Each month I host a theme night at the 92Y Tribeca in New York City, the show is called KEVIN GEEKS OUT.
January’s sold-out show celebrated the year 2010 with a collection of speculative visions of tomorrow. (In honor of this occasion, I dressed as Orson Welles when he hosted the sensationalist Nostradamus documentary: The Man Who Saw Tomorrow, more on that later…) We started off with a grab-bag of video footage from a variety of films (and TV shows) that showcased: a police state that enforced mandatory dancing (The Apple), a fully-realized 3-D chess game aboard a spaceship (Futureworld), the most popular cable channel of the 22nd century (Idiocracy), and a time-travelling spaceman who taught the people of the future all about funk (Buck Rogers).
After that KGO super-producer Jay Stern shared an edited-down video of the 1930 talkie JUST IMAGINE. This science-fiction musical showed what life would be like 50 years in the future. (Warning: The film features lots of prohabition jokes.)
Daily Show writer Elliott Kalan shared a photo-essay on the 1939 World’s Fair. Elliott featured surprising details and photos of the world’s largest cash register — but he also got at the heart of the World’s Fair’s sorrow. (Elliott’s piece will be making its way to the internet soon.)
Continuing with the 1930’s promise of tomorrow, KGO Super-producer M. Sweeney Lawless gave us the ultimate profile of ELEKTRO the Moto-Man.
Elektro was the star-attraction of the ’39 Fair, but after the Fair ran out of money and shut down, Elektro became the world’s first has-been robot.
READ MEG’S COMPLETE ESSAY HERE.
We moved onto the 1950’s with the promise of exciting advances in automobiles, highways, homes and luxury devices. Special thanks to Matt Novak (editor of the incredible Paleofuture.com) for suggesting some of these clips…
Continuing with the march of progress, we featured a slide-show by Seth Porges (technology editor for Popular Mechanics.) Seth shared some of the more outrageous predictions made by his employer over the years. (Video of this presentation will be coming soon to an internet near you.)
After that we welcomed a very special guest to the show: Psychic Jane Doherty.
Before the show started, we asked audience members to submit questions about life in the future, and Jane would tell us what we could expect. The segment revealed that we would see a woman president in the United States, a vegetarian fast-food chain will be established by 2015 (it will start in New York or California), within this decade a lot of questions will be answered about finding a cure for cancer (we will find a cure!) And finally, Jane answered a question about whether there’s any truth to the prophecy that 2012 will bring the end of the world. Jane has communicated with Mayan Elders and explained that they do not believe 2012 is the end, rather there will be a shift in consciousness.
We turned our attention to another psychic, the infamous Nostradamus. Sure there are dozens of Nostradamus shows on the History channel, but none of those specials could be more distrurbing and over-the-top than the documentary The Man Who Saw Tomorrow. This 1981 movie was hosted by Orson Welles, not only did it include re-enactments of past events, but dramatizations of things that hadn’t happened yet. Needless to say this movie freaked me out as a kid:
After that traumatic bit of video, we needed a snack break!
Each month we provide a thematic treat, and what could be better than a heaping helping of DIPPIN’ DOTS — the ice cream of the future! The good people of Dippin’ Dots donated enough cryogenically frozen ice cream for each and every member of our audience. Thanks again Dippin’ Dots gang!
Moving into more recent visions of the future, I looked at five futures predicted by Saturday Morning Cartoons, including Thundarr the Barbarian, The Partridge Family 2200 A.D. and the worst Bugs Bunny cartoon I’ve ever seen.
At this point we delved into the darker possibilities of tomorrow. The amazing Kriota Wilberg (aka The Cinematologist) addressed the topic of Mutants in the future. Kriota dealt with the overthrow of the human population, viral vampirism, genetic engineering, hypertrichosis (aka Wolfman disease) and more! I cannot do justice to her dizzying analysis of mutation, so instead here’s a photo of a Martian prostitute with multiple breasts: (below)
Note: during the show we re-visited this slide, observing that the image, which had been pulled from the internet, was stamped by a someone calling himself “Sauron_2000″(!)
Now that I have your attention (or did I lose just you?) you can read Kriota’s lecture here.
Our penultimate guest was a favorite, Tenebrous Kate, who edited together this very special video about lessons learned from the 1982 Italian post-nuke favorite The New Barbarians (aka Warriors of the Wasteland). Watch and learn:
Our final guest was the first person we thought to book for this event: Scott Christian Carr, a writer/filmmaker/and author of post-apocalyptic fiction.
Scott started his segment by asking the audience a thought-provoking question “If you survive the end of the world, who do you want by your side?” Scott answered that the one person you’d want more than anyone is your brother — and then he shared a scene from his original film The Nuke Brothers. (CLIP COMING SOON.)
Following a brief Q&A about his movie, we watched a montage Scott edited (with his brother Jeremy) looking at the theme of “Loneliness in the Future”. (CLIP COMING SOON)
Oh, it was a splendid evening of oddball entertainment, super-cold ice cream, and fantastical futures. What’s in store for the future of Kevin Geeks Out? Here’s the trailer for February’s event, KEVIN GEEKS OUT ABOUT MONKEYS. (Click here for tickets)
note: all photos (except for the Dippin’ Dots) by Matthew Glasson.
Additional artwork courtesy of Sauron_2000