Trivia / Monk

  • Actor Allusion
    • In the episode "Mr. Monk Is Someone Else", Reed Diamond plays Agent Stone, who works for Team Alpha, who work to identify and track high profile targets/dangerous individuals.
    • "Hyooo-mun" towards the end of "Mr. Monk and the UFO"
    • "Mr. Monk and the Airplane" featured a brief cameo from Tony Shalhoub's co-star from Wings (Tim Daly) as himself, with Sharona raving about how Wings was her favorite show. Adrian swears he never saw it.
      • Tim Daly also hits it off with Sharona and kisses her. Daly was the voice of Superman, and Sharona refers to herself as Monk's Lois Lane. She also advises him to keep his nice guy image.
    • In "Mr. Monk is Someone Else," Monk has to memorize biographical details for the deceased — including parents Joe and Helen from Massachusetts.
      • This is a double allusion as Joe and Helen are also the first names of Shalhoub's own parents.
    • The episode where Monk learns of a potential lead to Trudy's murderer has Tim Curry playing a Manipulative Bastard who for various reasons is unable to move around much and is immobile, just like Forte.
    • Monk's standoff with Winston Brenner in Monk's darkened apartment in "Mr. Monk and the Blackout", with Monk wearing nightvision goggles, is similar to the climatic scene in The Silence of the Lambs where Buffalo Bill (Levine) stalks Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) through a dark basement. Coincidentally, Ted Levine and another actor from that movie, Scott Glenn, would later reunite in "Mr. Monk Is On the Run," but in reversed roles, with Glenn playing the villain and Levine being a supporting protagonist.
    • In "Mr. Monk Gets Cabin Fever," Monk's alias name in witness protection is "Frank Conway," a reference to Shalhoub's character Kevin Conway in A Civil Action where he costarred with John Travolta.
    • This is not the first time Natalie has been involved in a relationship with a man named Mitch.
    • In "Mr. Monk Buys a House," Hector Elizondo is first introduced as Dr. Neven Bell. Later, when seeing Monk discovering a clue on the stairway of Joseph Moody's house, "Honest" Jake Phillips calls him Columbo. Elizondo had played a murderous diplomat in the Columbo episode "A Case of Immunity".
    • Real-life Guest Star example: In "Mr. Monk and the Red-Headed Stranger", Monk asks if he smells anything in Willie Nelson's bus, to which Nelson replies "no, and neither do you." Fans of Willie Nelson will recognize this as a reference to Nelson being suspected of smoking pot by various law enforcement groups and having close encounters with the cops because of it.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Panic Room," Brad Hawkins' character Kurt Wolff shows Monk and Sharona a special pendant that shoots pepper spray. It also makes reference to Hawkins' TV debut in VR Troopers, where the three heroes wore matching pendants called Virtualizers, which enabled them to transform themselves into cyborg heroes by holding the pendants and saying "We are V.R." Another possible reference is to the various Morphers from Power Rangers, for which Hawkins provided the voice of the Gold Ranger, Trey. The fact that Hawkins is in an episode about the music business is also an in-joke as he dabbled in country music for a while.
    • At least two of the supporting cast members who play mobsters in "Mr. Monk Is Someone Else" were previously regulars on The Sopranos: Vincent Curatola, who plays L.A. mob boss Jimmy Barlowe, was The Sopranos regular Johnny Sack, head of the Lupertazzi crime family. Louis Lombardi, who plays Tommy G., was Skip Lapari in a few early The Sopranos episodes in 2000 and 2001.
  • Actor-Shared Background:
    • Natalie's parents, Robert "Bobby" Davenport and Peggy Davenport, either coincidentally or not, share names with Traylor Howard's real parents, Peggy E. Traylor and Robert M. Howard, Jr. According to Monk: The Official Episode Guide, the writers almost got in trouble, as Traylor recalled her dad saying, "He was like, 'Well are we jerks? I don't want us to be jerks.' And I told him, 'Dad, it's not real!'"
    • Dr. Charles Kroger is said to be Jewish, much like Stanley Kamel was in real life.
    • Sharona, just like her actress Bitty Schram, comes from New Jersey.
  • Channel Hop: When the show premired in 2002, episodes were broadcast first on ABC and then rerun later that week on USA. Within a few weeks ABC lost interest in the show, leaving it airing on USA only.
