The 6 Most Unintentionally Hilarious Old School PSAs

If you want to know why your parents are the way they are, it's because they were likely raised on a series of deeply disturbing educational films.

Back before kids were raised by TV, these productions got shown in classrooms across the country, each one heavy on fear, but light on facts. As a public service, we've edited together highlights from some of the most hilariously bad lessons ever put on film. Take careful notes, or you might not learn that ...

#6. Pornography Will Literally Destroy Civilization

As Learned From:

Perversion for Profit a 1965 film commissioned by The Citizens for Decent Literature, presumably as porn for people with a self-hatred fetish.

The film kicks off with host George Putnam introducing a series of firmly! exclamatory! facts! angrily shouted into the camera, then transitions right to twenty solid minutes of pornographic pictures.

"This'll teach 'em not to look at porn."

The "shocking" images are accompanied by helpful tips on where to find such filth, as ol' George breathlessly explains that, "They can be bought openly by anyone in drug stores, groceries, delicatessens, terminals, malt shops, cigar stores, news stands ... all over the country!"

Putnam points out that, "This same kind of rot ... and decay caused sixteen! of the nineteen! major civilizations to vanish from the earth!"

That's right, kids, the Roman Empire wasn't brought down by economic decline or Germanic expansion. The culprit was two-dimensional renderings of titties. And yet, Japan survives.

The film also implies that the sickos who buy Playboy will suddenly rape you and your children, and gives helpful advice on what to do if you come into contact with the stuff ...

Short of involving the police, George generously invites you to join his local chapter of The Citizens for Decent Literature. That may not sound like fun, but keep in mind that the man thinks anti-porn tirades should be accompanied by lots of pornography. Probably not ideal circumstances for boob-gazing, but before the internet, we'd imagine you took what you could get.

#5. Homosexual Men are Bloodthirsty Predators

As Learned From:

"Boys Beware", a chronicle of the various ways gay men of 1961 stalked their young prey, courtesy of Sid Davis. The narrator warns that "the homosexual" can be anywhere, and he just isn't happy unless he's sodomizing a naive teenager.

This film helps those young, tender, blond boys recognize the dangers of the mentally ill homosexual, and points out some warning signs. Is the man being a little too friendly? Offering gifts? Playing basketball with you? Then he's almost definitely planning to dump your corpse on the pile of dead teenage rape victims in his back yard.

The film was commissioned by the Inglewood Police Department--which says a lot about Southern California cops of the early 60s--and shown to pubescent boys in classrooms across the country.

Strangely, in addition to all of the scenes of homosexuals snatching innocent young boys off the corner, our narrator implies that simply being the victim of "the homosexual" can get you in legal trouble yourself:

"Finally, Jimmy told his parents, and they reported it to the juvenile authorities. Ralph was arrested. And Jimmy was released on probation in the custody of his parents."

Sure, he got off with probation. But if Jimmy continues getting molested against his will, some hard jail time will apparently be the only recourse. What better way to break a young boy of his getting-mollested habit than sending him to prison?

#4. Teens Only Learn Via Snide Criticism

As Learned From:

"Habit Patterns" (1954) and 'Body Care and Grooming" (1948), two delightful films that teach young ladies nothing brings out the best in a person faster than snarky criticism and sneering observations about their appearance.

Habit Patterns tells the story of "Barbara," who is helped along by the fairy Godmother-like narrator who admonishes her for sleeping in, eating quickly, drumming her fingers on a desk and, most unforgivable of all, being an awkward teenager at social functions.

In the most nagging tone imaginable, our narrator compares habitually late and disgusting Barbara to her OCD-riddled neighbor Helen. Of course, telling teenage girls to exaggerate their perfectly average flaws doesn't work in real life. But in a bizarre choice for an educational film, it doesn't even work in the story, which ends with Barbara dissolving into hysterics while the narrator sneers, "It's a little late for tears, isn't it Barbara?"

We're surprised it doesn't follow up with instructions on how to make a noose out of her belt.

Body Care and Grooming, meanwhile, is another film with helpful tips about appearance. Just witness the young man's reaction to the hideously disheveled coed who dares to stand next to him.

He marches off while the helpful narrator berates the woman for not making the man "behave like a human being."


Trust us, young lady. Nothing will make Joe College angrier than the sight of rumpled bobby socks. And you wouldn't like Joe College when he's angry.

Well, look on the bright side--at least you're not a pothead. Because as we'll soon find out, that can lead to only one thing ...

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