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Futurama was an animated American cartoon series created by Matt Groening (creator of The Simpsons) and David X. Cohen (also a writer for The Simpsons). Set in "New New York City" in the year 3000, it was introduced on the Fox Network and received airplay between March 28, 1999 and August 10, 2003. Futurama now appears in syndication on the Cartoon Network and the TBS Superstation in the US, Sky One and Channel 4 in the United Kingdom, TeleToon in Canada, Fox 8 in Australia, Pro7 in Germany, Canal Fox on Latin America and on SF2 in Switzerland.
The series begins with Philip J. Fry (usually shortened to Fry), a New York City slacker who is cryogenically frozen "by accident" on New Year's Eve, 1999. One thousand years later, he is defrosted, and finds himself in New New York on December 31, 2999. Fry's attempt to escape from his now-mandatory job assignment as a delivery boy ends when he is hired on at Planet Express, a small intergalactic package delivery company run by his distantly descended nephew. The series covers the adventures of Fry and his colleagues as they travel around the universe making deliveries on behalf of Planet Express.
The futuristic time frame allowed the show's writers to be creative with their humour by introducing humorous ideas into the series which have not really happened. As such, the show is as much a testament to the creativity of the writers as it is a story of Fry and his colleagues. The following is a division covering both sides of the series.
Fry's first glimpse of New New York City after being defrosted.The world of Futurama is a somewhat cynical version of the future. Unlike past cartoons like The Jetsons, which showed an efficient, clean, happy future, Futurama portrays a less idealistic view, with humans still dealing with many of the same basic problems of the 20th century. The show's vision of the future bears a striking similarity to the present; present-day political figures and celebrities survive as heads in jars, television remains the primary means of entertainment, the Internet is still slow, and issues such as global warming, inflexible bureaucracy, and substance abuse remain problems.
Race issues in 3000 are now centered around relations among humans, aliens, and robots. A common clash between the former two is alien immigration plaguing Earth. A specific issue on Earth is the large population of super-intelligent/super-incompetent robots (such as homeless robots and orphan children robots, like Tinny Tim); they are generally lazy and surly, and often unwilling to assist their human creators. Earth's government (now united under a single President of Earth) remains corrupt. For example, Richard Nixon's preserved head is elected President of Earth at one point in the series. This world government seems to be quite US-centric as Earth's capital is Washington, DC, the flag of Earth looks like the Flag of the United States only with an image of the Earth (with the US facing out) where the stars are today, and its inhabitants are called Earthicans and all speak the English language. Interplanetary relations are poor, with constant wars and invasions, often poorly planned and fought for foolish and unnecessary reasons.
Despite this, Futurama's world also showcases numerous technological advantages that have been developed by the year 3000. Wheels used in transportation have been made obsolete by hover technology, to the point that 31st century characters do not know what a wheel is. Along with robots, spaceships, and floating buildings, the show also introduced many memorable inventions such as the Smell-o-scope, the What-if Machine, and the Parabox, as well as less inspiring creations, such as coin-operated Suicide Booths and Soylent Cola ("The taste varies from person to person").
Most celebrities from the 20th century, 19th century, and earlier are alive and well in Futurama's world thanks to cloning, head preservation (invented by Ron Popeil), DNA splicing, and various other forms of regeneration. Most commonly they are disembodied heads living in jars. There are two jarred heads of Grover Cleveland, presumably because he was both the 22nd and the 24th President of the United States. The head of Richard Nixon, atop a giant robotic body (a weaponized mecha), was elected President of Earth; his 31st century term of office was a failure.
Fry and Bender having a drink. The Slurm poster in the background features "Alien Language 1", which reads "drink" when translated.Futurama's universe also makes several bold predictions about the future of linguistics. In "A Clone of My Own" (and "Space Pilot 3000"), it is implied that French is now a dead language, and that the official language spoken by the French will then be English (interestingly, in the French version of the show, German is substituted as the 'dead language' rather than French).
English itself has also evolved from today; however, it still remains comprehensible. These changes include the disuse of the word Christmas in favor of Xmas (with the X pronounced) and the pronunciation of ask changing to aks.
The show also often makes use of a pair of alien alphabets in background signage. The first is a simple one-to-one substitution cipher from the Latin alphabet, while the second uses a more complex modular addition code (officially an ancient alien language predating the universe). They often provide additional jokes for fans dedicated enough to decode the messages.
The logo of the First Amalgamated Church, featuring symbols of several present-day religions.Religion has changed quite a bit since the year 2000. Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism have all merged into one Amalgamated Church. There is some form of Space Catholicism (despite Jesus' Second Coming already having occurred), led by the reptilian Space Pope (Crocodylus pontifex) and based upon a platform of discouraging love between robots and humans. (A retort to a question with an obvious "yes" answer is "Is the Space Pope reptilian?") Oprahism and Voodoo are now mainstream religions. Waltermercadismo is also mentioned in the Latin American version.