  • The Character Died with Him: When Stanley Kamel died of a sudden heart attack on April 8, 2008 during the production hiatus between seasons 6 and 7, the producers decided that there was no way to try recasting a new actor in the role of Dr. Charles Kroger (as Kamel had played the part in close to half of the 93 episodes that had been made to that point) or have him Put on a Bus, so the same heart attack fate was given to Dr. Kroger. As a result, "Mr. Monk Buys a House" is unique in that it has a card reading "In loving memory of Stanley Kamel" before the closing credits at the end. The episode also introduced Hector Elizondo as Dr. Neven Bell, a therapist to replace the void left by Dr. Kroger for the remaining two seasons of the show. The replacement therapist does seem to have a noticeable effect on the feel of the remaining episodes, especially season 7.
    • Character Outlives Actor: Dr. Kroger appears in the novels Mr. Monk Goes to Germany and Mr. Monk is Miserable, both of which were published after Stanley Kamel's death. However, they were both set prior to "Mr. Monk Is On the Run".
  • The CSI Effect: There is a point in the novel Mr. Monk Goes to Germany where this trope is discussed. Stottlemeyer says he hates CSI and personally wants to punch the person "who had the brilliant idea of doing a show that teaches crooks how to avoid being caught".
  • The Danza: Lawrence O'Donnell plays Judge Lawrence Barr in two episodes.
    • According to the novel Mr. Monk Helps Himself, Grooms's first name is Joshua. He's played by Josh Stamberg.
    • "Mr. Monk and the Big Game" features a high school mascot named Jen. Her actress? Jennifer Lawrence!
  • Dawson Casting: Tony Shalhoub is actually six years older than Monk is supposed to be. Hence, though he turns 50 in "Happy Birthday, Mr. Monk," he's actually 56 in that episode, which aired in 2009.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Bad Girlfriend," Stottlemeyer is revealed to be 51, which is just a year older than Ted Levine actually was in 2007. Monk is supposed to be three years younger than Stottlemeyer, but Tony Shalhoub is actually four years older than Levine.
    • Ambrose is Adrian's older brother. In real life, John Turturro is four years younger than Tony Shalhoub.
    • And Shalhoub was 53 when "Mr. Monk and the Class Reunion" was produced. In contrast, Cynthia Stevenson, the actress playing Dianne Brooks, was 45 years old at the time, and her character is supposed to be 47 years old at that point.
    • Depending on how you interpret it, it is possible Natalie may count as this due to Older Than They Look, as Traylor Howard is in her late thirties/early forties, when Natalie could easily be mid to late-thirties.
    • All of the flashbacks with Trudy are this. Incidentally, if Trudy were alive today, she'd be five years older than Melora Hardin. But it's played straight: the flashback to Trudy's death in the series finale, for instance, depict Trudy when she was 35. Hardin was 42 at the time.
  • Directed by Cast Member: Tony Shalhoub was Monk as well as one of the show's executive producers.
    • Adam Arkin was involved in two season 1 episodes. He wore a fatsuit to portray bedridden Dale "the Whale" Biederbeck in "Mr. Monk Meets Dale the Whale". He also directed "Mr. Monk and the Other Woman".
  • Fake American:
    • Canadian Jason-Gray Stanford as the American Randy Disher.
    • In "Mr. Monk vs. the Cobra," gravedigger Chris Downey is supposed to be an American based on his name, but he is played by British actor Mark Sheppard. In the first scene where he has dialogue, his British accent is slipping.
    • The first season, because it was filmed in Vancouver and Toronto, gave us lots of Canadian-sounding Californians, eh? These include Michael Hogan (Warren St. Claire in "Mr. Monk and the Candidate"), Linda Kash (Dolly Flint in "Mr. Monk and the Psychic"), Stephen McHattie (Lt. Adam Kirk in "Mr. Monk Goes to the Carnival"), Maria del Mar (Monica Waters in "Mr. Monk and the Other Woman"). For the record, Randy Disher also counts since Jason Gray-Stanford comes from Vancouver, where the pilot was filmed.
    • To some extent, Monk is one as far as his ancestry. Monk has American ancestry. While Tony Shalhoub is American by birth (having been born in Green Bay, Wisconsin), he has Lebanese ancestry.
    • Another Canadian posing as an American is Rossif Sutherland as Vic Blanchard in "Mr. Monk and the Other Detective".
