The Show “Futurama”, Cast, Pictures, and Trivia!
This is an American adult science fiction series. It was created by Matt Groening, the same person who created the incredibly popular and long-running animated series, “The Simpsons”.
And is developed by both Groening and David X. Cohen, Cohen of course has also written for “The Simpsons”. It is basically about the adventures of a late-20th century pizza delivery boy who lives in New York City. His name is Philip J. Fry, and after being inadvertently cryogenically frozen for 1,000 years, he is then thawed on New Year’s Eve, 2999. After his re-emergence into the world, (albeit a new and much more advanced world) he then manages to find work at a place called, “Planet Express”. This is a futuristic delivery service that ships packages to all five sections of the universe. This of course occurs in the retro-futuristic 31st century.
The New York of the 31st century has been built over the remains of what is referred to as the “Old New York”, (or what is the present day New York). Many of the devices, as well as the architecture are very much like the Populuxe style. A lot of the problems of the future are much more exaggerated, but they are also more common. Some of these problems are things like, bureaucracy, global warming and substance abuse. And much as New York has become a more intense version of itself, so too have other locations on Earth.
Because of the many technological advances that have been made in the past 1,000 years, the 31st century still has an abundant amount of both people and animals that exist today. The “people” (mostly celebrities and historical figures) are actually heads that are kept alive in jars. This particular technology was created by American inventor, Ron Popeil. Oddly, some of the preserved heads are those of people who had died long before this technology was ever invented. In addition, the heads seem to be the age that the person was when they were the most famous, and not the age they were when they died. As for the animals, the ones that remain from today live alongside of extraterrestrial, mutated and cross-bred animals of the future.
All in all, many things have changed. Although there are some things that though different, have the same basic premise as before. And like the old saying goes, the more things change the more they stay the same.
This show is unique. It is funny, interesting, and wildly creative. I give this series 8 out of 10.
Philip J. Fry–Billy West Turanga Leela-Katey Sagal Bender-John DiMaggio Linda-Tress MacNeille Hermes Conrad-Phil Lemarr Amy Wong-Lauren Tom Morbo-Maurice LaMarche Scruffy-David Herman Nibbler-Frank Welker Cubert Farnsworth-Kath Soucie LaBarbara Conrad-Dawnn Lewis Abner Doubledeal-Tom Kenny
Katey Sagal (Turanga Leela) is not only in the acting field of entertainment, she is also a singer and songwriter. She has had two of her own CD’s, performed back-up for many well-known artists, and was even one of Bette Midler’s “Harlettes” in her stage shows during the late 1970’s and early 80’s.
Matt Groening’s parents’ names were Homer and Margaret and his sisters were Lisa and Maggie. Obviously, many of the Simpson family members are named after members of Groening’s real-life family. However, not wanting to insult another family member by making them the namesake of a Simpsons character, he decided to leave Homer’s father without a name. The writers of the show did give him one, “Abraham”. Oddly enough, this is almost identical to Groening’s middle name of, Abram. When Groening’s second son was born in 1991, he named him Abe.
On Futurama, one of the running jokes in the show is that owls have actually replaced rats and pigeons as pests.
Tom Kenny (Abner Doubledeal) is the voice of “SpongeBob SquarePants”.
John DiMaggio is not related to famous baseball player, Joe DiMaggio.
After Fox television network said that they shouldn’t use the “30th Century Fox” logo, Matt Groening then bought the rights to use it. Just a short time later, Fox said that they loved it.
Billy West (Philip J. Fry) was also the voice of the character, “Stimpy”, on “Ren & Stimpy”.
Much like the beginning of “The Simpsons” where certain elements of the intro are different in every episode, (the chalkboard writing, the way they land on the couch, etc.) the same is true of Futurama. During every intro something different is displayed in text at the bottom of the screen, and at the end of the theme song, something different is shown on the screen right before the ship crashes into it.
Because of a note that was given to The Dalai Lama’s secretary during a flight, Maurice LaMarche was granted a private audience with the great Buddhist leader, The Dalai Lama. The note was in reference to LeMarche’s inability to let go of the anger and the rage that he had been carrying with him for the seventeen years since his father had been murdered. In the note, he asked for His Holiness’ help. He was ushered to The Dalai Lama’s seat, and they talked for ten minutes, LaMarche has publicly talked about it and called it a defining moment in his life.
Phil LaMarr (Hermes Conrad) graduated from Yale University and helped to found “The Purple Crayon”, an improv comedy group.
One of the characters on the show is Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth. This character was named after Philo T. Farnsworth, an inventor and one of the pioneers of television, whose invention was debuted at the 1939 New York World’s Fair, along with the Futurama exhibit/ride.
David Herman (Scruffy) was one of the original cast members of “MADtv”.
Tress MacNeille has been the voice of many of the female voices on the “The Simpsons” series.
The character Fry, whose first name is Philip, is a tribute to actor, Phil Hartman. Hartman was originally cast to do the voice of Zapp Brannigan, (a 25-Star General in the “Democratic Order of Planets”, as well as captain of its flagship, the “Nimbus”). After Hartman’s death, Billy West took over the part.
Lauren Tom (Amy Wong) had a recurring role on the incredibly popular series, “Friends”, as Ross’s girlfriend, Julie.
Matt Groening’s favorite middle initial is J. This is in tribute to “Rocky and Bullwinkle” (Bullwinkle J. Moose) creator, Jay Ward. Thus explaining the J in Philip J. Fry, Cubert J. Farnsworth, Hubert J. Farnsworth, Abraham J. Simpson, Homer J. Simpson, and Bart J. Simpson.
