If you’re a gearhead with an internet connection, there’s a good chance you’ve seen this video before. But don’t let that stop you from reveling in its wavy analog goodness once more. And if you haven’t seen the Turbo Encabulator video till now, please do enjoy these few minutes of gold on our behalf — and remember who your cool buddy is!
There’s lots of lore around how, when, why, and who made this spoof. And there’s not enough space on this blog to go over every bit of it. But that’s also the great thing about the interwebs: You can waste an entire day digging into its history and never regret a minute of it. Bud Haggart delivers the performance, flawlessly, and we just keep replaying it over and over again. And his accomplice, Dave Rondot, gives a great description on his YouTube page:
“This is the first time Turbo Encabulator was recorded with picture. I shot this in the late 70’s at Regan Studios in Detroit on 16mm film. The narrator and writer is Bud Haggert. He was the top voice-over talent on technical films. He wrote the script because he rarely understood the technical copy he was asked to read and felt he shouldn’t be alone. We had just finished a production for GMC Trucks and Bud asked since this was the perfect setting could we film his Turbo Encabulator script. He was using an audio prompter referred to as “the ear”. He was actually the pioneer of the ear. He was to deliver a live speech without a prompter. After struggling in his hotel room trying to commit to memory he went to plan B. He recorded it to a large Wollensak reel to reel recorder and placed it in the bottom of the podium. With a wired earplug he used it for the speech and the “ear” was invented. Today every on-camera spokesperson uses a variation of Bud’s innovation. Dave Rondot (me) was the director and John Choate was the DP on this production. The first laugh at the end is mine. My hat’s off to Bud a true talent.”
Hats off to you, boys — we aspire to your kind of greatness….