Time Machine: 1985 phone film provides more unintentional comedy, sexism

Wacky hijinks ensue when people use answering machines, mute buttons and speakerphones

The folks at AT&T's TechChannel (ATTTechChannel on YouTube) have unearthed another corporate film from their archives - this time, it's a 1985 overview of AT&T's phone products, which consisted of corded phones, cordless phones, phone enhancement products (answering machines, speakerphones) and do-it-yourself gear.

The AT&T blog itself that covers these archive films admits that this film seemed geared towards a consumer audience, but at almost 20 minutes long (it seems to be divided into five different segments), it's hard to figure out who would have watched these films. Maybe these were shown to elementary school children like the trippy film from the 1970s that introduced us to Telezonia.

Regardless, it's still worth watching this video, if only for the unintentional comedy (and sexism) that these corporate film actors inflict on us. In the first scenario, a man wakes up to a beautiful day, then uses his one-button dialing phone to fake a sickness when calling in to work, call a girlfriend for a tennis date, then call the weather information line. In another scenario, a bad Italian stereotype uses a speakerphone to talk with "mama" about making a pizza and why it's all going wrong. A woman uses her cordless phone while outside at the pool to tell her husband that she's inside "slaving away in the kitchen." There's a lot more bad acting and scenarios, so enjoy:

I did like the do-it-yourself section, as I did spend a lot of time in the '80s helping my dad install adapters and other phone gear on my own (basically, because it was cheaper to do it that way, as the scenario mentioned).

Keith Shaw rounds up the best in geek video in his ITworld.tv blog. Follow Keith on Twitter at @shawkeith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

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