Monk (2002–2009)
3 user

Mr. Monk and the Red-Headed Stranger 

When monk's favorite singer, Willie Nelson, is suspected of murdering his tour manager, Monk steps in to clear his name.


Milan Cheylov


Andy Breckman (created by), Andy Breckman | 3 more credits »

Watch Now

With Prime Video





Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Tony Shalhoub ... Adrian Monk
Bitty Schram ... Sharona Fleming
Jason Gray-Stanford ... Randall Disher
Ted Levine ... Stottlemeyer
Jackie Richardson ... Wendy Maas
Max Morrow ... Benjy Fleming
David Anderson David Anderson ... Jason 'Sonny' Cross
Neil Crone ... Terry T
Jay 'Mad Dog' Michaels Jay 'Mad Dog' Michaels ... Kenny Freedman
Bruce McFee Bruce McFee ... Pete
Willie Nelson ... Willie Nelson
Jody Payne Jody Payne ... Band Member #1 (Jody)
Bee Spears Bee Spears ... Band Member #2 (Bee)
Mickey Raphael Mickey Raphael ... Band Member #3 (Mickey)
Jonathan Wilson ... Young Promoter


Country singer Willie Nelson, who portrays himself, becomes the prime suspect when his manager is murdered, but the only witness is a blind woman who claims to have overheard a scuffle and can identify Willie as the murderer by his voice. At first Stottlemeyer (who is on the case despite a broken arm) is reluctant to arrest the famous singer on such shaky evidence, but a video tape convinces him that Willie must indeed be guilty. But for Monk, the fact that a note used to lure the victim to his death refers to him as "J. Cross" while Willie refers to him as "Sonny" casts doubt on the blind woman's story. Determined for the sake of his dead wife, Trudy, a devoted fan, to prove the singer innocent, Monk interviews the blind woman and investigates the manager's less than reputable background, searching for the clue he needs to clear the singer's name. Written by WyattJones

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

phobia | See All (1) »


Comedy | Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

11 October 2002 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

16 : 9
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


"Terry T" is named after WFMU DJ Terrie T. Terrie T is also writer Tom Scharpling's wife. "Kenny Freedman" is named after WFMU Station Manager Ken Freedman, who co-hosts Seven Second Delay with Andy Breckman (the creator of Monk (2002)) on WFMU. See more »


As Stottlemeyer asks Wendy Maas his first question, his coffee mug is cupped in his left hand (his right arm is in a sling). There is a rapid cut to Maas and a rapid cut back to Stottlemeyer, and the mug has changed into a donut. See more »


Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: Now, Mrs. Mass. I want you to take your time.
[Willie Nelson and two other volunteers enter the lineup booth]
Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: And I want you to listen very carefully, all right?
Wendy Maas: All right.
Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: Are you all right?
Wendy Maas: Yes.
Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: Good. All right, number one, please.
[Volunteer #1 goes up to the microphone, and holds out a notecard with the prewritten statement]
Participant #1: Tell anybody about this and I'll kill you.
Wendy Maas: No, no.
See more »


References My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys (1983) See more »


On The Road Again
Written by Willie Nelson
Performed by Willie Nelson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Murder, country music and blind witnesses with Mr Monk
12 July 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.

While not quite "Mr Monk and the Candidate", "Mr Monk and the Psychic", "Mr Monk Goes to the Asylum" and "Mr Monk and the Other Woman", "Mr Monk and the Red-Headed Stranger" is along with "Mr Monk Meets Dale the Whale" and those four as among the best episodes of a very solid and remarkably well-settled Season 1. A season where even the weakest episode, "Mr Monk and the Earthquake", is still enjoyable. There is very little wrong with "Mr Monk and the Red-Headed Stranger", other than the suspect being obvious early and especially when a scene confirmed my suspicions that their circumstances were not what they seemed. It was also rather clear off the bat of Willie being framed.

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 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.

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'. Yes, even with Stottlemeyer having his arm in a cast. He and Shalhoub have some wonderful scenes together and also some equally great moments with Jason Gray-Stanford's Disher. Gray-Stanford is growing in confidence and comic-timing with every episode.

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. The character moments are such a joy with the principal cast are always. The real treat was Monk with Willie Nelson (in one of his better acting endeavours, and charming fun playing himself), and we learn more about Monk and from the trivia here learn something new about Shalhoub. Yes, the clarinet is a wonderful instrument and some great music has been written for it like Mozart's Clarinet Concerto, the Cat's music in Prokoviev's 'Peter and the Wolf' and the Brahms Quintet.

The story, despite the obviousness of the killer (not the first time on the show and not the last), is compelling, both as a comedy and a mystery with very enjoyable deductions and how Monk came to the solution, which has always been part of the charm of the show.

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.

Overall, great episode and one of the better ones of the season. 9/10 Bethany Cox

0 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 3 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed