Mr. Monk: The Obsessive Detective

Detective Adrian Monk portrayed by Tony Shalhoub in the midst of his crime solving routine in a Monk episode.

Monk aired the first time on July 12, 2002 and remained on the USA Network till December 4, 2009 when it finished its eighth season.

Actor Tony Shalhoub was Mr. Monk and had previously played Anthony Scarpacci on Wings from 1991-1997.

Detective Adrian Monk was the quintessential wacky detective that solved crimes on the USA Network crime drama Monk.His wife Trudy was killed in a parking garage explosion and Adrian Monk was never the same after that day.

Sharona Fleming as portrayed by Bitty Schram on Monk and reportedly left the show during the third season due to a contract dispute.
Traylor Howard portraying Mr. Monk’s assistant Natalie Teeger after Bitty Schram left Monk during its third season.

He couldn’t even function on his own as he needed an assistant to hand him disinfectant wipes after he shook hands with anyone and drive him to wherever he needed to go. Mr. Monk would even stop to straighten pictures on the wall if they were crooked. One time he noticed two glasses with one having more liquid than the other so he kept transfering the drinks to the other glass till the two glasses had the same exact amount in them.

One of the funniest shows was when Mr. Monk freaked out when there was a garbage strike in San Francisco and garbage was piled up all over the city. Since he was a cleanliness freak he found it hard to concentrate on crime since the garbage strike was the main thing on his mind.

First Assistant Leaves Show

Monk’s first assistant Sharona Fleming portrayed by Bitty Schram left the series after 38 episodes. It was rumored that she had sought more money but the network claimed they were going in a different creative direction. Regardless she and Monk had excellent chemistry but his new assistant Natalie Teeger played by Traylor Howard made a seamless transition to the show.

Schram was more of the flashy type while the demure Howard played the role as his assistant till the last episode aired last December.

Actor Ted Levine portrayed Captain Leland Stottlemeyer who called on Mr. Monk whenever there  was a crime that needed to be solved. He tried to overlook Monk’s eccentric behavior since he knew that he was a top flight detective who would solve the case in the end.

Stottlemeyer had the double duty of keeping his right hand man Lt. Randall Disher who was a bit on the eccentric side himself and Monk in check. In one episode Randy insists on carrying around a huge fountain drink and slurping on the last of the drink.

It angered the captain so much that he started sticking pens in the side of the drink cups so the drink would empty faster. He was a straight man for both Randy and Mr. Monk setting them up for the big laughs.

Randall Disher portrayed by Jason Gray-Stanford was the scatterbrained lieutenant who arrived at crime scenes with Captain Stottlemeyer.

Jason Gray-Stanford did an excellent job of portraying Lt. Randall “Randy” Disher on Monk. He stopped just short of overshadowing Mr. Monk. He was known for overlooking the obvious at a crime scene and writing his crime reports in a way that would be of no use to anyone reading it later.

Both of his assistants appeared in one of the last episodes of the series as Sharona Fleming returned to San Francisco to take care of some business. Sharona and his present assistant Natalie Teeger clashed over Mr.Monk and especially when Natalie found out that Mr. Monk has paid more to Sharona because she had a child.

His psychiatric sessions with his psychiatrists were exercises in futility for both him and the psychiatrist. The first psychiatrist was  Dr. Charles Kroger but when he died in 2008 of a heart attack Hector Elizondo finished the series as Dr. Neven Bell after the death of Kamel.

Since we missed almost all of the first seven seasons we are now recording any Monk shows being shown on any network or station. We have encountered very few shows that we have already seen. With a treasure trove of episodes still unseen we can look forward to enjoying Monk for many years to come and will be looking for the actors in the show as they show up on other shows.


Author: Andrew Godfrey

Retired from newspaper work after 38 years. Had served in the Army in Hawaii and Vietnam in the 60's. Am now retired and living in Sulphur, Louisiana.

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