Monkees Equals Monkees

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Monkees Equals Monkees is a game that was invented by essayist and music critic Chuck Klosterman at a party, and is described in detail in his book Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs. The basic game is to match a band and television show on the following five bases:

  1. Time Period,
  2. Longevity,
  3. Commercial Success,
  4. Critical Response,
  5. Overall Aesthetic Soul (most important)

Though not all five criteria have to be exact, it is preferred. In fact, you will likely find many other matching criteria when you engage in this.

Klosterman gives the following examples:

Standard convention applies — add at the top (but below this line), separated by a line.


The Stone Roses = Twin Peaks. Both opened up an entire genre in the very early 90's, had a unique ethereal quality, and didn't really get a proper ending.


Aerosmith = Saturday Night Live. Both initially popular with youth in the 1970's, faltered in the early 80's and regained popularity in the late 80's after a Retool of sorts. Both are still going today, for better or worse.


Nirvana = Seinfeld. Both from the early 90's, revolutionary in their respective media and widely imitated afterward. Both were considerably more observational and nuanced than their shallow competitors (Nirvana vs. hair metal, Seinfeld vs. family sitcoms.) Additionally, both had early, under-appreciated efforts later regarded as incomplete versions of their later selves (the scarcely-heard Bleach and the barely-seen first couple seasons) and went out more or less on top of the game... though with a very painful finale.


Guns 'N Roses = Ren and Stimpy: Icons of the early '90s, both had an edge to them that made them stand out from the more tame entries in their respective medium. Both would eventually fall victim to the ego of the most abrasive member of the cast (Axl Rose, John Krisfaluci). A comeback is attempted (Chinese Democracy, Ren & Stimpy Adult Cartoon Party), but it falls flat.


Eminem = South Park: Debuting in the late '90s, both quickly acquired a reputation for shock humor and the scorn of Moral Guardians . Both managed to remain relevant through the Turn Of The Milennium because there is substance and social commentary behind said shock humor.


Franz Ferdinand = Lost: Both are genre-busting children of the mid-2000s that became increasingly weird over time. Both had many short-lived imitators, but only time will tell if Franz comes to such a polarizing end.


The Beatles = Monty Python: Both are so ubiquitous that they are as current as they were forty years ago. People born decades later can quote them. Both share a similar absurd sense of humor (Help! and Monty Python and the Holy Grail) and had subsequent misses (Magical Mystery Tour and Monty Python's The Meaning of Life). Many people born after their height have difficulty appreciating how revolutionary they were. Both were decried by moral guardians but are now considered safe. Plus. there's George Harrison's friendship with the Pythons and involvement with several of their projects.


David Bowie = Doctor Who: Are you kidding me? The spacey imagery, the multiple phases, both got a little effed up in the eighties, and both are vaunted institutions? It's a no-brainer.


Pavement = Freaks and Geeks: Similarly nostalgic, bittersweet, and tragically overlooked in their own time (save for the Pitchfork crowd). Despite embracing the culture of The Eighties, both managed to capture the cynicism of The Nineties. Also the matching Album/Episode "____ and ____" naming system.


Silver Jews = Undeclared: The raunchier, less respected sequels to the aforementioned Pavement and Freaks and Geeks.


The Vines = Heroes: Thoroughly acclaimed after their debut, their sophomore efforts suffered due to external factors, and both Jumped the Shark soon after and became reviled, then forgotten.


Green Day = The Simpsons: Original and unbridled in The Nineties, they later became overblown shadows of their former selves.


OK Go = MythBusters: Both weaved in and out of public consciousness throughout the Turn of the Millennium, redeemed their respective genres, and changed with the times, not to mention that both are partial to ridiculous, extravagant and super-fun devices.