Monkey Shines is an American TV series that aired for one day in 1985 on ABC. It premiered as a 46-minute pilot at 8 A.M. and was cancelled during the first commerical break. Jonathan Coulton starred as well as writing and directing the pilot episode. Since its cancellation in the first 30-minutes, the show has achieved cult status, best-known for the fact that no one knows anything about it. Numerous myths about the show circulate the web, although few have ever been substantiated.
Yeah, I don’t know what to say about this. Everyone knows what happened to my acting career in the 80’s - let’s just say that I should have been working at Sea World because I was very good at making sharks jump. Or I guess, making people, or rather television shows, jump over sharks. Or Fonzie. Whatever! You know what I mean. This series never got of the ground, and to be perfectly honest I don’t even remember shooting the pilot - as you know, in those days I would drink about 10 Cokes before I even got out of bed, that was what it took for me to feel normal. So it’s safe to say that I was still feeling pretty loopy by the time they turned the cameras on. This particular failure was one shark (jumped over) too many, and it pretty much marked the end of my TV career (punching Stephen J. Canell in the eye at Tony Danza’s progressive dinner party did not help, ha ha).
I really like the laptop computers that Coulton and Neil Gaiman are using in the opening.
Last edited by Melonballer; 12-08-2008 at 11:16 PM.
Jonathan Coulton’s short-lived sitcom “Monkey Shines” had an extremely brief run on ABC in 1985; it was cancelled during the first commercial break of the first episode, and was ordered destroyed by then-ABC President Grant Tinker. The show slowly developed a cult following through the years, however but although numerous rumors of bootleg recordings of the show circulated, they all proved to be hoaxes or, in several cases, episodes from season 3 of “Felicity“. In early 2008, in a sub-basement of the Yale University anthropological studies department, researchers unearthed a Betacam master video recording of the pilot episode opening credits. (Unfortunately, the remainder of the episode was apparently recorded over with footage of the Yale Whiffenpoofs “1991 Holiday Jamboree Sing-a-bration”) To date, this remains the only authenticated footage from “Monkey Shines”. (Reclusive star Coulton has not returned repeated requests for comment)
I don't know, this just feels like a hoax to me. Anyone can create a Wikipedia page, and for a supposed cult following, there's a suspicious lack of references to it (not the '80s movie by the same name) on search engines. It looks like this was an April Fool's prank by the supposed stars. At least that's my guess.
Mind you, I do remember there being a series in the '80s that was cancelled mid-episode, but starred... um, maybe Paula Poundstone? In any case, this wasn't it.
Not to be a fun-ruiner, but this show didn't actually exist; it's a one-off joke involving Jonathan Coulton, Neil Gaiman, and Paul and Storm, among others. I don't know how to mark it as fictional. UltraNurd (talk) 22:32, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
Agreed...the YouTube video is even shot in 16:9, and in 1985, Coulton was only 15. -EmiOfBrie (talk) 07:35, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
The Whiffenpoof reference is also a pretty good clue that it's a joke.