Get Smart - Netflix

In 1965 the cold war was made a little warmer and a lot funnier due in part to the efforts of an inept, underpaid, overzealous spy: Maxwell Smart, Agent 86. The hit comedy series Get Smart is the creation of comic geniuses Buck Henry and Mel Brooks.

Get Smart - Netflix

Type: Scripted

Languages: English

Status: Ended

Runtime: 30 minutes

Premier: 1965-09-18

Get Smart - Cone of Silence (Get Smart) - Netflix

The Cone of Silence is one of many recurring joke devices from Get Smart, an American comedy television series of the 1960s about an inept spy. The essence of the joke is that the apparatus, designed for secret conversations, makes it impossible for those inside the device - and easy for those outside the device - to hear the conversation. The end result being neither secret nor communication. In popular culture, “cone of silence” is a slang phrase meaning that the speaker wishes to keep the indicated information secret and that the conversation should not be repeated to anyone not currently present. For example: “We aren't inviting Cindy and her boyfriend to the movies because they embarrass us, but keep that in the cone of silence.”

Get Smart - Precursors - Netflix

Although popularized by Get Smart, the term “Cone of Silence” actually originated on the syndicated TV show Science Fiction Theatre, in an episode titled “Barrier of Silence” written by Lou Huston and first airing September 3, 1955. The story focuses on finding a cure for Professor Richard Sheldon, who had been returned to the United States in a confused, altered state of mind after abduction by enemy agents while visiting Milan. Scientists discover that placing Sheldon in an environment of total silence had been the means of brainwashing, a precursor to later ideas of sensory deprivation, celebrated in such films as Altered States and sundry spy thrillers. Sheldon is placed on a chair in the “Cone of Silence”, which consists of a raised circular platform suspended by three wires tied to a common vertex. Although the cone's surface is open, noise canceling sound generators located just below the vertex shroud anyone sitting inside in a complete silence impossible in natural surroundings. It is also demonstrated that anyone speaking inside the cone could not be heard outside, which was the feature later parodied in Get Smart. Only a speculative, “science fiction” possibility at that time, such technology is now commonplace in active noise canceling electronics for personal and industrial use. The concept is also explored in Arthur C. Clarke's 1950 short story “Silence Please”, which features a device capable of cancelling sound waves. In Frank Herbert's science fiction novel Dune—first serialized in Analog from 1963 to 1965 and then published independently in August 1965—the Baron Harkonnen employs a “cone of silence” when having a private discussion with Count Fenring. In the novel's glossary, Herbert describes the device as the sound-deadening “field of a distorter that limits the carrying power of the voice or any other vibrator by damping the vibrations with an image-vibration 180 degrees out of phase”. Used for privacy, the field does not visually obscure lip movement. Herbert had previously mentioned the cone of silence, on a much smaller scale, in his 1955 short story “Cease Fire”.

Get Smart - References - Netflix