The comedy in this cartoon comes mainly from three sources—wisecracks after each check of Jetson’s innards, wisecracks by Jetson after each test of the suit, and the bidding war between Spacely and Cogswell over Jetson’s employment. Naturally, the corporate status symbols of the 1960s are included in the latter—a vice presidency and a key to the executive washroom. Cosmo Spacely’s cheapness and shallowness are shown up nicely during the sequence. Spacely opens up a safe that obviously hasn’t been touched in years and pulls out a wad of bills. “That money hasn’t seen the light of day in ages,” says Cogswell. “Look!” The camera cuts to a scene of George Washington (on the $100 bill!?) rubbing his eyes because he’s seeing light.
Harvey Bullock and Ray Allen’s story also incorporates that grand old sitcom staple—the misunderstanding. In this case, you have to get caught up in their plot and not question its holes. George Jetson goes through with life-threatening tests on the suit because he’s been told by a doctor he’s going to die. He’s told he’s going to die because an electronic medical probe that had been swirling around Jetson’s body pops out his ear and embeds itself in a mummy. Even if you accept a medical doctor would be conducting research with a mummy, Jetson felt the probe leave his head. Why didn’t he say something? And wouldn’t the doctor wonder where his probe is after the exam is over and then realise his misdiagnosis? He’d want it back, wouldn’t he? Or maybe the probe is supposed to work its way through the digestive system and...well, let’s move on to something else.
In the next sequence, we see that Spacely has a robot secretary to do his typing. Apparently the auto correct function doesn’t exist in the future (too many mistakenly-changed words put it out of consumer favour?) as there’s a funny gag about an eraser that pops out of the computer and rubs out the mistake on the screen.
Spacely also has a shaving contraption (with a striped barber pole) that comes out of his ceiling.
The story goes that lone scientists at both Spacely Sprockets and Cogswell Cogs, in what appears to be an attempt at corporate diversification, have both invented indestructible jacket. They both need someone to test the suit. Meanwhile, George Jetson has gone to Doctor Radius who tells him “it’s just a matter of time...then...poof! Pift!” Jetson’s going to die thanks to the probe we mentioned earlier. There are medical probes today that televise what’s happening inside someone’s body but none of them have Mel Blanc’s voice nor make jokes as they circle various organs (one involves a groaner of an Adam’s Apple pun). It might be more fun if they did.
Since Jetson thinks he’s going to die, he accepts Spacely’s proposal to go through tests that could kill him. “What’s mine is yours. I’ll give you everything you need. Help yourself. Anything in the place” says Spacely. Jetson puts Spacely’s pen in his pocket. Spacely grabs it back. The first act of the cartoon is over.
The bulk of the second half is taken up with the tests, which are televised live. There’s a fun bit of dialogue to start the sequence:
Announcer: Oh, Mr. Jetson, I guess you’re quite concerned about these tests.There’s a “hydro-resistance” test, a “force-factor” test (involving a huge rock), the “Verticle-horizontal wearage test” (Jetson is crushed into a little square), a buzz-saw test, a “thermo-electric resistance test” (Jetson roasts a hot dog while he’s zapped) and finally, a test where two rockets are fired at him in mid-air. Some frames...
Jetson: Well, I...
Spacely (walks toward the TV camera and fills the frame) I certainly am. Sure hope nothing happens to that life jacket.
Announcer: Oh, uh, Mr. Spacely, um, your every thought must be with the courageous man who’s risking his life for you.
Spacely: Huh? Who’s that?
Before the final test, Doctor Radium rushes to Jetson and tells him he’s not going to “pift.” Not even “poof.” He’ll live to be 150. Suddenly, George cares that the test could kill him. The best part of this portion of the cartoon when Jetson turns his parachute into a cape and the rocket pretends to be a bull, pawing on the “ground.”
Naturally, Jetson isn’t killed. The final sequence has the plot twist. Jane has washed the jacket. It’s ruined. It can’t be washed. This, somehow has ruined Spacely Sprockets (we have to presume Spacely has manufactured millions of these things now that he has the Good Spacekeeping Seal of Approval) and the cartoon ends with Jetson and Spacely dashing off to seek employment with Cogswell.
There’s no shot of the Skypad Apartments in this cartoon. We get the same painting of the Spacely Sprockets building as in “Astro’s Top Secret.” In two scenes, there are overlays of silhouettes of people, anxious to see if Jetson survives the tests. It seems Hanna-Barbera predicted Reality TV as well.