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The Monitors: Silly Sci-Fi From Second City c. 1969

May 23, 2014

This oddball sci-fi satire used to pop up on late-night TV fairly frequently when I was a kid.

It’s based on a Keith Laumer novel of the same name (which I’ve never read) and deals with a group of benevolent bowler-wearing aliens who have conquered earth and imposed peace all over the world. They’ve also outlawed most earthling passions – you know – hate, greed, war, real love, etc. That doesn’t sit well with a growing rebel faction, which is where we come in.

It was a creation of Chicago’s legendary Second City troupe and was directed by Jack Shea, and was a joint effort of Second City and the Bell-Howell corporation. Many Second City alumni appear (Avery Schreiber, for one, at the same time that he was doing Frito commercials), as well as some actors who weren’t in it (Guy Stockwell, Susan Oliver, Ed Begley Sr., Alan, Adam and Matthew Arkin, Keenan Wynn and F-Troop’s Larry Storch) , some strange cameos by the likes of Xavier Cugat, Jackie Vernon and Senator Everett McKinley Dirksen, playing himself in one of the numerous hilarious TV PSA segments. The cinematographer was future Oscar winner Vilmos Zsigmond.

There’s also songs by Odetta and loads and loads of quotable dialog and interesting soundbites.

This offering isn’t the movie’s soundtrack – I don’t think it’s ever been released. I simply recorded the audio when it was briefly available for streaming on that movie streaming service we love and loathe. I made it into a CD-length album, of sorts, mainly consisting of the theme, interesting dialog, those aforementioned PSA segments and more.

I hope you enjoy it!

The Monitors Are Your Friends.

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