10 Out-Of-This-World Facts About The Jetsons

A nuclear family named the Jetsons—George, Jane, Judy, Elroy, Astro the dog, and Rosie the robot maid—lived in Orbit City in the year 2062 (according to press materials, though not stated on the show). Created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera (Hanna-Barbera), the show explored life in the Space Age, which was more embedded in the 1960s than the far-off future.

Ahead of its time, the show featured flying cars, moving walkways, smart homes, smart watches, talking robots, video conferencing—things that actually were invented in the 21st century. Twenty-four episodes aired on ABC in primetime from September 1962 to March 1963, but the show got canceled. However, it aired in syndication on Saturday mornings for two decades and was revived for an additional 51 episodes from 1985 to 1987.

The Jetsons’ final episode came in the form of a 1990 animated movie—with pop star Tiffany voicing Judy Jetson—which only grossed $20.3 million at the box office. The show’s lasting legacy stems from when people reference the future, they speak of it being “like The Jetsons,” in terms of architecture, technology, and livability. Here are 10 out-of-this-world facts about the iconic animated program.


Hoyt Curtin composed the catchy theme song, which first appeared on TeeVee Tunes’ compilation album Television’s Greatest Hits, Vol. I. In 1986, the song was re-recorded and released to radio stations. It was so popular it peaked at number nine on the Billboard charts, and an animated video featuring the Jetsons played on MTV. “Every time I hear that damn thing I’m amazed,” Curtin told the Los Angeles Times. Curtin composed music for practically all of Hanna-Barbera's cartoons.

Karyn Ulman, who was vice president of music at Taft Entertainment, which owned Hanna-Barbera, had a hunch the song would succeed. “Over the years jazz artists have played it live,” she said. “We’ve had requests from pop and New Wave bands to use The Jetsons. We’ve had so many requests from radio stations and individuals across the nation, we knew it was going to be a hit.”


Everybody knows George O’Hanlon and Penny Singleton as the voices of the married Jetsons, but in 1962 actors Morey Amsterdam and Pat Carroll (who later voiced Ursula in The Little Mermaid) were initially hired to voice the show’s leads. “We were cast as the Jetsons and then they pulled us,” Carroll said in an interview. “I don't know if we weren’t any good or what. Nobody ever told us. As far as I was concerned, that was inappropriate. I don’t care if it’s the biggest agency in the world or the biggest producer. When it’s wrong, it’s wrong, and if I have to spend the money to litigate, I will.”

Carroll kept her word, and she and Amsterdam sued Hanna-Barbera Productions for breach of contract. They sued for $12,000 apiece, saying their contracts stated they’d be paid $500 per episode for 24 of them, not just one. “I knew full well we wouldn’t win, but I wanted my voice to be heard that this was wrong. Even my agents lied. So, you know. There you are. You’re not going to win when you fight the big fellas, but at least you can put up a little yowling.”

She was most upset at the fact the producers weren’t transparent with her. “If somebody had had the guts to say, ‘Listen, you two stink and we’re going to let you go.’ If anybody had the guts to say that I would have said, ‘Fine.’ And no lawsuit.”

According to a June 1962 news article, though, the reason the two were let go was because of “too many sponsor conflicts, what with Morey being a regular on The Dick Van Dyke Show and Pat likewise on The Danny Thomas Show."


In 1962, less than three percent of American homes had a color TV set, but The Jetsons was broadcast in color—ABC’s first show to air that way. Smithsonian magazine theorized the color situation caused issues, and a 1962 New York Times article wrote that people who had access to ABC affiliates in New York, Chicago, Detroit, San Francisco, and Los Angeles were the only markets guaranteed to see the show broadcast in color, even if they had a color TV. For those watching on a black-and-white TV, they missed out on the vibrant world Hanna-Barbera had created. “The Jetsons’ future is bright; it’s shiny; and it’s in color,” wrote Smithsonian. But most people watching on Sunday nights obviously didn’t see it like that. The immersive world of The Jetsons looks far more flat and unengaging in black and white.”


