There was a time when the coolest attitude a person could display, in regards to computers and technology, was a scornful contempt for those who talked about the potential that such things carried. Back then, even people whose job duties included asking questions and explaining computers to the world on television got more mileage out of quizzing people knowledgeable about computers more out of contempt than curiosity. Even as late as the mid-’90s, smart people like Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric could represent the man-on-the-street view by asking questions like
Now, you can relive those halcyon days–with a twist–via Adam Lisagor’s Sandwich Video. The agency’s clients include folks like Warby Parker and Slack, but in The Computer Show, the feats of enterprises ranging from Lumi to Reddit get the old-school treatment. A send-up of the early-’80s computer-talk world, The Computer Show is a web series in which very straight-faced hosts interview the creators of now-obvious tech companies like they are aliens. “So I would drive over to Lumi-dot-com–is there a registration process? A gal at the front desk?” the host asks Lumi’s cofounders without blinking.
The joke, obviously, is on how intuitive all of these concepts are now, and how only a few decades ago, a phrase like go to Lumi.com would have been pretty confusing. But beyond the easy gag, it’s also a pretty clever way for Sandwich Video to introduce companies like Lumi to the world. At the very least, it’s a more-than-watchable send-up of a world that is very satisfying to mock, while also serving as a sly ad for the company being profiled. The past may be a foreign country, but the companies that appear on The Computer Show are real enough.