Yep, it was September 23, 1962 that the Jetson's aired on ABC in primetime.
What started as pure fun when I was a kid has become something of a cultural touchstone today. I do love the assumptions made by Hanna-Barbera, all just for laughs ya know. Still I can't help but wish that maybe just some of the forecasting had panned out.
Btw, the Paleofuture blog has moved to The Smithsonian Mag website. Matt Novak will post for each episode separately in the weeks to come. The site has episode one embedded but it uses the redo intro from the 80's.
Just for fun, here is the original (faded color by Pathe) intro and closing posted on YouTube by eusebias from the 1962 ABC broadcast,
As I read through the Paleofuture page on The Jetsons I really was surprised to see a pic for the Rosie the Robot board game. I remember a Jetsons board game but I didn't know there was a separate version just for Rosie.
Then I saw that old familiar logo from my childhood:
Transogram made some of the most memorable toys and games from the 50's and 60's. In fact, Transogram turned every Hanna-Barbera cartoon into a board game, including The Flintstones, Johnny Quest, Yogi Bear and just about every H-B cartoon there was. They also turned popular TV shows into board games like The Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres, Perry Mason, Route 66, Hogan's Heroes and the list goes on.
When I look back on birthdays and Christmas mornings from 1960 to 1969 there was always a couple of gifts made by Transogram, and that went for most kids all over the country. Mostly forgotten today, Transogram was quite a big deal back in the day!
There are 24 episodes from the original 1962 series. I don't know how many new episodes were created in the 1985 revival by H-B. I guess all the episodes are available now. It would be cool to own my own Jetsons set but I like being surprised by this old favorite as I channel surf.
Btw, I haven't mentioned any of my favorite episodes of the original 24.
Really got a kick outta episode 5 where George and Mr. Spacely sneek away to see a football game. Love that robot football! Could've been one of the first animated scenes of America's favorite game on network TV, maybe.
And then there's episode 19, G.I. Jetson, where Geroge, Henry and Mr. Spacely spend two weeks in the U.S. Space Guard. This is my favorite appearance of Uniblab as platoon sergeant. That old tin-can entraps George in a card game on camera. Henry gets Uniblab back with a little reverse polarity!
Everything in the Jetsons world seemed to fly so, as a kid, I didn't see what was so unusual about the flying suit. Then I realized it was the lack of machinery. The flying capabilities of the suit was integral to the fabric itself, there's no motor!
One of the outstanding scenes of this episode was a glimpse of a "poor" man on one of the lower levels of society. It was a short scene but as a high school guy I thought about the implications of a stratified nation where your wealth determines how high in the sky you live. Amazing at the time.
I was surprised by the 1985 H-B revival of the series. For that to happen a lot of people must've really loved that first series. I've always believed that many of these old toons would be out of commission by now, lol.
Sounds good because H-B always got lots of questions over having so few Jetsons episodes versus tons of Flintstones ones. Those newer episodes plus the 1990 movie could mean that this is "it", as far as The Jetsons go.