Googie architecture rose to prominence in Southern California in the late 1940s and spread nationwide, but many Googie structures no longer remain. Smithsonian magazine surmised that because Hanna-Barbera Studios was located in Hollywood, the artists who worked on the show took inspiration from around town. Los Angeles International Airport’s (LAX) Theme Building was fashioned in Googie style, as were Norms Restaurants, Johnie’s Coffee Shop, a McDonald’s in Downey, California, and even the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign.


The year 2062 will be here before we know it, and hopefully by then so will flying cars. The Jetsons operate a flying saucer-like car, but actual flying cars look much different. Terrafugia has made prototypes for cars that “Transformer” themselves into street-legal airplanes. In December 2015, the FAA approved the company’s request to test a small-scale model of a TF-X at altitudes below 400 feet and speeds below 100 miles per hour. Aero Mobil also manufactures cars that change into planes, and Moller’s Skycar 200 will be an “autonomous aircraft utilizing advanced onboard environment scanning and precise positioning system.” Of course, no prices are listed for any of these vehicles.

As for space travel, Sir Richard Branson of Virgin is working on Virgin Galactic suborbital space travel, which costs about $250,000 per person. So far, 580 people have put down deposits to travel into deep space. In a race to put rich people into space, Tesla founder Elon Musk founded SpaceX, to launch rockets into orbit and to someday help people live on other planets … maybe by 2062?


The characters on The Jetsons traverse moving walkways. Known as moveable pavement, inventor Alfred Speer patented it in 1871, though it wasn’t until 1958 that the first moving walkway appeared at an airport. Dallas’ Love Field was the first airport to install a moving walkway, which are now the norm in most airports.


In 2007, Forbes figured out what 25 fictional companies would be worth in today’s market. Spacely Space Sprockets, where George Jetson worked, ranked number 25 on their list. Factoring in inflation and algorithms, Forbes stated the sprocket manufacturing company would be worth about $1.3 billion. “[CEO] Cosmo Spacely’s coddled employees said to only work three-hour-a-day, three-day-a-week jobs, but workers must suffer his notoriously volatile temper and endure incessant termination threats,” reads the article.


On the show, tanning beds exist, in three different settings: Miami, Honolulu, and Riviera. But in the ’60s, tanning beds hadn’t arrived in the U.S. yet. In 1978, Friedrich Wolff realized how nice tanned skin looked, so he founded the indoor tanning industry and became “the father of indoor tanning.” He brought his European equipment of lamps and a reflector system to the U.S., and now Americans have the luxury of looking orange.


Since 2001, a script for a live-action Jetsons movie has gone through several rewrites and directors. In 2003, Adam Shankman of Hairspray fame considered directing the movie, and Robert Rodriguez also flirted with the idea. In 2012, Van Robichaux and Evan Susser were attached to write the movie, but in 2015 the producers announced the live-action film would now be an animated one, and that writer Matt Lieberman would take over the script.


During one of Kanye West’s sporadic Twitter rants, back in 2012, he tweeted: “I was just discussing becoming the creative director for the Jetson movie and someone on the call yelled out … you should do a Jetsons tour!”

Jetsons movie producer Donald De Line clarified West’s statement in a 2012 interview with Vulture. “The last two years I had various forms of communication from the studio that he had this real love and interest in The Jetsons as an artist,” De Line said. “My response was always through representatives, ‘Well, that’s great. We’ll let him know when we have a screenplay.’ I was thinking he was interested in it on a musical level, but apparently he’s deeply interested in art and architecture and wanted to be involved.”

He ended up having a 10-minute conference call with Warner Bros., De Line, and the film’s other producer, Denise Di Novi. “He’s not the creative director on the movie, but I loved his passion for The Jetsons,” Di Novi said. “He’s just a friend of the court.” She said that the call ended in a "If you come up with any ideas, let us know,' kind of way."

8 Things We Know About Stranger Things Season 3

[Warning: There are lots of Stranger Things season two spoilers ahead.]