  • I Want You to Meet an Old Friend of Mine:
    • Two of Tony Shalhoub's Wings costars appeared in guest roles: Tim Daly As Himself (complete with an Actor Allusion for Shaloub) in the first season and Steven Weber as the killer of the week in a fifth season episode.
    • Monk's former partner in "Mr. Monk and the Employee of the Month" is played by Enrico Colantoni, who previously appeared in Galaxy Quest with Tony Shalhoub.
  • Jossed: The plot of Mr. Monk and the Two Assistants (about a Sharona/Natalie crossover) cannot happen thanks to the final season featuring "Mr. Monk and Sharona" for a Sharona/Natalie crossover.
  • Lying Creator: "Mr. Monk and the End, Part 1" opens with a flashback to Trudy's death. We see that Monk and Stottlemeyer had just started a case about a missing nurse when they found out about Trudy's death. Said murder had been advertised for years as "the only case Monk never solved." Except that it turns out that the missing nurse was killed by the same guy who killed Trudy, for the same reason.
  • Meta Casting: Stanley Tucci, one of the actors originally considered for the role of Monk, plays in "Mr. Monk and the Actor" as David Ruskin, who is playing the role of Monk in a movie. Alfred Molina, who had also auditioned for the role, appears in "Mr. Monk and the Naked Man" as computer programmer Peter Magneri.
  • The Other Darrin:
    • Three actresses played Trudy Monk: Stellina Ruisch for the first two seasons, Melora Hardin for all appearances from "Mr. Monk and the Game Show" onwards, and Lindy Newton for flashback scenes with a younger Trudy in "Mr. Monk and the Class Reunion".
    • Dale "the Whale" Biederbeck, Monk's recurring Arch-Enemy, is played by a different actor in each of his appearances because the role is too large for one guy to carry. He's played by Adam Arkin in "Mr. Monk Meets Dale the Whale," by Tim Curry in "Mr. Monk Goes to Jail," and by Ray Porter in "Mr. Monk Is On the Run, Part II".
    • Sharona's ex-husband Trevor Howe appears twice, but he is played by Frank John Hughes in "Mr. Monk and the Sleeping Suspect", and by David Lee Russak in "Mr. Monk and the Girl Who Cried Wolf".
    • Stottlemeyer's son Jared has changed actors multiple times, as he ages: in "Mr. Monk Goes to the Ballgame," he's played by Cameron Cush, and by child actor Jesse James in "Mr. Monk and the Captain's Wife". In Jared's Day in the Limelight episode, "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert", he's played by John Kyle Hansen.
    • Sharona's son Benjy is played by Kane Richotte in the season 1 pilot, as well as all of his appearances in season 2 and season 3, but is played by Max Morrow for all of season 1 except the pilot episode. This is because Richotte's episodes were filmed in Vancouver and also in Los Angeles, while episodes with Morrow were shot in Toronto, and the respective actor couldn't travel to the other coast for filming.
    • In fact, the only relatives of the main characters who are played by the same actors in all of their appearances are Adrian's brother Ambrose (John Turturro), Sharona's sister Gail (Amy Sedaris), Stottlemeyer's first wife Karen (Glenne Headly), as well as Natalie's daughter Julie (Emmy Clarke) and parents Bobby and Peggy (Michael Cavanaugh and Holland Taylor).
  • Out of Order: While for the most part many of the episodes can be watched as procedural episodes without much concern for continuity, this happens a few times due to the episode-airing schedule not being the same as the production schedule:
    • "Mr. Monk Gets Married" was actually meant to be aired during the first half of season 2 (the late summer 2003 schedule), but instead aired as the penultimate episode to the set of episodes aired in February. This leads to a continuity error where Monk says that Trudy died "six years ago," which would make sense if the episode had aired in summer 2003, as originally scheduled. However, since the episode was delayed until 2004, "seven years ago" would now be correct. Except the episode aired in February 2004, and if Trudy was killed in December 1997, "six years ago" would make as much sense.
    • It's notable that often the episodes were not aired in the order they were produced. "Mr. Monk and the Other Woman" was the seventh episode aired but the third to be filmed, which accounts for why Stottlemeyer and Disher suddenly seem to have regressed to being openly antagonistic towards Monk when they had begun to mellow towards him in "Mr. Monk Goes to the Carnival".
