Michael Nesmith in Television Parts was a summer TV series broadcast by NBC in 1985. The 30-minute comedy-variety show was created by Nez as a continuation of his Grammy Award-winning video production Elephant Parts. The first episode was a stand-alone special which aired on March 7, 1985. The following series premiered on June 14, 1985. Micky Dolenz acted as a director for the show during its brief run, and the Modern Folk Quartet, which included former Monkees producer Chip Douglas and legendary rock photographer Henry Diltz, made a guest appearance.
Television Parts was a mix of music videos (by both Michael and others) combined with comedy sketches and commercial parodies. It was hosted by Nez himself, who participated in many of the sketches. Television Parts also featured guest appearances by a variety of comedians, including Martin Mull, Whoopi Goldberg, Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfeld, Bill Martin, and Garry Shandling, whose appearance laid the foundation for It's Garry Shandling's Show. One of the show's featured pieces, "Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey" (with Michael as the narrator) was later picked up by Saturday Night Live in 1991.
Unfortunately, the series was canceled after just 5 episodes. The last airing ran for 90 minutes and was broadcasted in the Saturday Night Live time slot. It returned as two separate home video releases on VHS and Betamax, Television Parts Home Companion (1985) and Dr. Duck's Super Secret All-Purpose Sauce (1986). The first was a 40-minute compilation of the original show featuring the comedy skits and music of Michael Nesmith only. Dr. Duck's was a 90-minute montage of sketch comedy with a variety of stars and music videos (none featuring Nez). The stars included Bobcat Goldthwait, Ed Begley, Jr., Jimmy Buffett, Rosanne Cash, Whoopi Goldberg, Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfeld, and Garry Shandling.
Dr. Duck's Super Secret All-Purpose Sauce
Micky Dolenz was among the directors who worked on Michael's Television Parts in 1985 on NBC.
A big thanks to Jeff Gehringer for submitting this September 1986 article to the Live Almanac! It covers a wide variety of topics, including the 1986 Monkees revival; Nez seeing Micky, Davy and Peter in concert in Texas that year; MTV; Elephant Parts; Television Parts; the video magazine Overview; as well as the movies Square Dance, Timerider and Repo Man. For easier reading, click on each image and then click on it again.
Members of the Modern Folk Quartet (left to right: Henry Diltz, Jerry Yester, Chip Douglas and Cyrus Faryar) pose with Michael Nesmith at a Television Parts taping in Los Angeles in 1984.