Maxwell Smart's gadget legacy

The late Don Adams, perhaps best known as Maxwell Smart on a 1960s TV series that spoofed James Bond movies, is being all around the Web for his comedic performances, his unforgettable wry voice, and for his catch-phrase lines.

adams

In addition to his role on "Get Smart," Adams, 82, was the voice for the popular cartoon series, "Inspector Gadget" and the voice of Comet (the coach) in "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," among many other roles.

But the passing Sunday of a man many associate with far-fetched gadgetry--like Smart's famous telephone shoe--also got some bloggers reflecting on how technology has evolved and wondering whether his characters had any influence.

Blog community response:

"For me, most memorable is that some of the running gags of the show that related to science fiction are now real in almost the same way as on the show. Agent 86 had his shoe phone. We have cell phones that have permeated society. Who can forget the opening of the shoe as Agent 86 walks down the hallway, security doors opening automatically, inspired by who knows what? Today, our doors do that inspired by electronic eyes...even our traffic lights use that technology."
--CrosSwords

"My love of gadgets just might have been started by this guy. Of course, most of them work about as well as the 'Cone of Silence'."
--DashHouse.com

"I always wanted a shoe phone and for all the technology we have come up with, we just keep overlooking that shoe phone. Good bye agent 86, thank you for hours and hours of good fun and crazy wit."
--The talk of the town

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Tech Culture
About the author

Michelle Meyers, associate editor, has been writing and editing CNET News stories since 2005. But she's still working to shed some of her old newspaper ways, first honed when copy was actually cut and pasted. When she's not fixing typos and tightening sentences, she's working with reporters on story ideas, tracking media happenings, or freshening up CNET News' home page.

 

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