Katey Sagal is probably best known for her role as Peg Bundy, on the very popular Fox TV series, “Married With Children”.
Frank Welker (Nibbler) has done the voice of “Freddie Jones” on every single “Scooby-Doo” series made, and this also includes cameos and parodies of the character on different TV series. He has always been the one to voice this character, with only one exception, and that was, “A Pup Named Scooby-Doo”.
Matt Groening admits that he named Bender the robot after the character in “The Breakfast Club”. The cocky, smart-mouthed punk named, John Bender. Bender the robot’s first words were, “Bite my shiny metal ass”, which seems appropriate considering the basis from whence the character came.
John DiMaggio (Bender) is only one of two actors who have played the same fictional character on both “The Simpsons” and Futurama.
The sound of “Hypnotoad” is actually a recording of a turbine engine that is played backwards.
Billy West provides the voice for “Red” on the “M&M” candy commercials.
David X. Cohen, writer/producer, is an avid “Dungeons and Dragons” player. There are many references throughout the show to the game. And this includes a cameo by “Dungeons and Dragons” creator, E. Gary Gygax. The third straight-to-DVD Futurama feature film, “Futurama: Bender’s Game”, is actually based largely on the game itself. The credits tribute the film to the memory of Mr. Gygax, who died on March 4. 2008, of an abdominal aortic aneurysm.
The only member of the cast to voice only one character is, Katey Sagal.
Philip J. Fry’s favorite song is “I’m Walking on Sunshine”.
The Futurama series debuted in 1999, and ran until 2003. After that, it could be seen in reruns on “Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim”, until 2007, when the network’s contract expired. In 2008, it was brought back by way of 4 direct-to-video films. The last of the film’s was released early in 2009. Following this, “Comedy Central” then agreed to an arrangement with “20th Century Fox Television”, to syndicate the existing episodes, as well as to air the 4 films as 16 new, 30-minute episodes. This would then establish a fifth season. In 2009, “Comedy Central” picked up the show for a sixth season. And later, it was renewed for a seventh and final season. To the disappointment of many, its series finale was on September 4, 2013. Matt Groening has said however, that he is going to try and get another network to pick it up.
Kath Soucie (Cubert Farnsworth) is often the person who voices either children or characters who have very strong foreign accents.
Tress MacNeille (Linda) was a featured singer in one of Weird “Al” Yankovic’s songs entitled, “Ricky”.
Despite it’s on again off again status, not only has it remained incredibly popular, but there is much Futurama-related merchandise out there. This includes clothing, figurines, and a tie-in to a comic book series, calendars and a video game.
Maurice LaMarche (Morbo) is the voice of “Toucan Sam” the Froot Loops spokes-bird. He is also the voice of “The Brain” from the Emmy winning, “Pinky and the Brain”.
To produce one episode of Futurama takes approximately 6 to 9 months. This is due to the fact that several episodes are being worked on at one time.
Katey Sagal’s later father was famed director, Boris Sagal.
Similar to “The Simpsons”, many of the Futurama episodes feature guest voices. These voices are from a large range of professions, ranging from entertainers of all kinds to a former vice president of the United States. Some of course, voice supporting characters, while others voice themselves.
Phil LaMarr was also one of the original cast members of “MADtv”.
An animation production studio by the name of “Rough Draft Productions” is the one responsible for the animation of Futurama. After receiving the script of an episode, they then storyboard it into more than 100 drawings, after which a pencil-drawn animatic is created with 1,000 frames. Then “Rough Drafts’s” sister studio, located in South Korea, delivers the 30,000-frame finished episode. Also used by “Rough Draft” is something called, CGI. This is used along with the traditional cartoon drawings, especially when it is an intricate or fast shot. For example, the opening sequence is almost completely CGI, and any shots where there is movement of a spaceship, nebulae, explosions or snow scenes.
Billy West’s father was a very abusive alcoholic. According to West, his father tried 15 times to kill him.
“The Simpson’s” finale this season, which will be its 25th, is going to serve as an official cross-over with Futurama. The episode is entitled, “Simpsorama” and will be airing several months after the “apparent” completion of the Futurama series.
Dawnn Lewis (LaBarbara Conrad) who was one of the main characters on the Cosby spin-off of “A Different World”, helped to compose the theme song for the series along with Bill Cosby and Stu Gardner. She also sang the song for the first season.
Due to the large amount of noises, character voices and other vocal effects that Frank Welker has done and had to appear in films over the last 40 years, has managed to vault him into the number one position on the “All Time Top 100 Stars at the Box Office” list. Because of his work in more than 90 films, this has put him ahead of such greats as, Samuel L. Jackson, Eddie Murphy, Harrison Ford and Tom Hanks.
Katey Sagal already had three children with her second husband, Jack White. One, a daughter, sadly was stillborn. Her other two, a daughter and a son, were born when she was 40 and 42 years of age. After her third marriage to Kurt Sutter, she had a fourth child, born via surrogate, at the age of 52 years old.
David X. Cohen’s real name is David S. Cohen, which is the name he used while working on “The Simpsons”. However, after starting to work on Futurama, he decided to join the Writer’s Guild, and they do not allow two people with the same name to register. So he chose the letter X instead of S for his middle initial because he thought that it sounded more ‘sci-fi-ish’.