    • "Mr. Monk Is On the Air" also aired out of order. It was probably meant to be aired after "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert" and before "Mr. Monk Meets His Dad", but ended up instead airing in February as part of the second half of season 5 between "Mr. Monk Is At Your Service" and "Mr. Monk Visits a Farm". You can tell because the episode is set in August 2006 while "Mr. Monk Is At Your Service" is set in April 2007. Additionally, Natalie's hair is longer, the episodes bracketing it had Traylor Howard using various items to hide her first pregnancy while she isn't doing so in this episode. Lastly, Natalie is driving a Jeep Grand Cherokee like in seasons 3 and 4 plus the first half of season 5, when in the rest of season 5.5 she drives a Buick Lucerne.
  • Real-Life Relative: Quite a number of people in Tony Shalhoub's actual family have appeared on the show.
    • Brooke Adams, Shalhoub's wife, appears several times (always as different characters):
      • In "Mr. Monk and the Airplane" as Leigh Harrison, a flight attendant who is driven crazy by Monk's antics. She is later interviewed by James Novak in "Mr. Monk's 100th Case", where it is shown that she has developed a fear of flying and also was driven to drinking, which was also implied by her final appearance in the former episode.
      • In "Mr. Monk and the Kid" as Abigail Carlyle, an abducted violinist's mother.
      • In "Mr. Monk Visits a Farm" as Sheriff Butterfield. All of a sudden, the scene where Monk goes square dancing very terribly with her (while looking visibly uncomfortable for the entire scene) becomes a thousand times funnier, especially since he brings up Trudy during the scene.
      • In "Mr. Monk and the Badge" as Edith Capriani, a Crazy Cat Lady that Monk gets fed up with for pulling him away from other cases.
    • Tony's brother Michael Shalhoub has played:
      • In "Mr. Monk and the Missing Granny," he plays Ron Abrash, a former radicalist who Monk and Stottlemeyer question as a person of interest in a kidnapping. Which makes the part where Monk says, "I've been smoking THE TRUTH, MAN!" that much funnier when you consider just exactly who Tony is saying this line to.
      • In "Mr. Monk Bumps His Head," Michael plays Ned, the beekeeper whose farm Roger Zisk crashes his car into when trying to cover up bee stings that he'd received the night before when dumping Debbie Barnett's dead body on a roadside.
      • In "Mr. Monk Is the Best Man," Michael is the minister who presides over Leland and T.K.'s wedding ceremony.
    • Tony's sister Susan Shalhoub Larkin is Linda Kloster's housekeeper in "Mr. Monk and the Genius" (the one who drops the tray and discovers the body).
    • Tony's nephew Tony Larkin is the shushing monk in "Mr. Monk and the Miracle."
    • Rachel Dratch, who plays Julie Parlo in "Mr. Monk and the Missing Granny," is producer Daniel Dratch's sister.
  • Throw It In:
    • Randy's epic struggle in "Mr. Monk and the Leper" to remove some embarrassing photos of him with acne in Dr. Polanski's waiting room. The scene was supposed to be a simple swipe, but the set designer had glued the pictures on so strongly that Jason Gray-Stanford couldn't do the swipe. This explains why Randy looks confused when he pulls on the photo and it doesn't come off - it's because Jason is expecting it to simply come off without much effort (like it was hanging from a nail hammered into the wall). So without breaking character, he grabs the chain pen on the receptionist's desk and tries to use that to pry the picture off, eventually ending up ripping out part of the plaster with the photo.
    • Traylor Howard's pregnancy was worked into "Mr. Monk Is At Your Service".
    • In "Mr. Monk Is Up All Night," the part of the scene where Stottlemeyer and Disher grab Monk's pickpocketed wallet from Gully at the bar was added by Ted Levine and Jason Gray-Stanford. By ad-libbing this bit, they make it clear that they know Gully is buying them drinks on a wallet that is not his. They play along with it essentially thinking, "Drinks on Monk!" Only on their exit do they end any pretense, and take Monk's wallet back; in other words, they have been one step ahead of Gully the entire time. This also proves that Stottlemeyer and Disher are not as oblivious as they may sometimes act.
  • Unfinished Episode: According to an episode guide, there was going to be an episode where the detective solves a murder while on a cruise. The cruise line company that owned the ship was okay with it until they started making numerous demands. The producers eventually decided it was more trouble than it was worth and scrapped the episode. The script didn't go to waste though; it was adapted into the 2014 novel "Mr. Monk Gets on Board".
