Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Monkey Talk

Monkey Talk Ad
Circa 1983

This Monkey Talk ad promotes the television show Discover: The World Of Science. As Atari was the main sponsor of some of the early episodes of the series, there were usually a few Atari television commercials run during the broadcast.

While I could not find the the episode mentioned in this particular ad, I was able to find a partial, Atari sponsored episode about Mount St. Helens containing a few Atari commercials at around  0:05 and around 13:38.

Atari Commercial #1 - 0:05

The first commercial shows a family around an Atari 400 and another family around another computer. The Atari family mentions the Atari Conversational Language Series: Conversational SpanishConversational GermanConversational French, and Conversational Italian. They also mention the three software packages in the Atari An Invitation To Programming Series: An Invitation To Programming 1, An Invitation To Programming 2 and An Invitation To Programming 3. The unseen narrator adds Centipede, Star Raiders and Defender to the list. The Atari family's desk also holds various other Atari software packages such as Music Composer. The final few frames show an Atari 400, an Atari 800, an Atari 830 Acoustic Modem, an Atari 410 Program Recorder, an Atari CX40 Joystick, a contemporary television and a wide selection of early Atari software packages.

Atari -vs- The Other
Television Commercial
Circa 1983


Atari Commercial #2 - 13:38

The second commercial starts with Asteroids playing in the background as the narrator begins his Atari Service sales pitch.  As the camera pulls back, you see an Atari 800 showing a home budget, an Atari Video Computer System and finally a group of Atari Service personnel in their white lab coats. The final few frames here show an Atari 800, an Atari Video Computer System and a contemporary television and the tag line "Service that's as good as Atari".

Atari Service
Television Commercial
Circa 1983

Discover: The World Of Science, was a monthly, one-hour magazine-style television series which provided a human perspective on new developments in robots, science, technology, medicine, the environment, behavior and natural history. The series was typically broadcast on Wednesday evenings at 8 PM on PBS.

Discover: The World Of Science
Main Title Screen


The late actor Peter Graves was the on-camera host and narrator of twenty-four episodes of Discover: The World Of Science, between 1983 and 1990. Peter Graves died on March 14, 2010 at the age of 83, but sadly, he is not buried in Peter's Grave. Strange, unconfirmed rumors claim that old Mr. Graves left behind a magic urn in his mansion up in Spirit Bay ...

The series, with early episodes being underwritten by Atari and later episodes being underwritten by GTE (now Verizon), was produced by Chedd-Angier Productions in association with Discover Magazine.

This television show was also spoofed occasionally on Saturday Night Live, with actor and comedian Phil Hartman playing the Peter Graves role. Here are two clips for your viewing pleasure: Snakes with left wingnut Sean Penn and Bacteria with right wingnut Victoria Jackson.

And for your listening pleasure, here is the Discover: The World Of Science theme song.

-- @BillLange1968

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