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The Late Movies: 3-2-1 Contact!

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3-2-1 Contact was an educational TV show that aired from 1980 to 1988. Produced by the Children's Television Workshop, it aired on PBS in the US, and I used to love the heck out of it -- it featured science as well as my favorite crimefighters, "the Bloodhound Gang," who used science to solve crimes. I had no idea that, so many years later, I could easily sing along with the theme song. Can you?

Theme Song/Intro

This brings back lots of memories. The shots of the frog, the cat, and the baby? Classics, all.

Suzanna Ciani Demonstrating Music Synthesis

Like, whoa. She makes music with a computer! There's even an oscilloscope involved. I love it when the host asks, "So what is sound, anyway?" Ciani's answer is actually quite good.

Mark Can't Find His Library Book

The crew learns an important lesson about entropy. "Well, excuse me!" That joke was totally kinda recent at the time!!

Ultrasound

A pregnant mother gets an ultrasound, to see whether she's going to have twins. I note that this was recorded from OPB, my home PBS station!

Arctic/Antarctic Song

A song explaining the differences between the Arctic and Antarctic. This is actually kinda useful.

Jeepers Creepers Song

Your classic quasi-educational Stock Footage Montage.

The Very First Episode - Intro

The rousing 1980 intro from the first episode of the series, showing the creation of the theme song. My favorite part? Around 40 seconds in, "a talking computer!!!" Also, showing the awesome dudes recording the theme song is pretty intense. Big hair everywhere!

The Bloodhound Gang - The Case of the Thing in the Trunk Part 1

Oh man, this theme song is also completely still with me! In this case, a stolen mummy has to be tracked down, and the gang gets abducted. I remember seeing this and making plans in case I was ever abducted myself -- I'd make a pinhole camera, using the power of science!!

By the way, did you know that these segments were written by Sid Fleischman, author of The Whipping Boy?

The Bloodhound Gang - The Case of the Thing in the Trunk Part 2

The exciting conclusion! I remember being really frustrated by how short these segments were -- I always wanted more Bloodhound Gang!

Post Your Favorites

Search YouTube for 3-2-1 contact and you'll find plenty of classic clips. Post your favorites in the comments!

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Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images

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