  • What Could Have Been:
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Bad Girlfriend," there are some production stills that suggest that Monk's confrontation with Linda at her house was to happen on her front lawn, not in her bedroom.
    • This production blog for "Mr. Monk and the Actor" indicates that the way in which Monk discovers the gun used in the pawn shop owner shooting was a lot different originally. The final version has the gun being found in a downspout. Originally, a kid was to pick up a discarded gun, thinking it was a toy. Natalie would start playing "shootout" with the kid, until Monk deduced it was the murder weapon and it had a round in the chamber, followed by a suspenseful hide-and-seek game in which the last round was fired at Monk and Natalie. An actor was actually cast, but the scene was not filmed and was cut for time.
    • The USANetwork.com production blog for "Mr. Monk Gets a New Shrink" shows that the plot formula went through a lot of idea changes. The idea that the piece of incriminating evidence was to be found in a vaccum bag had floated around for years. Hy Conrad claimed that they even considered at one point having the killer dismember the victim, then place the individual remains in a self-cleaning oven and turn them into ash. He would then vacuum out the remains and have a vacuum cleaner bag filled with his victim. For a comedic show like Monk, this was considered too gruesome. Then there came to settling on a cleaning lady being the murder victim (Theresa Mueller). Then, to make sure some personal involvement was given to a series regular, they decided that the cleaning lady should be killed while in the middle of cleaning Dr. Kroger's office, fulfilling something else the writers wanted to do - give Stanley Kamel a Day In The Lime Light episode.
      • Once this had been done, a few ideas as to how Dr. Kroger would be involved floated around. Having Dr. Kroger help Monk solve the case had to be shot down because this would ruin the clinical doctor-patient detachment. The result is that Dr. Kroger doesn't show up during any of the investigation scenes, and the scene where Dr. Kroger and Monk investigate Francis Merrigan's office has them peer through the window instead of breaking into the office proper because of this.
    • The production blog for "Mr. Monk and the Birds and the Bees" indicates that originally the incriminating photo of Julie and Tim Sussman with Rob Sherman in the background was to be taken at a Tunnel of Love attraction, and Monk chasing Rob Sherman to get the photo disks back would have happened on that attraction. However, it was too expensive to build one on a soundstage and they couldn't find a similar attraction at a real theme park.
    • Future guest stars Alfred Molina and Stanley Tucci were also considered. Amusingly, Tucci's role as David Ruskin in "Mr. Monk and the Actor" is as an actor playing Monk. Also Molina's role was a man suspiciously similar to Monk.
    • John Ritter, Henry Winkler, Dave Foley, and Michael Richards were also considered for the role of Monk. Queen Latifah was the original choice for Sharona.
    • The Season 3 opening episode, "Mr. Monk Takes Manhattan", was originally written as a Crossover with Law & Order (USA Network and NBC share the same parent company).
    • According to Hy Conrad, one script that never got filmed was an episode called "Mr. Monk Is At Sea". It would have been aired in 2004 as part of season 3 (likely taking the place of "Mr. Monk and the Game Show") and would have involved Monk and Sharona investigating a set of murders on a cruise ship. While USA Network approved of the script, it never got filmed because cruise lines were pretty sensitive about the notion of a murder being committed on their ships or someone falling overboard. They wouldn't budge, even when the writing team tried changing the killer's identity and lowered the body count. Even attempting to use the floating Queen Mary hotel in Long Beach for shooting fell through. Although the script was still brought up whenever the writing team was running short on ideas, it became the team's white whale, "Episode 126". Only in 2013 did Hy Conrad contact Daniel Dratch, who acquired the "Mr. Monk Is At Sea" script from the vault. The script was thus rewritten and published as Mr. Monk Gets on Board.note 
    • In 2012 USA had series creator Andy Breckman write scripts for two potential Monk reunion movies. One would have had Monk get married again and move to France, only to have his new wife try to kill him. The other would have had Monk run for mayor of San Francisco in order to help Molly Evans investigate corruption at City Hall. The network ultimately decided against producing either movie.
    • Randy's original last name in the pilot was Deacon. Which led to a stealth joke: the first two letters of his and Stottlemeyer's first and last names put together spells "Lestrade" (Leland Stottlemeyer and Randy Deacon).

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