Laugh-In Predicts the Fall of the Berlin Wall and Reagan's Presidency
If you're under 50 and have no problem with children on your lawn, you could be forgiven for not having heard of Laugh-In. Running from 1968 to 1972, Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In was a very successful sketch comedy show that featured a combination of topical satire and sexual innuendo. A recurring feature of Laugh-In was their "News of the Future" segment. They would report made-up news stories to mock current political and social issues. Two such stories can be seen in this clip:
The first "News of the Future" story in the above 1969 clip contains the following line: "There was dancing in the streets today as East Germany finally tore down the Berlin Wall." OK, that's pretty weird, but it's not that amazi- wait a minute, when did he say this story was from? "Berlin, 20 years from now, 1989."
... HOLY SHIT.
Via Wiki Commons
Above: Berlin, 1989.
OK, so they predicted one major world event, right to the year that it happened. Freak coincidence. It's not like they did the same thing again ... oh wait, they totally did it again.
The second clip shows them mocking the idea of former actor Ronald Reagan becoming president. It's true that Reagan was already the governor of California at the time, much like Jesse "The Body" Ventura once was the governor of Minnesota. In other words, he was in politics but the idea of him in the white house was laughable (look at how the audience howled at the words "President Ronald Reagan" in the second "News of the Future" story).
He would go on to become the third bullet-taking-est president in American history.
Of course, a little more than a decade later, Reagan did win the presidency, his term ending the very year their "news of the future" segment took place. So, has anyone done a wacky "Donald Trump as president" sketch yet? Laugh all you want, it may seem strangely prescient in, say, 2017.
And we're legitimately sorry if this prediction comes true.
Simon Bower is an Australian writer by day, and by night as well. You can read his blog here, follow him on Twitter or email him.
For instances of pop culture predicting the future, check out 6 Musicians Who Predicted Their Own Death in Song and 7 Completely Unrealistic Movie Plots (That Came True).