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The 21st Century – Now Featuring HILARITY!

For a wide swath of Disney fans, Epcot Center of the early 1980s would be the first destination on any time-traveling itinerary. The list of fondly-remembered classics is legendary: Horizons, World of Motion, Journey into Imagination, Mr. Intelligence…

Wait, what?

Calllll the poliiiiiiccceeeee...

From Walt Disney World Eyes & Ears, February 2nd, 1984:

Epcot Center visitors casually strolling the bridge between Future World and World Showcase have recently encountered a most unusual sight: A young, studious-looking chap, sporting the attire of a gentleman scientist – silver bow tie-and-vest, pinstripe pants and lab coat – accompanied by a lovely young lady with the frozen pose of an android.

And indeed, that capsule description provides the starting point for Epcot Center’s most recent entertainment addition: “Mr. Intelligence.”

The fun begins with “Mr. Intelligence” puts his pretty “robot” creation through her paces. The “robot,” named IB4E (i before e, get it?), then engages in a number of delightful demonstration exercises “programmed” by “Mr. Intelligence” via a remote control device filled with colorful, blinking lights: Waving “hello,” walking, shaking hands … even flirting!

Later, “Mr. Intelligence” selects a youngster from the audience to help operate IB4E. The youthful volunteer unwittingly programs IB4E to snatch purses and unleash a physical attack on “Mr. Intelligence” himself!

The 15-minute show occurs Saturday through Wednesday, approximately every half hour from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., and from 4 to 5 p.m.

Aside from the realization that even Epcot Center didn’t always exude 100% dignity, here are other stray thoughts:

  • Creepy.
  • Did the Clinkers know about this?
  • I’ll bet Bill Nye never puts this on his resume.
  • Why all the “air quotes” in this “article”?
  • At least I now know how to dress if I become a “gentleman scientist”.
  • If you have to explain the pun, it’s not worth it.

Somehow I missed this performance back in the day. Too busy riding Horizons over and over, I suppose.

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11 comments to The 21st Century – Now Featuring HILARITY!

  • The living precursor to interactive garbage cans revealed.

  • “During a performance for Arkansas governor Bill Clinton, the governor caused quite a stir when he wrested the remote control away from Mr. Intelligence, only to hand it back, crestfallen, after discovering that it ‘didn’t have the button he was looking for’. Mr. Clinton’s offer to ‘teach IB4E some new tricks’ was rebuffed by park executives.”

  • Hoot Gibson

    I remember being assaulted by these two. The “robot” made like she was in love with me in front of a crowd of people. She embarrassed me and I hated it. Maybe that’s why I hate the robot garbage cans.

  • An actual sighting! Incredible!

    This is the kind of thing I would have *HATED* as a kid. Being humiliated for the amusement of adults. I would have thrown her remote the in lagoon.

  • They still do this in the “Lights Motors Action” show at the Studios. They get a kid out of the audience to operate what’s supposed to be a full-sized remote control car, and after the kid drives it around a little bit, it’s revealed that there was a guy inside the car the whole time, and he’s the one who was really controlling it. It seemed kind of mean-spirited to me when I saw it.

  • smaha

    Why wasn’t there a campaign to save “Mr. Intelligence” back in the day?

    EpBOTS, Bubble Nicolas, Hometown Jamboree, Epcot VYBE, Kristos, Barbie’s World….this might have them all beat for zaniest live entertainment ever.

  • Tim

    I have to know, is “Calllll the poliiiiiiccceeeee…” a shout-out to The Ren & Stimpy Show?

    It’s always been a favorite of ours and acts as our short-hand quote whenever we see someone crying out for help (like a dog wearing a sweater).

  • That is *exactly* what I was referencing :)

  • Maria

    Don’t worry too much about the mental states of the children at the stunt show, futureprobe1982. They give participants an exclusive Lights, Motors, Action! pin. What more could you ask for?

  • Raymond

    OMG, I remember this! Only I saw it where the male was the robot and the scientist was “Miss Information. I have a pic of it somewhere from 1986.

  • OK, I know this is an older post but you really need to find that photo :)

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