Wanna feel old? Today is George Jetson’s birthday!!
For sixty years, a key pop culture reference to living in the future is to compare something to The Jetsons, the Hanna-Barbera cartoon. Well, according to Jetsons lore, Sunday, July 31, 2022, is George Jetson’s actual birthday, meaning it is now officially The Future.
Yet, how do we know that somewhere out there, Mother Jetson is giving birth to George? As always, it’s thanks to very nerdy Hanna-Barbera fans and some guesswork. Hanna-Barbera is, of course, the iconic animation studio started by former MGM animators William Hanna and Joseph Barbera.
When the show first launched in 1962, the marketing materials revealed the show was set 100 years in the future or 2062. So how do we know George was born in 2022?
Well, it comes down to Season 1, Episode 15, “Test Pilot.” In this episode, George is told he’s dying (a lighthearted kids’ show for the whole family, folks!). Obviously, he’s not. When the Doctor reveals his mistake, he says that George would probably live to 150 years old. A few moments later, George says, “I have 110 good years left!” So, this puts George Jetson’s age firmly at 40, presuming he wasn’t rounding up or down. Thus, George was born in 2022.
The date of his birth is never mentioned in the show but it is contained in the marketing material prepared for the show.
July 31, 2022.
Feel old? It is now officially the future.
“This means that flying cars, robot maids, and pills that can be turned into full meals are all on the horizon. We’ll also soon be living in space-age houses in the sky. Of course, that’s not exactly great news. In the 1990 movie The Jetsons, Rosie the Robot lifts the Jetsons’ home out of a very polluted surface. In the series itself, the ground is all concrete with little greenery. There are still homeless people, and because humanity has taken over the sky, the birds are relegated to living on the ground.”
“Still, despite the worries modern generations have about the future of Planet Earth, The Jetsons were part of a trend in the 1960s that dreamed of an optimistic future. The cartoon, the first color show broadcast on ABC, predated Gene Roddenberry and Star Trek by four years. The US space program was still going on in earnest, and technology was advancing at an incredible rate. Even though the Apollo 11 craft had less computing power than an iPhone, that any computer could fit in a structure smaller than a warehouse was a miracle.
So, happy literal birthday George Jetson. The world has a long way to go to get to flying cars. Yet, we’ve already got holograms, robotic helpers, and smartwatches! The future is already here and now, so is George Jetson.”