Monk (2002–2009)
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Mr. Monk Meets the Playboy 

Monk suspects the owner of a notorious playboy magazine is responsible for the death of his CFO, who died alone in a locked room of an apparent accident. So, how did he do it?


(as Tom Dicillo)


(creator), | 1 more credit »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Diane Luden
Danny Bonaduce
Kane Ritchotte ...
Benjy Fleming
Shawn Clemmons
Elliott D'Souza
Bethany Daniels
Chief Mechanic
2nd Mechanic (as Bruno Gioiello)


When a man dies, alone, in a locked room, his secretary hires Monk because she thinks it could be foul play. It seems the man was the financial backer of Dexter Larsen, the publisher of Sapphire, a men's magazine. It seems that he was going to pull the plug on Larsen. Monk thinks they should talk to Larsen but Stottlemeyer and Disher refuse to assist him until he tells them that they're going to Sapphire mansion. When they get there Monk finds a lot of holes in Larsen's alibi. But before he gets any deeper Larsen threatens to reveal something that stops Monk in his tracks. Written by

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Comedy | Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

15 August 2003 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


Diane Luden said that the floppy disk which should have contained Eliott D'Souza's final recommendation was "blank" (this is because it had been wiped by Dexter's electromagnet during the murder). However, a magnet powerful enough to have wiped the data from the disk would have also wiped out its file allocation table, meaning that it would have given a "disk not formatted" error when it was checked in the computer. See more »


Lt. Randall Disher: Oh, my God. We're really here. We're in his bedroom. Pinch me.
Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: No.
Lt. Randall Disher: I didn't mean really pinch me.
Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: Randy, shut up. We're done talking about pinching.
See more »


Features Little Swee'pea (1936) See more »


Fur Elise
Written by Ludwig van Beethoven
Played on piano by Noel
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User Reviews

A playboy you wouldn't want to mess with
19 July 2017 | by 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.

There is a huge amount to enjoy in "Mr Monk Meets the Playboy". It may not be one of the best episodes of Season 2 or of 'Monk' in general, but it's wildly entertaining with a clever if not too hard to figure out mystery and one of the show's best villains (personal opinion of course). The "whodunit" and "whydunnit" aspects are obvious from the outset, the motive is known right from the opening scene before the murder and the "whodunit" aspect was a case of it could have only been them.

"Mr Monk Meets the Playboy" also fares better in the comedy than the mystery. The mystery is still good, it's interesting and clever, and the "howdunnit" aspect is not as obvious as the other two (even if suspected) and not simplistic or convoluted. It does stall in momentum occasionally and maybe Dexter's profession is laid on slightly heavy-handedly.

With all that being said, there is so much to enjoy. 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 right from the first episode to when the show ended 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. The two are so enjoyable together and the best detective duo of any show in recent years from personal opinion.

Ted Levine is amusing if a little underused compared to some incredibly funny material, some of his funniest in fact, in a couple of previous Season 2 episodes, but Jason Gray-Stanford and the character of Disher really shines, the brightest they've shone yet. Gary Cole is excellent as Dexter, one of the season's and show's most memorable villains as he switches from sleazy, nerdy, manipulative and dangerous, all portrayed believably and with no jarring changes of tone by Cole. 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, of which some of the funniest writing of the whole show is in this episode. The character moments are such a joy with the principal cast are always.

As to be expected, "Mr Monk Meets the Playboy" is very high in laughs, and there are even some fairly chilling and heartfelt moments like Dexter's threat to reveal Sharona's past (which makes an already loathsome character even more hateable, nobody wants to mess with this guy) and Sharona's conversation with Benjy (that was a tear-jerker).

Visually, the episode is shot in a slick and stylish way, and the music is both understated and quirky. While there is a preference for the theme music for Season 1, Randy Newman's "It's a Jungle Out There" has grown on me overtime, found it annoying at first but appreciate its meaning and what it's trying to say much more now.

On the whole, very good. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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