Whaddaya Do When There’s Nuttin’ Ta Do? #socs

Nowadays, kids have cable TV, iPads, and smartphones to keep themselves entertained when they’re bored. Know what we had when we were kids?

The Kenner Give-A-Show Projector!

You know what it was? It was a cheap slide projector with slides mounted on cardboard strips. They’d have the dialogue written on the slides, and you had to read it, out loud if there were a bunch of you watching. The thing had terrible focus, so you had to be really close to the wall to see anything, so the picture wasn’t that big. And even if you got it to focus, it wasn’t that clear. You can see in the ad that old Fred Flintstone (Winston cigarette salesman) is looking a little fuzzy.

I empathize with the kid out in the rain. “Go outside!” “But Mom! It’s raining!” “Well, put on your raincoat, then!”

Here’s an example of a Give-A-Show cartoon, featuring Josie & The Pussycats…

“Man, this is boring.” “Yeah, let’s go out and throw rocks at each other.”

The Give-A-Show Projector was on about the same technical level as the GAF Viewmaster.

Of course you knew that Henry Fonda was the adult, but did you recognize Jodie Foster?

It didn’t take much to entertain us back then.

I had a great childhood, but didn’t realize it at the time.


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. And now a word from Commonwealth Edison: You’re living much better electrically!

14 thoughts on “Whaddaya Do When There’s Nuttin’ Ta Do? #socs

    1. It was a much simpler time, when kids read and played outside more than they do now. The Internet takes up more and more of a kid’s life nowadays.


  1. I recognize who Jodie Foster is but didn’t realize Henry Fonda did this commercial. I had a view finder and quite a few of the round things to put I. And look a it. I wish I had one now…oh well. I was also one of the kids to be told to go out and play and I just looked at my mom and said it was raining and pleaded so she let me stay in and watch tv


    1. Now you can just bring the stuff up online. It’s kind of a shame, really; there was a lot to be said for having to look up stuff in an encyclopedia or hike to the library to get a book on a subject. We were always walking somewhere when we were kids. Now there’s nowhere to walk…


      1. I remember seeing plans for one and I think I tried a simple version, which turned out okay, but not as good as the ones I’ve bought. Memory’s a little fuzzy on this. 🙂

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  2. I read your words before watching the video, so I recognized Jodi Foster right away. I also had a great childhood, I wasn’t allowed to watch more than 30 minutes of television per day.


  3. Now that I look back I appreciate my childhood. Honestly, it seems like worlds away from today’s children. We had nothing much to play with but we got creative and had much satisfaction. Now the memories make me smile.

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  4. I was either four or five when I got my first Viewmaster and thought it was the greatest thing I’d ever seen. For years, every birthday and Christmas I’d get new story wheels. I still remember Huckleberry Hound, Superman, Trip to the Moon, Walt Disney’s Zorro, etc. I couldn’t have been happier and, yes, I had a great childhood, too. Although, I didn’t know it at the time.

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