Stranger Things season two is in the books, and like we all hoped, it turned out to be a worthy follow-up to an addictive debut season. Now, though, we’re left with plenty of questions, mysteries, and theories to chew on as the wait for a third season begins. But for everything we don’t know about what the next year of Stranger Things will bring us (such as an actual release date), there are more than enough things we do know to keep those fan theories coming well into 2018. While the show hasn't been officially greenlit for a third season by Netflix yet, new details have already begun to trickle out. Here’s everything we know about Stranger Things season three so far.


The third season of Stranger Things won’t pick up right where the second one left off. Like the show experienced between the first two seasons, there will be a time jump between seasons two and three as well. The reason is simple: the child actors are all growing up, and instead of having the kids look noticeably older without explanation for year three, the Duffer Brothers told The Hollywood Reporter:

“Our kids are aging. We can only write and produce the show so fast. They're going to be almost a year older by the time we start shooting season three. It provides certain challenges. You can't start right after season two ended. It forces you to do a time jump. But what I like is that it makes you evolve the show. It forces the show to evolve and change, because the kids are changing.”


If the series’s second season was about expanding the Stranger Things mythology, the third season won't go bigger just for the sake of it, with the brothers even going so far as to say that it will be a more intimate story.

“It’s not necessarily going to be bigger in scale,” Matt Duffer said in an interview with IndieWire. “What I am really excited about is giving these characters an interesting journey to go on.”

Ross Duffer did stress, though, that as of early November, season three is basically “… Matt and me working with some writers and figuring out where it’s going to go.”


The second season ended on a bit of a foreboding note when it was revealed that the Mind Flayer was still in the Upside Down and was seen looming over the Hawkins school as the winter dance was going on. Though we know there will be a time jump at the start of next season, it’s clear that the monster will still have a big presence on the show.

Executive producer Dan Cohen told TV Guide: "There were other ways we could have ended beyond that, but I think that was a very strong, lyrical ending, and it really lets us decide to focus where we ultimately are going to want to go as we dive into Season 3."

What does the Mind Flayer’s presence mean for the new crop of episodes? Well, there will be plenty of fan theories to ponder between now and the season three premiere (whenever that may be).


The Duffer Brothers had a lot of material for the latest season of the show—probably a bit too much. Talking to Vulture, Matt Duffer detailed a few details and plot points that had to be pushed to season three:

"Billy was supposed to have a bigger role. We ended up having so many characters it ended up, in a way, more teed up for season three than anything. There was a whole teen supernatural story line that just got booted because it was just too cluttered, you know? A lot of that’s just getting kicked into season three."

The good news is that he also told the site that this wealth of cut material could make the writing process for the third season much quicker.


Stranger Things already had a roster of fan-favorite characters heading into season two, but newcomer Erica, Lucas’s little sister, may have overshadowed them all. Played by 11-year-old Priah Ferguson, Erica is equal parts expressive, snarky, and charismatic. And the Duffer Brothers couldn’t agree more, saying that there will be much more Erica next season.

“There will definitely be more Erica in Season 3,” Ross Duffer told Yahoo!. “That is the fun thing about the show—you discover stuff as you’re filming. We were able to integrate more of her in, but not as much you want because the story [was] already going. ‘We got to use more Erica’—that was one of the first things we said in the writers’ room.”

“I thought she’s very GIF-able, if that’s a word,” Matt Duffer added. “She was great.”


The season two episode “The Lost Sister” was a bit of an outlier for the series. It’s a standalone episode that focuses solely on the character Eleven, leaving the central plot and main cast of Hawkins behind. As well-received as Stranger Things season two was, this episode was a near-unanimous miss among fans and critics.

The episode did, however, introduce us to the character of Kali (Linnea Berthelsen), who has the ability to manipulate people’s minds with illusions she creates. Despite the reaction, the Duffers felt the episode was vital to Eleven’s development, and that Kali won’t be forgotten moving forward.

“It feels weird to me that we wouldn’t solve [Kali’s] storyline. I would say chances are very high she comes back,” Matt Duffer said at the Vulture Festival.


We're already well acquainted with Eleven, and season two introduced us to Eight (a.k.a. Kali), and executive producer Shawn Levy heavily hinted to E! that there are probably more Hawkins Laboratory experiments on the horizon.

"I think we've clearly implied there are other numbers, and I can't imagine that the world will only ever know Eleven and Eight," Levy said.


