The Jetsons was one of the most important cartoons of all time, having helped shape the way that we talk about the future here in the 21st century. The show predicted many of the technologies we have today. And this week, Americans can check another crazy Jetsonian prediction off the list.
After nine long years, the FDA just recently approved the swallowable PillCam. Developed in Israel, the PillCam is used as a way to examine a patient's colon without a colonoscopy. The patient swallows the small device and it slowly makes its way through the digestive tract in about 8 hours. The information is beamed to a receiver device carried on the patient's waist, and a doctor can then review the results later.
The December 30, 1962 episode of The Jetsons featured a device that was strikingly similar—even if it was admittedly an over-the-top joke.
The "peek-a-boo capsule" is swallowed by George (or more accurately shot into his mouth) and starts its journey through his body. The doctor can then see what's happening (through the cartoon logic of being able to see this capsule device by way of an invisible second camera) and communicate with the device to make a diagnosis. This being The Jetsons, everything goes wrong, and the doctor tells George he doesn't have much time left to live. This may be the future, but everything can still turn to shit.
It appears George has nothing left to live for, sending him into a pseudo-suicidal tailspin. George no longer fears death, so he'll try anything. Needless to say, this is one of the darker episodes ever produced in the show's original 24-episode run.
You can watch the entire 1962 episode below, complete with cheesy Cold War jokes. Let's hope that when the real PillCam goes into effect, it's a little more reliable.
Images: Screenshots from the December 30, 1962 episode of The Jetsons; PillCam screenshot via YouTube