Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A 1968 Howard Johnson's Restaurant Menu Explains Kubrick's 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY Film

Yes, really.

Here's a Howard Johnson's menu ("Host of the Highways -- Coast-to-Coast") which explains what 2001 is about and how (not) to behave in the movie theatre. It's copyright 1968 by Amuse-A-Menu Company in Boston, MA.

It seems odd to have a promo comic aimed at kids for such an adult flick, but I remember my Dad taking a birthday party group of us kids to a rerelease of 2001 at a Lawrence, KS movie theatre back when I was 9 or 10. Thinking back on it now, we were all interested in it. Blogger John Sisson, who found this 2001 comic, agrees. Of course, during the third act 20 minute light show experience, us kids were crawling the seats out of confusion/boredom.

Anyway, the comic/menu:

Robin and Debbie are attending the premiere of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY. He sports a jacket and bow tie. She has a lovely red frock. They chat out loud about the film, and the Howard Johnson's product placement (natch!). The rest of the audience seems not to mind.

Yeah, right.

Anyway, there they are, talking in a movie theatre about the wonder and mystery of the movie. They kinda gloss over the incomprehensible ending.

As they walk out, they express that they can hardly wait until the REAL year of 2001 comes when Robin will be a space pilot and Debbie will be a (ugh!) stewardess.

The artist and writer are uncredited.


John Platt said...

The artwork on that is actually pretty good for what it is!

Mike Lynch said...

My guess is that this was produced by an ad agency. The slick art was produced by a professional illustrator, but I cannot in heaven's name ID who it could be. Wish there were credits.

Rodrigo Baeza said...

The lettering looks like Irv Watanabe's work, so my guess is that this is a job from the Johnstone & Cushing agency.

Mike Lynch said...

Johnstone and Cushing was dissolved in 1962. My feeling is that this was done by a Boston area professional since the Amuse-A-Menu Company was located in that city.