The Jetsons: How’s that Future Going? – Episode 41

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Author Danny Graydon joins Tim to talk about the classic cartoon The Jetsons and how a children’s television program from the 60s could have had such staying power after only one season, and some of the many visions of the future depicted in the show. What’s our progress been towards becoming the world of The Jetsons? https://traffic.libsyn.com/shapingopinion/The_Jetsons_auphonic.mp3 Danny Graydon is an academic, journalist and author who specializes in Film and Comics. He is also the author of a book called The Jetsons: The Official Guide to the Cartoon Classic. In this episode, we talk with Danny about The Jetsons. Things you may remember, some things you didn’t know, and how a kids’ cartoon could shape the way we once thought about the future. On Sunday, September 23rd, 1962, ABC Television launched its first program ever to be broadcast in color, and that show was The Jetsons. The Jetsons were a children’s cartoon broadcast in prime time. At a time when America was engaged in a space race with its arch-enemy the Soviet Union, and in the post-war boom, these were the Kennedy years. It was all about optimism for the future. The Jetsons featured a future with flying cars, cities in the sky, robots and space ships, and all of the promise of automation. The Jetsons didn’t come up with these ideas, but they presented so many of them in an entertaining and relatable way. As the “norm.” The Jetsons only lasted one season, 24 episodes on ABC. Some have speculated the reason is the Jetsons were in color. The show did not look the same in black and white, but most Americans only had black and white TVs at that time. Less than 3% of American homes had a color TV set then. Many local affiliates didn’t even broadcast in color at that time. While it is never said within the show, publicity materials and news articles have the show set 100 years into the future, which would be 2062. The Jetsons debuted during a period of American history where there was renewed hope, the beginning of the 1960s when Kennedy was in power and very popular. Some Jetsons Trivia The voice for Astro was the same voice for Scooby Doo (another Hanna-Barbera classic) – Don Messick, who did many voices for other Hanna-Barbera cartoons. The Jetsons theme song hit the Billboard charts in 1986 at #18. Jane Jetson was once Miss Solar System. George Jetson is a drummer. George only starts work at 11 a.m., (to 3 p.m.) but he’s always late. George’s computer is called RUDI – Referential Universal Digital Indexer The Jetsons’ Innovations Robots and robot servants Rosey the Robot only appeared in 2 of the 24 episodes Moving Sidewalks Talking Alarm Clocks Jet Packs Dog treadmills Flat screen TVs – Very first episode there is mention of such a thing Video phones or video screen chats Smart watches (Dick Tracy, too) Roomba – vacuum cleaner robot Video newspaper (George reads the news on a TV screen in his living room) Smart Phones (opening credits, one guy is looking at a tablet) Pill Camera (George gets a physical by swallowing a robotic pill called a Peekaboo Prober. The prober does an internal checkup inside George’s body and sends images of his system to a TV screen). A drone – flying photo robot Mr. Spacely uses to spy on people Retractable beds Links The Jetsons: The Official Guide to the Cartoon Classic, by Danny Graydon (Amazon) 14 Times The Jetsons Predicted the Future, Screen Rant Evaluating Smart Home Technology from The Jetsons, Digital Trends It's 2012 Already, So Where are All The Jetsons Flying Cars?, TechCrunch 50 Years of The Jetsons: Why the show still matters, Smithsonian Magazine https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTq6Tofmo7E About this Episode's Guest Danny Graydon Based in Bedfordshire, UK, Danny is a Journalist, Author and Academic specializing in Film & Comics. A lifelong devotee of both mediums,

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