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USA Insider Monk

Mr. Monk's Last Case Isn't the First Time The Cast Reunited

Remember the Monk Reunion done during COVID? If you missed it, here's everything you need to know.


By Grace Jidoun

Monk ended its run more than a decade ago, but the obsessive-compulsive sleuth played by Tony Shalhoub will be back to solve one more case involving his stepdaughter, Molly, a journalist preparing for her wedding when Mr. Monk's Last Case: A Monk Movie premieres on Peacock on December 4. The movie is reuniting many of the beloved gang from the original series, but it's not the first time they've gotten back together since 2009.

After an 8-season and 125-episode run, the Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning show from USA Network delivered a short but sweet reunion during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, titled Monk In Quarantine. A man ahead of his time, we all remember how Monk loved his hand wipes and disinfectant long before COVID-19. In the 7-minute short from 2020, Monk is suddenly more relatable than ever as he stands six feet away from the computer screen during a Zoom meeting with all his friends and puts on gloves before touching the mail.

Though the short — made for Peacock’s At Home Variety Show Featuring Seth MacFarlane — is not necessarily part of the official series canon, the cast members who appear in it are true to form, and so is the warm-hearted yet tightly-wound Monk. Though he insists to his old coworkers that he’s “chill now” and has worked past his germaphobia, the opposite is true: Monk is on extra high alert.

Where did the idea for the reunion come from?

The success of the public service announcement led to serious talks about bringing the characters back for a reunion movie, according to Shalhoub. 

"It really started with a public service announcement that we did in the very early days of the pandemic," he said at the red carpet premiere of the movie. "Peacock, the executives at Peacock, got this idea because Monk was such a germophobe that it would good to have me do a PSA. Andy [Breckman] wrote up a really clever thing we shot it in my apartment with all the other cast members on Zoom and people really responded in kind of an unexpected way. Then we thought, 'wow, looks like people are really still interested in these characters and then the idea arose to do a movie."

Breckman echoed those sentiments in a recent interview.

"During the lockdown, everyone was asking me, and I'm sure they were asking Tony, 'Gosh, I wonder how Monk would fare?' Or, 'Maybe Monk would thrive because he was suddenly in his element living in a bubble' Everyone was asking about Monk and concerned about Monk and curious about Monk during the lockdown," series creator Andy Breckman told Entertainment Weekly.

The seeds for the delightful short were planted. Directed by Shalhoub’s wife, actress Brooke Adams, and shot in their apartment, the response from the public was so overwhelmingly positive that a movie with the original cast seemed like the natural next step.

What have the characters been up to?

Traylor Howard as Natalie Teeger, Tony Shalhoub as Adrian Monk, Jason Gray-Stanford as Randy Disher, and Ted Levine as Leland Stottlemeyer

At the big reunion, Monk’s old pals seemed to be handling the pandemic in their own ways. After recovering from COVID-19, Natalie Teeger, Monk’s devoted personal assistant (played by Traylor Howard), decided to do her part by donating anti-body-rich blood to help others. Lovable doofus Randy Disher (Jason Gray-Stanford) chimed in that he has been donating sperm. He was promoted from Lieutenant to Chief of Police in Southern New Jersey and has been making “a lot of false arrests” thanks to those darn masks.

SFPD Police Captain Leland Stottlemeyer (Ted Levine), often playfully antagonistic to Monk in the series, shows a slightly softer side.

"Monk, I hate to admit it but you were right," Stottlemeyer tells Monk during their Zoom chat. "I mean, look at us; everyone is afraid of germs. Nobody is touching anybody."

Disher adds, "I guess we're all Monk now."

Who else stars in Mr. Monk’s Last Case: A Monk Movie?

Tony Shalhoub as Adrian Monk and Melora Hardin as Trudy sit together at a table outside

James Purefoy will join the cast as Rick Eden, a new antagonist who, in a nod to some real-life billionaires, plans to be the first civilian to orbit the Earth. Meanwhile, Caitlin McGee will step in as Molly, Monk's stepdaughter. Original stars Melora Hardin (playing Trudy, Monk’s deceased wife) and Hector Elizondo (playing Nevin, Monk’s therapist) will reprise their roles in the upcoming movie, which comes from series creator Breckman and the original creative team of David Hoberman, Randy Zisk, and Shalhoub.

Tune in on December 8, 2023, to see what mysteries and challenges are in store for Monk and the cast in Mr. Monk’s Last Case: A Monk Movie.

Before the premiere of Mr. Monk's Last Case: A Monk Movie, you can catch up on the series and all things Monk on Peacock.

Originally published Nov 17, 2023.

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