Some of today's holidays still exist, but with slightly different mascots. Christmas, now X-mas, is no longer celebrated, but feared due to a giant robotic Santa Claus, who is located on Neptune. He was originally created and programmed by Mom's Friendly Robot Co. to judge people naughty or nice and distribute presents accordingly, but his standards were set so high that he invariably deems everybody naughty (except for Dr. Zoidberg), and attempts to punish them on Christmas Eve. Hanukkah now is represented by the Hanukkah Zombie and Kwanzaa by Kwanzaa-bot. At one point, when Bender becomes Santa Claus, he encounters Kwanzaa-bot, who is distributing the traditional Kwanzaa gift, a book entitled What The Hell is Kwanzaa? Kwanzaa-bot then asks Bender if he will be going to Hanukkah Zombie's party.
Robot religions exist as well, with the most popular being the quasi-Christian religion of Robotology, which has its Hell located in an abandoned New Jersey amusement park, presided over by the crafty Robot Devil. Robot Jews exist as well, although all we know about them is that they hold functions to celebrate a robot becoming a "Bot Mitzvah" and do not believe that Robot Jesus was their messiah. "We believe that he was built, and that he was a very well-programmed robot, but that he was not our messiah" remarks a robot rabbi. Bender is also shown celebrating the festivals of "Robannukah", "Robanzaa" and "Robamadan", although he admits that he invented these in order to get out of work.
Over the years, as life began to imitate Star Trek more and more, the sci-fi series evolved into an enormous mainstream religious cult that swept the world. This caused the "Star Trek Wars" (not to be confused with the "Star Wars Trek", the mass migration of Star Wars fans). The destruction because of the "Wars" ultimately led to its banning by the Earth Government and the execution of its followers "in the manner most befitting virgins", i.e., by being thrown into a volcano. A guard would say "He's dead Jim", as Leonard McCoy would frequently say in the television series, after each follower was thrown in. By the year 3000 even discussing the show is a serious legal offense. (It is mentioned with no penalties, however, once by Hermes Conrad while describing the Democratic Order Of Planets, and again in the episode where the Planet Express crew uses the Internet.) There is little mention of what happened to The Next Generation and the other spinoffs, but the heads of Jonathan Frakes and Leonard Nimoy live on in glass jars. "Star Trek: The Pepsi Generation" does, however, get an Oscar nomination for best soft-drink product placement.
Futurama takes its name from a General Motors exhibit at the 1939 New York World's Fair which depicted future technologies. Also demonstrated at that World's Fair was Philo Farnsworth's vacuum tube television; Professor Farnsworth is named after him.
Show Description Credit: Wikipedia
|> Airing History & Information|
|Last Airing||Aug 09, 2003|
|Premiere||March 28, 1999|
|Network||Cartoon / CBS / Sky One|
|Format/Time||Color / 30 Minutes|
|Upcoming Airs||Not currently airing|
Amy Wong/Mrs. Inez Wong/Jrrr (voice)
John DiMaggio.... Bender Bending Rodriguez Unit 22/Flexo/Elzar/Sal/Mr. Panucci/Joey Mousepad/Yancy J. Fry, Sr./URL/Additional Voices (voice) (as John DiMaggio)
Kath Soucie.... Cubert J. Farnsworth/Michelle/Albert/Additional Voices (voice)
Bumper Robinson.... Dwight Conrad (2 episodes)
Nicole St. John.... Electronic Mother's Day Card / Orphans (2 episodes)
Phil Hendrie.... Free Waterfall Senior/Old Man Waterfall / Old Man Waterfall/Frida Waterfall (3 episodes)
Phil LaMarr.... Hermes Conrad/Rev. Lionel Preacherbot/iZac/Additonal Voices (voice)
Lucy Liu.... Herself (2 episodes)
Dawnn Lewis.... LaBarbara Conrad / Jackie Anderson (7 episodes)
Maurice LaMarche.... Lt. Kif Kroker/Morbo/Calculon/Walt/Lrrr/Raoul/Donbot/iHawk/Horrible Gelatinous Blob/Additional Voices (voice)
David Herman.... Mayor C. Randall Poopenmayer/Professor Ogden Wernstrom/Turanga Morris/Larry/Dwayne/Additional Voices (voice)
Tress MacNeille.... Mom/Linda the Newsanchor/Tinny Tim/Hattie/Monique/Nd-Nd/Petunia/Turanga Munda/Additional Voices (voice)
Frank Welker.... Nibbler/Additional Voices (voice)
Billy West.... Philip J. Fry/Prof. Hubert J. Farnsworth/Dr. Zoidberg/Zapp Brannigan/Leo Wong/Smitty/President Richard Nixon's Head/Additional Voices (voice)
Katey Sagal.... Turanga Leela (voice)
Tom Kenny.... Yancy Fry Jr/Adlai/Abner Doubledeal/Additional Voices (voice)
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