It was during the heady mechanical man creating years of the late 1930s when a walking, talking, 78 rpm record playing robot emerged from the dank appliance division of the Westinghouse Electric Corporation in Mansfield, Ohio. Deemed unsuitable for doing dishes or even trimming the hedges, the plucky humanoid had over 700 words at his command and a litany of pithy one-liners to go with them. Grunt work's loss was entertainment's gain and soon the mundanely named Elektro was shipped to Flushing Meadows Park in Queens, New York, where he dazzled the World's Fair attendees twenty times a day, seven days a week.
In 1940, with Elektro's initially sensational reviews slipping, the Westinghouse lab boys scurried back to Mansfield with their notepads at the ready. Desperate for a new gimmick, they cooked up a companion for the oversized rust-bucket--the scene stealing bionic bone-nibbler, Sparko the Mechanical Dog. The attention-grabbing contrapt-a-pooch irked the jealous robot to no end with his fetching antics and purile parlor tricks. The situation worsened when the leaky little scamp nearly electrocuted Elektro on at least two occasions.
Disgruntled and increasingly unmanageable, Elektro dropped out of show biz and after an unsuccessful stint as mayor of La Hoya, California, he spent the next fifteen years crumpled in the forgotten scrap heap of broken robot dreams. By the time the World's Fair had shut down, Sparko's notoriety had peaked as well. In 1949 the tinfoil mutt was implicated in a bungled pet store robbery in Wappingers Falls, New York. He has since fled the country.
Elektro was eventually re-discovered in Los Angeles by MGM second unit director Ralph E. Black. The story goes that Black was taking his Buick in for an oil change at the South Central Filler-Up where he espied the disoriented robot in a dumpster out back. The former Westinghouse Pavilion star was loudly lubricated out of his metallic skull on used STP straight from the drip pan. Black needed a semi-willing robot to follow his commands--Elektro needed a squeegee. Together they appeared to be possibly unbeatable.
Black offered the intoxicated moto-man fifty bucks and a full tune-up (with a fancy Turtle Wax finish) if he would consent to clean up and appear in his new picture down at Metro. It was a Mamie Van Doren farce starring Marty Milner, Conway Twitty and Vampira. His frayed logistic circuits long since burned out, the anxious android eagerly agreed to essay the role of "Thinko" in the upcoming production. Elektro worked relatively well with the quirky ensemble and soon a smutty subplot was added to the shooting script in order to cash in on his unique skills. Aided by yet another down-on-his-luck thespian, Voltaire the Chimp, Elektro excelled in what could have been just another drunk monkey/midget butler/stripper sequence. His nuanced and natural performance was reviewed favorably in Cahiers du cinéma and in darkened theaters worldwide by discerning popeyes and transients alike.
Currently semi-retired in his native Ohio, Elektro mixes it up with locals and tourists several times a week. Any queries regarding his softcore past will only elicit a mechanical wink and his signature "Ha. Ha. Ha."
Elektro's smut reel after the jump. NSFW. Unless you work in a strip joint, but even then not such a good idea.