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Reference to "Anti-Digit Dialing" on Bewitched Episode

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  • Mark J. Cuccia
    In the opening scenes of a Bewitched (color) episode, Three Wishes , which originally aired in the US on the ABC Television Network on Thursday
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 2, 2010
      In the opening scenes of a "Bewitched" (color) episode, "Three Wishes",
      which originally aired in the US on the ABC Television Network on
      Thursday 09-February-1967 (3rd season), Darren (the original one,
      played by Dick York) gets three "wrong number" phone calls, one right
      after the other. After the third "wrong number" he thinks its his
      mother-in-law Endorra playing "tricks" on him. But after either the
      first or second "wrong number" call, he says, exasporated,

      "DIGIT DIALING! :("

      OBVIOUSLY a reference to ANC, All Number Calling, or all-digit-dialing,
      which replaced 2L-5N (and other format) EXchange NAme dialing in the
      US and Canada (and other similar names when replacing named/lettered
      exchange dialing in other countries such as England, France, etc),
      the phasing out of EXchange NAmes over to all numbers, taking place in
      most parts of the US/Canada (and the UK and France as well) starting
      in the early 1960s (a few places experimented with it earlier in the
      late 50s) continuing throughout the 1960s (some places finished the
      "official" telco changes by the mid-1960s) or even into the 1970s in
      some places (I think that Bell of Pennsylvania in the Philadelphia metro
      area "officiallY" completed changing over to ANC in the phone book and
      other references in the early 1980s).

      The term "digit dialing" also comes from the grassroots organizations
      in the mid-1960s in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and other cities, to
      formally oppose the telephone company's phasing over from 2L-5N to 7D,
      known as ADDLs, the Anti-Digit-Dialing Leagues".

      There is also an episode of "All in the Family" which originally aired
      here in the US on the CBS Television Network in the 1978/79 season
      (probably in early 1979), where Edith is going to call the doctor
      because their live-in niece Stephani (the little girl who moved in with
      Edith and Archie after Mike & Gloria moved to California), was sick.
      Edith mutters to herself the telephone number of the doctor,
      "PArkview 7-..." and then gets to the phone. She picks up the receiver
      and starts to dial, saying to herself, "P-A-7" and then hangs up,
      saying to herself, "OH NO! They use NUMBERS now!", getting out her
      personal directory and looking up the doctor's number. She then starts
      to dial again, saying to herself, "7-2-7" and then hangs up again
      saying, "IT'S THE SAME THING!", in that usual 'Edith Bunker' voice!

      That "Bewitched" episode where in the opening scenes Darren mutters
      exasporatedly, "Digit Dialing!", was rerun on "TV-Land" this Friday
      afternoon (02-April-2010) at 5:30pm Eastern. "TV-Land" will repeat it
      again tomorrow, Saturday 03-April-2010, at 12:30 in the afternoon (EDT),
      11:30am (CDT).

      Mark J. Cuccia
      markjcuccia at yahoo dot com
      Lafayette LA, formerly of New Orleans LA pre-Katrina
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