As children of the 1980s we have a small group of fictional robots that we hold dear to our hearts... Data from Star Trek TNG, Optimus Prime, Rocky’s robot butler from Rocky IV, and R2D2 all spring to mind when we picture robots. And so does one other lovable little guy who doesn’t seem to get much play these days – Johnny 5 from the Short Circuit films. In order to help get this perky lil’ droid back in the public consciousness, we’re coming at you with some Short Circuit tattoos.
In the name of research, we all got together after work one night last week for a group viewing of Short Circuit 2. We marveled at the film’s special blend of quirky ‘80s racism and all laughed out loud (LOL’d) at the exploits of Johnny 5. Actually, I’m just kidding. I watched Short Circuit 2 alone in the dark. No one from the office ever hangs out with me outside of work as I suspect they don’t actually like me very much,
Either way, the movie was a trip back to a simpler time when 500 megs seemed like a plausible amount of memory to run a completely sentient piece of artificial intelligence. The film is incredibly dated, but is very much a nice wayback machine to the 1980s. This was a time when racism in film was much more tolerated, as the main character of Ben is portrayed by a very white Fisher Stevens in brownface.
In Fisher’s defense, he does claim that he spent a month in India doing yoga and reading classic Indian literature to prepare for the role of Ben Jahrvi, whose last name inexplicably changed from Jabituya in the first film – possibly because producers wanted an actual Indian last name for the sequel, but not an actual Indian actor. If you want a serious thinkpiece about Fisher’s casting, Aziz Ansari has provided something much better than we can.
Johnny 5’s indomitable spirit lives on in all of us. Or it is my sincere hope that it does. Just remember, the world is a beautiful place full of knowledge to obtain and data banks to increase. Why not relive some happy ‘80s memories with these Johnny 5 tattoos?
Don’t these Short Circuit tattoos just make you want to rewatch two mediocre comedies from the ‘80s? We say go for it. There’s much worse (and more racist) fare out there, such as C. Thomas Howell’s turn in blackface in 1986’s Soul Man – something we wish there were tattoos of so we could write an article about it.