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Film / Century 21 Calling

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Century 21 Calling is a 1962 stealth advertisement for telephone technology (in this vein, much like Once Upon a Honeymoon). It aired as a short feature with Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode 906, The Space Children.

It was directed by Jerry Fairbanks and features ample footage of the 1962 Seattle World's Fair.


  • Chewing the Scenery: The two... teenagers mincing about the fair, nearly bowling people over.
    • It's clear a lot of people weren't aware of the filming. A woman shoots them a Death Glare when they force their way to the front of a crowd.
  • Mighty Whitey: Heavily implied by the short, as the two teens treat various ethnic persons at the Fair like dolls.
    • Perhaps justified, as it was the World's Fair, and those people were there as live demonstrations of their cultures, including their clothing and accessories.
  • Landmark of Lore: The then-new Space Needle, Monorail and what is now the Pacific Science Center.
  • Society Marches On: And on and on and on.
  • Tech Marches On: The prototype smart-house technology that turned the heat and lights on for you when you signaled it ahead of your arrival... from a pay phone.
    • Amazingly, as of the mid-2010s (more than fifty years later!) this particular prediction was surprisingly accurate, with the advent of home automation. The only real difference is that it's controlled by a smartphone rather than a payphone, but the concept is otherwise the same.
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    • Interestingly, virtually every technology featured in this short has gone from new and exciting to commonplace.
  • The Voiceless: Nearly so. The two main characters nearly never speak, having only a couple lines each when demonstrating the push button phones.
  • Zeerust: Zig-zagged; a number of the then-new advances have become ubiquitous. Other uses (such as phoning the house in order to start the oven) have been found too fanciful.
    • On the other hand, these days you can email your home printer and tell it to start churning stuff out, which is the same thing in a different room.


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