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Mike Nesmith signed on as a cast member of The Monkees television show in 1965. He remained a member of the entity that morphed into a music group until 1970. However, his last words as a member of The Monkees had nothing to do with either. Nesmith uttered “enerfs enerf” after a ridiculous moment with Davy Jones and Micky Dolenz.

The Monkees on the set of their television show. The cast included Mike Nesmith, Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork, and Davy Jones.
‘The Monkees’ cast included Mike Nesmith, Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz, and Peter Tork | NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Mike Nesmith officially became a cast member of ‘The Monkees’ in 1965

Nesmith learned of The Monkees‘ audition via a Hollywood Reporter ad. The small ad famously read, “Madness!! Auditions. Folk & Roll Musicians-Singers for acting roles in new TV series. Running Parts for four insane boys aged 17-21. Want spirited Ben Frank’s types. Have courage to work. Must come down for interview.”

Ben Frank’s was a coffee shop in LA, popular with the rock and roll crowd after the bars closed.

The ad attracted 437 applicants. Nesmith was one of them. He drew the attention of Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider at his audition by wearing a wool hat. Nesmith used the topper to keep his long hair out of his eyes as he rode his motorcycle and never took it off.

He also carried a guitar, a harmonica around his neck, and a bag of dirty laundry he said he planned to wash immediately afterward, reported CBC.

Rafelson and Schneider hired Nesmith for the gig and, along with Peter Tork, Micky Dolenz, and Davy Jones, became one-fourth of one of the most successful bands of the era.

Mike Nesmith’s final words as a Monkee had nothing to do with the series

Mike Nesmith on the set of 'The Monkees.'
Mike Nesmith | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

‘The Monkees’: Mike Nesmith Struggled Writing Music for TV Series: ‘I Didn’t Know How to Write a Pop Song’

By 1970, Nesmith appeared to have tired of portraying the straight man to Tork, Dolenz, and Jones on the television series and subsequent advertisements in which foursome were legally obligated to partake.

Shortly after the release of Head, Tork stepped out of the spotlight as a Monkees member. Nesmith followed suit in 1970. However, he had to pay the default on the remaining years in his contract, which totaled $450,000, reported Turner Classic Movies.

Before leaving the band and his Monkees television persona behind, Nesmith filmed a television commercial that paired two popular products at the start of the decade. Alongside Jones and Dolenz, he hawked Nerf Balls and Kool-Aid.

In the commercial, the trio stood in a living room and tossed the soft toys at one another. For the most part, Jones and Dolenz had the most lines, speaking of the virtues of both products.

However, Nesmith had the line that would officially end his Monkees career. He sat on a staircase with dozens of soft Nerf balls falling atop his head. There, he said the final words of his tenure as an official Monkees member, “Enerfs enerf.”

The Monkees would continue without Nesmith for one more album

Nesmith left the group to resume recording songs with his country-rock group, Michael Nesmith & The First National Band. He left Jones and Dolenz to work on the final LP released under The Monkees banner, Changes.

The single “Oh My My,” backed with the tune “I Love You Better,” was the last issued under the Monkees’ name in the United States until 1986, when the group reunited on the heels of a Monkees TV show marathon broadcast on MTV. 

Nesmith told the Arizona Republic in 2018 that his Monkees experience was a moment in time.

“We all were very tired, and the show was starting to repeat itself,” Nesmith said. “Things like The Monkees show have a specific lifetime, and when it’s through, it is through, left for history to assess. It does not, however, ever die.”