Monk (2002–2009)
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Mr. Monk and the Actor 

A method actor gets in the way as Monk tries to solve a case.


Randy Zisk


Andy Breckman (creator), Hy Conrad | 1 more credit »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Tony Shalhoub ... Adrian Monk
Traylor Howard ... Natalie Teeger
Jason Gray-Stanford ... Lt. Randall Disher
Ted Levine ... Captain Leland Stottlemeyer
Stanley Tucci ... David Ruskin
Susan Ward ... Michelle Cullman
Andrea Bogart ... Actress Playing Disher
Greg Grunberg ... Jack Leverett
Peter Weller ... Actor Playing Stottlemeyer
Stanley Kamel ... Dr. Charles Kroger
Angel Oquendo ... Garage Attendant
Carrie Reichenbach ... Actress Playing Natalie (as Carrie Chason)
David Mersault ... Director
Lara Black Lara Black ... Young Female Cop
Margot Boecker ... Pretty Police Woman


A TV producer has gotten the idea of developing a movie based off of the events of Monk's capture of Steve Wagner in "Mr. Monk and the Astronaut." They have hired renowned actor David Ruskin to play Monk. However, to get into the role of Monk, Ruskin shadows his character for a couple of days as Monk investigates the linked homicides of a young woman killed in her apartment and a pawnshop owner shot dead during a robbery. However, things get bad when Ruskin gets a little too into the role of Monk. Written by dmcreif

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Comedy | Crime | Drama | Mystery








Release Date:

7 July 2006 (USA) See more »

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Did You Know?


A number of actors were considered for the title role when development of the show moved to the USA Network, including Dave Foley, John Ritter, and Henry Winkler. The three finalists for the role were 'Stanley Tucci', Alfred Molina, and Tony Shalhoub. When Tucci and Molina were unavailable, Shaloub became the obvious choice. 'Stanley Tucci' appears on this episode as an actor portraying Monk in a made for TV movie. See more »


When Tucci and the others are doing the scene impersonating the Monk characters, the arrangement of the knick knacks goes back and forth several times between shots, even when Tucci has his back to them. See more »


Actor Playing Stottlemeyer: [talking on fake cellphone] Uh look, I know he's a bit eccentric, but Adrian Monk is the best damn investigator I've ever had so you tell the mayor if he goes I go.
Actor Playing Stottlemeyer: That's right.
Actor Playing Stottlemeyer: Lt. Disher! Lt. Disher, you got a minute?
Actress Playing Disher: [Actor Playing Disher walks in] Yes Captain.
Actor Playing Stottlemeyer: Uh what the hell do I say? I got it. The victim, the victim just received a check for fifty-thousand dollars. Pretty weird time to kill yourself. What do you think?
Actress Playing Disher: I'll tell you what I think. I think the department doesn't ...
See more »


Spoofs Monk: Mr. Monk and the Astronaut (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

Lights, cameras, action!
16 August 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee 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.

To me, "Mr Monk and the Actor" was a terrific start to Season 5 and one of the better season premieres of 'Monk'. Admittedly the humour and the character moments are a little more memorable than the mystery, but in all honesty it was like that for a while on 'Monk' (a lot of Season 4 was like that, but still, like this episode, managed to do it well). Besides the mystery concerning a double murder is a clever one and lots of fun to see how it unfolds and is solved.

It's the character moments where "Mr Monk and the Actor" shines brightest. The character of David Ruskin is a triumph all round and his scenes with Monk are episode, season and show highlights. Particularly the climactic scene in the car dealership, which is just priceless, and the last scene with them together which really breaks the heart, not only seeing a more serious side to Stanley Tucci as the character but also perfect proof of how Tony Shalhoub is every bit as good delivering on the drama and pathos as he is with the comedy and quirks. Another side of Monk seen that was a joy was how innocent and child-like he behaved when hearing that Ruskin wanted to meet him, like his yearning for acceptance (which one can identify with, was like this in school myself) coming true.

As said many times, 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.

Other than Shalhoub, the other highlight is Stanley Tucci's fantastic supporting turn as Ruskin. His metamorphosis of Monk, mannerisms, quirks, appearance and all is sheer genius and so believable that telling them apart is not always easy (despite how this sounds this is in a good way, seeing as it suits the concept of the episode perfectly).

Natalie is down to earth, sympathetic and sassy, also being sensitive to Monk's needs and quirks which Traylor Howard does well bringing out. Ted Levine and Jason Gray-Stanford have fun as Stottlemeyer and Disher, they are a bit goofy here (not unusual for Disher but rare for Stottlemeyer) but again it works well within the concept and is entertaining. Besides who doesn't like seeing a different side to Stottlemeyer which was needed actually.

It's not just the cast or story 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 wry humour, lovable quirkiness and tender easy-to-relate-to drama is delicately done, particularly the last one. The quirks are sympathetically done and never exploited or overdone.

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. Oh and a good job is done with the different opening credits sequence to accommodate the changes made.

Altogether, terrific Season 5 opener. 10/10 Bethany Cox

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