Secret Agent Man, aka Monk, is an agent with an unnamed covert American intelligence agency.
According to the theme song for this man's adventures, an updated version of Johnny Rivers' smash hit from 1966 originally used for a different government operative, "they've given you a number and taken away your name". For Monk that number is 90222. In addition, though, 'they' have also given the agents of this organization new names. Each of these single-word names are taken from well known jazz musicians. In the case of the lead agent we follow, it is Thelonious Monk. For his colleagues in the group, it is Billie Holliday and Miles Davis and Louis Prima with their boss using the last name of Dave Brubeck.
When we first meet Monk, he is likely in his mid-30s and has been on the job in one capacity or another for some time. He is considered about the best the organization, or any of its competitors and opponents, have. He is daring, dashing, and deadly. He is ultra smooth and sauve and sophisticated, not to mention charming to a fault and glib with a ready remark. He is also extremely prone to disappearing on another pleasure jaunt whenever the mood strikes him, so much so that his associate, the beautiful and much put-upon female operative Holliday, has created a program to "track Monk's dates and probable locations on his time off". Of course, being Monk, he has secretly learned of it and discovered how to counter it.
The secret organization for which these people work is apparently international in nature as we are told in the first adventure that an incoming message from an enemy group, Trinity, was being received at Brubeck's hi-tech facility as well as at London, Rome, Tokyo, and Paris bureaus. Who funds it and what its exact mission statement is remains a secret.
Monk's teammates are as interesting and qualified as he is. Holliday is a beautiful highly intelligent blonde woman in her early 30's. Davis is roughly the same age, a black man who is extremely well-dressed and snazzy looking, more than a little 'by-the-book' and irritated by Monk's freewheeling ways, but he is also sharp and knows how to take care of himself. Brubeck a 50+ white male balding curmudgeon of a man who has paid his dues in the field years before and knows how things really work 'out there'. And Prima is a gorgeous, sensuous dark haired white woman who had been with the team once before but had betrayed them and now wants back in.
- Said to and about Monk by his boss, Brubeck, "Women in general seem to cause your brain to short-circuit."