Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Anti-Aircraft Gun of Tomorrow

I wonder if people who grew up in the P.C. world of television programming get some of the gags in Tex Avery’s TV of Tomorrow. “P.C.” meaning “pre-cable.” That’s when you had an aerial on top of the roof of the house or a rabbit ears antenna on top of your set. Neither guaranteed pristine reception and that’s what Avery and writer Heck Allen are parodying in the cartoon.

One of the problems was outside interference screwing up your picture. Ah, but Tex and Heck have fixed that. “This advanced model automatically eliminates picture distortion from passing airplanes,” says Paul Frees to set up the gag.

“However, it does clutter up the living room,” he adds, and then the camera pans across the living room.

Judging by the designs, it looks like Ed Benedict has worked on this cartoon. The animators are Ray Patterson added to the usual Avery crew of the ‘50s—Walt Clinton, Grant Simmons, Mike Lah and Bob Bentley. Avery started on the cartoon in 1951. By the time it was released in 1953, the axe had fallen in a money-saving move. It turned out TV of Tomorrow had been made by the Unit of Yesterday.


  1. Antennas are actually coming back a little, from people who have dumped their cable, but still want to get the local TV stations. But since they're digital antennas, you still don't get the same type of ghosting from passing aircraft that would make you want to shoot down a jet like Tex's viewer did (and living in New York with three major area airports, you'd get 'waves' of ghost images rolling across your screen as the planes passed. So for most people up until the late 70s, Avery's gag hit its target).

  2. I also love the gag of the "set to dispose of lengthy commercials...." As the man on the screen is trying to sell "Burpo" beer {"...have asked me to tell you about this remarkable new brew! So light, so-----"}, the "garbage disposal" hidden at the bottom of the set's cabinet goes into action- dragging the close-up of the hand holding the glass of beer down the unit...shaking all the away.........