Look at what I came across on Hulu recently–season 3, episode 8 from Bewitched! If you recall, either from its original run or from watching endless re-runs of the show after school in the 1970s like me–Samantha’s husband Darrin Stevens was an ad man who worked for Larry Tate at the firm, McMann and Tate. This episode is all about a rival ad agency’s attempts to steal McMann and Tate’s ideas (and clients):
This show is an interesting time capsule from 1966 for other reasons: the use of cutting-edge Cold War spy technology like audio bugs and a gigantic “portable” reel-to-reel tape machine. Please note: the business lunch with Darrin and Tate does not appear to have been even a one-martini lunch, let alone a three-martini lunch. But, Darrin does have a martini at a bar with Tate later in the show. (I’m not the first person to connect Mad Men to Bewitched, alas–here’s a detailed comparison of Don Draper and Darrin Stevens.)
Speaking representations of technology in pop culture: hands-down, the funniest representation of future-iffic technology I’ve seen in the past decade came from watching Escape from New York (1981), starring the still-hunky Kurt Russell as Snake Plissken. As some of you may remember, the movie is a dystopic vision of the city as a prison in 1997. At one point toward the end of the movie, this mobile phone that must be held with two hands makes a hillarious appearance:
(Thanks to The Boston Globe’s “Braniac” for the screen capture!) I especially like the huge clips or buckles on the side. Very cutting-edge!
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