Don’t be in too much of a rush to find out everything about the next season of Stranger Things; there might not be many more left. The Duffer Brothers have said in the past that the plan is to do four seasons and end it. However, Levy gave fans a glimmer of hope that things may go on a little while longer—just by a bit, though.

“Hearts were heard breaking in Netflix headquarters when the Brothers made four seasons sound like an official end, and I was suddenly getting phone calls from our actors’ agents,” Levy told Entertainment Weekly. “The truth is we’re definitely going four seasons and there’s very much the possibility of a fifth. Beyond that, it becomes I think very unlikely.”

20 Random Facts About Shopping

Shopping on Black Friday—or, really, any time during the holiday season—is a good news/bad news kind of endeavor. The good news? The deals are killer! The bad news? So are the lines. If you find yourself standing behind 200 other people who braved the crowds and sacrificed sleep in order to hit the stores early today, here's one way to pass the time: check out these fascinating facts about shopping through the ages.

1. The oldest customer service complaint was written on a clay cuneiform tablet in Mesopotamia 4000 years ago. (In it, a customer named Nanni complains that he was sold inferior copper ingots.)

2. Before battles, some Roman gladiators read product endorsements. The makers of the film Gladiator planned to show this, but they nixed the idea out of fear that audiences wouldn’t believe it.

3. Like casinos, shopping malls are intentionally designed to make people lose track of time, removing clocks and windows to prevent views of the outside world. This kind of “scripted disorientation” has a name: It’s called the Gruen Transfer.

4. According to a study in Social Influence, people who shopped at or stood near luxury stores were less likely to help people in need.

5. A shopper who first purchases something on his or her shopping list is more likely to buy unrelated items later as a kind of reward.

6. On the Pacific island of Vanuatu, some villages still use pigs and seashells as currency. In fact, the indigenous bank there uses a unit of currency called the Livatu. Its value is equivalent to a boar’s tusk. 

7. Sears used to sell build-your-own homes in its mail order catalogs.

8. The first shopping catalog appeared way back in the 1400s, when an Italian publisher named Aldus Manutius compiled a handprinted catalog of the books that he produced for sale and passed it out at town fairs.

9. The first product ever sold by mail order? Welsh flannel.

10. The first shopping cart was a folding chair with a basket on the seat and wheels on the legs.

11. In the late 1800s in Corinne, Utah, you could buy legal divorce papers from a vending machine for $2.50.

12. Some of the oldest known writing in the world includes a 5000-year-old receipt inscribed on a clay tablet. (It was for clothing that was sent by boat from Ancient Mesopotamia to Dilmun, or current day Bahrain.)

13. Beginning in 112 CE, Emperor Trajan began construction on the largest of Rome's imperial forums, which housed a variety of shops and services and two libraries. Today, Trajan’s Market is regarded as the oldest shopping mall in the world.

14. The Chinese invented paper money. For a time, there was a warning written right on the currency that all counterfeiters would be decapitated.

15. Halle Berry was named after Cleveland, Ohio's Halle Building, which was home to the Halle Brothers department store.

16. At Boston University, students can sign up for a class on the history of shopping. (Technically, it’s called “The Modern American Consumer”)

17. Barbra Streisand had a mini-mall installed in her basement. “Instead of just storing my things in the basement, I can make a street of shops and display them,” she told Harper's Bazaar. (There are photos of it here.)

18. Shopping online is not necessarily greener. A 2016 study at the University of Delaware concluded that “home shopping has a greater impact on the transportation sector than the public might suspect.”

19. Don’t want to waste too much money shopping? Go to the mall in high heels. A 2013 Brigham Young University study discovered that shoppers in high heels made more balanced buying decisions while balancing in pumps.

20. Cyber Monday is not the biggest day for online shopping. The title belongs to November 11, or Singles Day, a holiday in China that encourages singles to send themselves gifts. According to Fortune, this year's event smashed all previous records with more than $38 million in sales.

A heaping handful of these facts came from John Lloyd, John Mitchinson, and James Harkin's delightful book, 1,234 Quite Interesting Facts to Leave You Speechless.


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