Today is the birthday of Micky Dolenz (b. 1945). As everyone who’s anyone knows, The Monkees was not Dolenz’s first trip to the rodeo. He has never been out of show business. His father was Hollywood actor George Dolenz. And a decade prior to The Monkees, Dolenz starred in his first television series, Circus Boy (1956-58). In this family program Dolenz, then billed as Micky Braddock, plays a young orphan boy, who has a sort of Toby Tyler-like job watering elephants in a turn of the century circus. As everyone knows, a circus is where monkees belong!
Noah Beery, Jr.co-starred. In this very special episode, young Corky (Dolenz) is costumed as one of Hitler’s Brownshirts.
Prior to The Monkees, Dolenz already had already sung with his own fledgling rock band (although he had to learn drumming from scratch for the series). His distinctive, one of a kind, high-pitched voice was one of a hundred factors that made the Monkees unique as a vocal group, and his comedic gifts were another major asset to the show.
In the half century since the Monkees disbanded, Dolenz has worked on a variety of other musical projects including countless Monkees reunions and reboots. He has also worked as a cartoon voice-over artist, and as a television director.
To find out more about show biz past and present, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, and for more on classic comedy, don’t miss Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube