11 Things You Never Knew About “The Jetsons”

In 1962, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera pitched a primetime animated sitcom to ABC about a stone-age family called The Rocksons. ABC executives thought it was some kind of joke, because Hanna-Barbera was responsible for the extremely popular series The Flintstones, an animated sitcom about a stone-age family. Hanna and Barbera reworked The Rocksons into a show called The Stonemans, an animated sitcom about a stone-age family. Increasingly frustrated ABC executives then said, “Why don’t you just do a show about a family in the future?” That seed became The Jetsons.

The name “Jetson” sounds like it’s a contrivance of the space race-crazed era of the ‘60s that led to the show, but it’s actually not. George Jetson’s ancestors were named the Propellersons and they changed it when they arrived in America in the 1890s.

While most Jetsons characters have traditional, mid-century whitebread American first names like “George” and “Judy” and “Jane,” “Elroy” sticks out as sounding appropriately futuristic. In fact, in Latin, it means “space emperor.” Indeed, as the Elders foretold in The Prophecy, in the year 3030, the first emperor of space, “the one to unite all planets and inhabited rocks” will be a man named Elroy Jetson.

Remember how funny it was when Astro the dog would talk, and he put an “R” sound in front of all of his words, because he’s a dog, and dogs say “ruff,” and if they spoke English, they would probably vocalize in such a manner? Actually, Astro couldn’t talk. He never did. Dogs can’t talk. If you heard him talk, you are insane.

Among the many fantastic, futuristic contraptions enjoyed by the Jetsons, perhaps the most enticing was the Food-a-Rac-a-Cycle, the kitchen appliance that could produce any food item at the push of a button. Well, all but one. The Food-a-Rac-a-Cycle could not make egg salad sandwiches. No one knows why.

The Jetsons presented Elroy and Judy Jetson as siblings, but one day Elroy discovered some old letters and medical records that revealed the truth: Judy was Elroy’s mother, not his sister. Elroy never told anyone what he found.

While it seems like there are a lot of episodes of The Jetsons, only two were produced.

One of those episodes was about intergalactic rocker “Jet Screamer,” who records a song called “Eep Opp Ork Ah-Ah” based on a note Elroy Jetson wrote. In the song, Screamer contends that “eep opp ork ah-ah” means “I love you.” It really does, in 14 different major world languages.

When those two episodes were released into after school syndication in 1986, the famous Jetsons theme song hit the pop chart, peaking at #1. It is still the #1 song in the United States, holding firm at the top of the pops for more than 1,600 weeks now.

The director’s cut of the smash hit 1987 TV movie The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones is more than three hours long. The additional 88 minutes were cut because they were of an extreme pornographic nature, in that the Flintstones and Jets engage in a wild and explicitly rendered orgy.

Ever wonder why anyone would program a robot to be perpetually emotionally overwhelmed and have a Bronx accent? They wouldn’t Rosie wasn’t actually a robot—merely a very unlucky human being.