Take THAT, Tesla fans!

We’re probably showing our age when we remember Fernwood 2 Night, the 1977 mock talk-show spinoff of classic 1970s comedy series Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. But it wasn’t until we found one of the old clips that we realized: Good lord, the show’s writers anticipated the Tesla Roadster battery by at least 30 years!

The clip (which runs 3:40) has host Barth Gimble (Martin Mull) and his fractious sidekick Jerry Hubbard (Fred Willard) welcoming Fernwood’s local gas station owner Virgil Simms (played by a very young Jim Varney, of the “Ernest” movies). Virgil has invented an electric car, which seems to be based on an orange Volkswagen Fastback from 1971-73.

Once the battery is revealed—actually “about 4,000” of them, seemingly D-cells—we couldn’t help but think of the Tesla battery pack, with its 6,871 lithium ion cells. Guess those battery engineers must have been watching late-night reruns again…

The proto-Tesla, circa 1977.

(Our thanks to car fan Rick Feibusch of Venice, California, for the link.)


  • Bryce

    hahahaha………………………………………………………………….

  • steved28

    That brings me back… Thanks

    Now if you could just post an episode of “soap”

  • FactChecker

    Come on, the Tesla Roadster doesn’t have 6,871 individual cells in it. That would be ridiculous.

    It only has 6,831 cells.

  • Jerry

    good stuff I remeber watching that show all the time. 1977 energy crisis its sad how little we have done since then

  • jvoelcker

    @FactChecker: LOLOL … “You are so busted!”

    Sorry about that, clumsy fingers … or neuron short-circuited … or something. I knew that, I really did. I’ve written it a zillion times. Sigh. Nice to know we have such detail-oriented readers.

    Does that mean I now owe you 40 commodity 18650 cobalt-based Li-ion cells ? ? ?