when he and the gang were yucking it up on the set, behind make-believe barbed wire and guarded by make-believe Nazis. It’s an unsettling thought.

  2. I hadn’t considered what the swap would mean for Jones, although one might argue the nightmare scenarios you present would have been justified – that one, specifically, being me.

    I did know that fact about Clary – and not only Clary, but if memory serves a few of the actors who played Nazis were also concentration camp survivors: Schultz and Hochstetter (or Burkholder) among them. I wonder if they saw the role as a comedic form of revenge.

  3. ladymisskirroyale

    Interesting concept, Mod. Your suggestion of substituting a Frenchman for an Englishman is flawed on historic and attractiveness levels, but I’m going to run with it. However, I’m going to propose something even more radical. As misterioso justly points out, a main problem with substituting Clary for Jones in the Monkees is the counter substitution of Jones for Clary in Hogan’s Heroes. Instead, I would like to propose another Frenchman of the time…

    Jean-Pierre Leaud. Monsieur Leaud would add a much needed level of angst and gravitas that would flumux Nesmith, while at the same time fitting the “good looking guy who can sing” bill. From my brief review of Truffaut movies of the Monkees time period, you can see that Leaud has better hair (floppy over the forehead, swoon), dark Gallic looks, incessant chain smoking, and for real shits and giggles, an incessant need to chase after prostitutes. Deal with that, Teen America! He can even sing and wear a sweater well-draped over his shoulders. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-llUIBekq_8

  4. misterioso

    Good call! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_e2agcf7J7k

    Maybe Clary could replace Jones in the Monkees, Leaud could replace Clary in Hogan’s Heroes, and Jones is “designated for assignment,” namely, a future in which this is a highlight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRNFus7Pbp4

  5. ladymisskirroyale

    That French Dadaism will keep the girls screaming.

  6. cliff sovinsanity

    Better yet, have him replace Tork. The harmonies would have sounded better. Also, a flummoxed Nesmith could have inspired a Lennon/McCartney songwriting feud.

  7. mockcarr

    Do I have to be the one to say it? LeBeau is not BRITISH, dude. Those frenchies don’t need to sing to get girls, we anglos DO. It’s the price they pay for that Vichy business, no rock and roll for you except in very small doses. The fact that Davy is a lil’ showbiz-hacky failed jockey, despite his admittedly good hair, lessens his appeal just enough to make it possible for the other Monkees and by extension, us, to seem somewhat attractive, so while they pretty much always have some girl falling for him, it’s possible that even Peter could be endearing to someone. What chance would our adolescent selves have with LeBeau singing to them in French? By the way, have you noticed the edge of hackiness Micky straddles? It’s only his apparent self-awareness that saves his character, doubtless cadged from humiliating Circus Boy episodes.

  8. It’s a shame that Peter Noone was already established because he would have been great.

    The only other thing I have to add is that whenever I bring beer over to my brother’s house, and ask what I should do with them, he always says, “Put zem in ze cooler!”

  9. saturnismine

    Mod, I love the LeBeau comparison, as both were present for cutesiness.

    These are just random thoughts on Davy.

    Q: what if we switched out Davy with Richard Dawson?
    A: hardly anything at all. Davy would’ve done just fine frenching all those housewives on Family Feud.

    – While all of the Monkees were supposed to have their own brands of chick appeal, Davy was the one whose top priority was bringing *the sexy.* I always mused that the Davy character should have been more…masculine. He should’ve been the one who was making innuendos, like Fonzarelli, about being tired out by having spent the night with the Rebozo Twins.

    If they made the Monkees now, would the Davey character be so cutesy, or would they have Vanilla-Ice-ified him by about 20%? Would he play maraccas, or would he be a DJ, or play samples or something?

    CDM, one of my most enduring college friends used to say “put zem in ze cooler,” too!!!

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