Of all the monikers bestowed on the television remote control, clicker makes the least sense. Sure, channel-changer is a mouthful, but at least it describes the device's function. Clicker, on the other hand, doesn't define any of the controller's actions -- there's no clicking involved in the process. So how, then, did it get this onomatopoeic name?
In 1950, the Zenith Radio Corporation developed "Lazy Bones," the very first television controller. Connected by a cable to the TV, the device wasn't exactly remote. But it did promote maximum laziness, allowing viewers to remain seated while changing the channel -- providing "complete automatic program selection in the palm of your hand.
Five years later, Zenith improved on this first control, developing one sans wires. The Flashmatic shined a flash of light into four photoelectric cells placed at each corner of the TV screen. The beam activated a designated cell, which would rotate the tuner dial, changing the channel or adjusting the volume.
While the device paved the way for wireless remotes, it had one problematic feature: the cells would react to any beam of light. If the TV sat in a particularly sunny corner, the tuner would move unprompted -- spooky!