This Is What 1970s Motion Capture Tech Looked Like

How one of the most infamous TV shows of all time—one apparently cancelled in the middle of its first episode—gave viewers a very early look at motion capture technology. In February 1969, the creators of Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, George Schlatter and Ed Friendly, thought it’d be great to put a computer in charge of making a variety show. At least that’s what they said, anyway. That was the conceit of Turn-On, an ABC series that replaced a laugh track with a Moog soundtrack and loaded the result with raunchy jokes. In his autobiography What’s So Funny?: My Hilarious Life, initial guest host Tim Conway explained what viewers were tuning into:

“To give you an idea of what Turn-On was like, in one sketch, I was arrested and brought to a police station where I was allowed to make one phone call. I picked up the receiver and made an obscene call.”

Surrealistic and context-free in the culture of 1969, it quickly became one of the most infamous examples of a show cancelled after its first episode. According to Conway, it was infamously removed from the air mid-broadcast in Cleveland, and many West Coast stations decided not to air it at all… read more >

Computer Image Corporation 1960 Vintage Men’s T-Shirt

 

 

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