Monk (2002–2009)
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Mr. Monk Goes to the Carnival 

A police officer and friend of Stottlemeyer is framed for a crime he didn't commit involving a ferris wheel. Meanwhile Monk tries to convince Stottlemeyer to get him reinstated.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Leonard Stokes
Rob Stefaniuk ...
John Gitomer
Kitty Malone
Board Member #1
Board Member #2
Landlord (as Phillip Williams)
J.C. Kenny ...
TV Reporter
Scott Wickware ...
IA Cop
Paul A. MacFarlane ...
Medical Examiner


Lieutenant Adam Kirk (Stephen McHattie) is dropped off at a local carnival, where he is to meet with an informant, John Gitomer. Gitomer promises to give Kirk information on a massive shipment of purple haze coming in, but insists that they go on the Ferris wheel first. They get on the wheel, but just as the wheel starts up, Gitomer starts screaming for someone to stop the ride, as though he's being attacked by Kirk. When the operator shuts down the wheel and Kirk disembarks, Gitomer is dead with a knife stabbed through his heart. Internal Affairs believes that the hot-headed Kirk lost his temper, but Stottlemeyer believes Kirk to be innocent and brings Monk in to clear his name, while Monk simultaneously prepares for a reinstatement hearing. Written by dmreif

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phobia | See All (1) »


Comedy | Crime | Drama | Mystery


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Release Date:

2 August 2002 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


This is the first episode where Monk utters the line "It's a blessing/gift and a curse". See more »


Sharona holds up her cell phone so Monk can explain to Stottlemeyer how the murder was committed, but the screen on the phone is blank. It's not turned on. See more »


Adrian Monk: I am so hungry.
Sharona Fleming: Well, get a hot dog.
Adrian Monk: No, no thanks. No.
Benjy Fleming: Mom, can I have two dollars?
Sharona Fleming: Wait. What for?
Benjy Fleming: It's a contest. There's a big jar of jellybeans, and if I guess how many are in the jar, I win a boom box.
Adrian Monk: 8,385.
Sharona Fleming: What?
Adrian Monk: That's how many jellybeans are in the jar - 8,385.
Benjy Fleming: 8,385. 8,385.
See more »

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User Reviews

At the carnival with Mr Monk
9 July 2017 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

'Monk' has always been one of my most watched shows when needing comfort, to relax after a hard day, a good laugh or a way to spend a lazy weekend. Four episodes (count the two parter "Mr Monk and the Candidate" as one episode) in and, while not one of the show's best and not as good as the previous episodes, "Mr Monk Goes to the Carnival" is solid, fun stuff.

It is agreed that the case is not as strong as the character moments and the main reinstatement subplot with Monk, being not as clever or as twisty as the previous episodes. Also agree that the final solution underwhelms, the explanation is good if obvious but the lack of proof and how Monk's explanation is substantiated by the murderer didn't ring true to me. That "Mr Monk Goes to the Carnival" is still solid is proof that while some 'Monk' episodes are better than others (like it is with most shows), the weaker episodes are still better than most shows at their weakest.

On the other hand, one of the best things about 'Monk' has always been the acting of Tony Shalhoub in the title role, it was essential for him to work and be the glue of the show, and Shalhoub not only is that but also at his very best he IS the show. Have always loved the balance of the humour, which is often hilarious, and pathos, which is sincere and touching. It is remarkable here that for an episode that only introduces him that one likes him straight away, even with his quirks and deficiencies that could easily have been overplayed, and also that he is better developed than most titular characters of other shows at this particular stage. Who can't help love Monk's brilliant mind too?

He is very well supported by a sharp and no-nonsense but also sympathetic Bitty Schram, whose Sharona makes for a worthy and entertaining partner for Monk's sleuthing and somebody with a maternal side. There is always a debate at who's better between Sharona and Natalie, personally like both in their own way and consider them both attractive though as of now leaning towards Natalie as the better acted and more attentive of the two.

Also by a very amusing, and sometimes even funnier than that, Ted Levine, what a difference from his Buffalo Bill in 'The Silence of the Lambs', you also see a sympathetic and loyal side to Stottlemeyer. Jason Gray-Stanford is not quite as entertaining, with not quite as memorable lines (only because the other three are so good that's all) but shows great chemistry with everyone and is appealing enough with his earnestness and goofiness. Support is good.

It's not just the cast though. Another star is the writing, which is also essential to whether the show would be successful or not and succeed it does here. The mix of hilarious wry humour, lovable quirkiness and tender easy-to-relate-to drama is delicately done but extremely deft.

While the case and ending could have been stronger, Monk's reinstatement subplot is brilliantly done, the hearing being the highlight of the episode and the scene in the corridor a lovely and superbly written and acted touch.

Visually, the episode is shot in a slick and stylish way, and the music is both understated and quirky. Much prefer the jazzy Season 1 theme tune to the later "It's a Jungle Out There", which always struck me before as one of my least favourite assets of 'Monk' but has since grown on me, which should have been kept. It's all very capably directed throughout.

Overall, solid and fun but it could have been better. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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