|Cone of Silence|
From "My Nephew the Spy"
|Seen in||Mr. Big |
My Nephew the Spy
KAOS in CONTROL
|Kind of device||Communication|
|Used by||by Maxwell Smart and the Chief|
"Activate the Cone of Silence"
The Cone of Silence is a gadget used by CONTROL. In the episode "A Tale of Two Tails," it was mentioned that the Cone of Silence was invented by a Professor Cone. It has never worked properly, but Max sometimes asks to use it when he feels that the subject he and the Chief are talking about is Top Secret.
It is a clear plastic contraption consisting of two domes with a rectangular box in between. When activated, the Cone of Silence lowers itself onto the Chief's desk, covering the speakers on either side of the desk. Usually, the Chief and Max are unable to hear each other.
When CONTROL is revived in 1995, Max, now the chief, is informed by technician Duane that the Cone of Silence is worn out and cannot be fixed. Duane had been to Radio Shack and Walmart and called the Army but nobody had parts for it. In its place he devises the high-tech Scrambler [ Get Smart (1995 series pilot) ].
Variations on the Cone of Silence
Portable Cone of Silence
In Hubert's Unfinished Symphony, the portable cone of silence was introduced. It consists of two large bubbles for each speaker's head, and a long connecting tube between the two bubbles, for communication purposes. Maxwell Smart and the Chief use it to talk about Rudolph Hubert's murder on the stage of Badeff Concert Hall but the Chief's head gets locked in his half.
Closet of Silence
When CONTROL suffers a budget cutback and the Cone of Silence is leased to the CIA [in "Maxwell Smart, Private Eye"], Max demands to use the Closet of Silence, located off the Chief's office, in its place. After the conference is concluded, Max, 99 and the Chief find themselves locked in. The Chief calls for Larabee to let them out but Max says that Larabee will not hear because the walls are too thick and shoots the lock with his gun. However, Larabee has been able to hear from outside and is shot through the door.
Umbrella of Silence
In London, British CONTROL's equivalent of the Cone of Silence is the Umbrella of Silence. Instead of dual cones, the device consists of a single large transparent umbrella which is lowered over a round conference table. Although it appears to work as intended it lacks ventilation. This results in it filling up with smoke from Commander Hathaway's pipe, causing the participants trouble in breathing and seeing each other, prompting Max to enquire whether the Commander had "considered the advantages of snuff". [Episode #70: "That Old Gang of Mine.]
Cones of Silence
When Max visits the United Nations Security Council, he and the members each have an individual Cone of Silence lowered over them, resulting in total silence in the room [Movie: "The Nude Bomb"].
Get Smart (2008) Cone of Silence
In the 2008 movie, Get Smart, the cone of silence is a temporary soundproof forcefield that is cast over the conference table.
Failures of the Cone
- Max asks to use the Cone and The Chief accepts. The Cone is so silent that they can't hear each other, making communication impossible.
- Again they're not able to hear each other, but Hodgekins can hear every word that they say.
- Max says to activate the Cone so he could make his report. When it's lowered, the Chief asks what he has to report. Max says "nothing." The conversation is finished.
- The Chief doesn't want to use the Cone, but Max insists. The Cone starts descending and they begin their conversation. But, the Cone keeps ascending and descending until it crushes the Chief's desk. Max and The Chief are forced to drop to the floor.
- A bee is in the Cone with Max and the Chief and the bee is buzzing so loud it overwhelms them.
- Hubert's Unfinished Symphony (as "Portable Cone of Silence")
- They can hear each other, but when they're finished the lock of the chief's side of the Cone is stuck.
- After Max makes his report, the Cone won't open so Max crawls out. An alarm sounds and Max runs out of the office leaving the Chief in the Cone.
- Maxwell Smart, Private Eye (replaced by the "Closet of Silence")
- That Old Gang of Mine (as "Umbrella of Silence")