“Monkey Shines”

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)

In the interest of science, history, and primate studies, we present the “Monkey Shines” opening credit sequence…


  1. LilMarauder
    Posted December 5, 2008 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    I love you forever because of this!

  2. Posted December 5, 2008 at 9:25 pm | Permalink




    Win. Serious serious win.

  3. Philip Pickard
    Posted December 5, 2008 at 10:57 pm | Permalink


    I COULD be wrong, but I do believe that is the single most awesome thing ever.

  4. Posted December 6, 2008 at 2:00 am | Permalink

    I’m pretty sure this outdoes the Paul and Storm cover of Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love” in the style of They Might Be Giants impersonating Oingo Boingo for the title of Single Most Awesome Thing Ever.

    (I know that hasn’t actually occurred, but I thought you should be aware that should you undertake it, it would automatically rate as the Second Most Awesome Thing Ever. C’maaaaaaan.)

    So if you guys are the sitcom’s Token Wacky Friends, what does that make Neil Gaiman?

  5. Daniel
    Posted December 6, 2008 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Wow. This is awesome. I hope you do more of this in the future.

    I too, would like to know Neil Gaiman’s role. I see him as a bit of the stuffy next door neighbor/landlord who’s always disapproving of the group’s zany antics while secretly admiring their free-spiritedness.

  6. Ann
    Posted December 6, 2008 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    Oh wow. Wow. I don’t really have any more words to describe the sheer, unadulterated awesomeness of this.

    I will, however assume that you guys a.)have too much time on your hands b.)have watched waaay too many sitcoms b/c that editing is spot-on c.) are mad geniuses or d.) simply enjoy any excuse to hurl a stuffed monkey at Coulton’s head. Either way, the world thanks you for it.

  7. Colton David
    Posted December 6, 2008 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    =’) This is sheer beauty.

  8. relkceh
    Posted December 7, 2008 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Awesome! Are your roles more Brian Posehn/Steve Agee or Dave Coulier/John Stamos?

  9. Colleenky
    Posted December 7, 2008 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    Forgot to say…

    hahahahahahahahahahahahaha! 😀

  10. Jack F
    Posted December 7, 2008 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    I keep watching this video over and over. There really is a very high level of awesomeness here.

  11. Posted December 8, 2008 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    hmmm 1985 eh? do MACbook Pro’s have the power to travel back in time? :-p

  12. Posted December 8, 2008 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    Haven’t you ever heard of Time Machine? It’s a standard feature of Mac OS X 10.5.

  13. Posted December 8, 2008 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    Also, I want to see the 1991 Holiday Jamboree Sing-a-bration. Was Coulton in it?

  14. Russ Rogers
    Posted December 9, 2008 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Go to Wikipedia and search “Monkey Shines (TV Show),” while it lasts.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *