Bill Murray anti-tech rant: robots, digital watches, talking cars, 1982

Raw footage from "Wired In," a never-completed series on the technological trends and innovations of the early 1980s. Here is unedited tape of Bill Murray doing takes for a promo, shot in NYC. He rants about technology.

• "People have hands... Watches should have hands."
• "Who in the hell is thinkin' up this stuff? High tech stuff."
• "I don't mind robots. I mean, R2D2 was alright. He was a fine actor."

[Video Link, and longer version here]

(Via Submitterator, thanks gorfulator)



  1. Well it looks like this is at least partially scripted, so who knows how much of that is actually Bill M and how much of that was just something he was told to say.

    Also technology was different back then — it was more new and frightening to people. It’s just like stem cell research and AI today.

    I can’t wait for singularity to come true, but can you imagine when we get closer how panicked people will be?!

        1. Indeed there are… but they might disabuse themselves if they were to investigate the exciting potential of such research. And, just like a baby with a night-light, they will see there’s nothing to fear.

  2. High tech in 1982, for those of you who don’t know, was cellular phones and Pac-Man. Better yet, watch _Stripes_ and see what High tech weaponry was in 1982.

    1. Numbers are also conceptual tools; they’re not “the data.” But trying to contemplate that written numbers are not the data, but merely conceptual tools, might upset some folks… (It may also be strange trying to contemplate what “the data” really is, since the written numbers aren’t it…)

      It really does amaze me, the increased level of technology we have now; it further amazes me that our level of technology’s increasing is also increasing (or, equivalently, our level of technology is accelerating). Might it also be the case that our technological acceleration is also increasing (or jerking), and if that’s the case, is our technological jerking also increasing (uh… that’d be fourth-order increasing, if there isn’t already a term for that), and could it be possible to get technological change to approach (but never attain) infinite-order increasing over time, i.e. post-singularity-initiation?

  3. Who in the hell is thinkin up this stuff? This high tech stuff. Listen to your robot car you dummy! Wired In with Bolly Dringle. For Your Health!

  4. Poor Bill. I couldn’t watch all of it. Yes, it was scripted and dumb. But even if not, who among us could survive watching ourselves talk 28 years ago?

  5. To be fair..late 70’s and early 80’s digital watches required two hands to operate. You had to push a button on the side to get the LED to light up.

    1. The brave face and conquer their fears. Fools have no fears to begin with.

      How do you spot a fool? He’s the one who thinks he’s the smartest guy in the room.

      Fools rush in where angels fear to tread….

  6. I like a watch with hands, especially if it winds up, but I like my high tech stuff. I just had my first day driving a taxi in my life and with an iPad in the car I was able to punch in addresses I’ve never heard of and follow an electronic map with pulsing blue cursor showing my position in the center, bring up the airport’s arrival schedule so I’d know good times to go and hang out there, and bring the iPad with the dispatch app inside my house with me so I wouldn’t miss any rides when I stopped home to go to the bathroom and play with the cat.

  7. He’s right. R2D2 IS an actor, Kenny Baker PLAYED R2D2. The robot was only a costume worn by a little person. Why is this an accepted fact in The Wizard of Oz but not Star Wars? My partner has been a huge fan and we just got into a huge argument because he refused to believe me. He’s acting like a five year old that just learned Santa Clause is not real.

  8. I think I know why “Wired In,” was never-completed. Even three sheets to the wind, Bill Murray could improv lines and scenes way, way better than this show’s writers could come up with for him.

  9. I owned one of those talking cars from the 80s, and let me tell you, I DID want to kick in the dash every time it told me my “door is ajar” or that “my engine oil pressure is low”

  10. A lot of people here getting upset because a comedian made a bunch of tongue in cheek comments about excessive uses technology.

    Honestly, I think that line about putting his foot through the dash of his car would have been hilarious, in a good take. I feel the same way about User Account Controls.

  11. Jeez, folks I would thought that Bill Murry’s decades long career as an entertainer might have tipped you off that he was joking (but I guess not).

    That said, he seems pretty coked up to me in this clip.

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