Despite ending almost four years ago, Futurama has continued to be a hit among fans, prompting a new mobile game, Worlds of Tomorrow, to be released a little bit over a week ago. To give some much-needed publicity to the release, Matt Groening (head writer for Futurama), David X. Cohen (head writer), Billy West (voice of Fry, the Professor, and Richard Nixon, among others), and John DiMaggio (voice of Bender and many others) held an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit the day before its release. Like most AMAs, there were a lot of silly and unrelated questions, but with a show this popular, and this much talent answering the questions, there was bound to be some incredible answers. Here are three things that we learned reading through the answers:
1. A lot of effort went into the scripts of Futurama.
It’s no secret that Futurama was one of the smartest shows to ever air, even if it didn’t make it obvious. There are some huge examples from the show’s history, most notably the Futurama theorem, created for the episode The Prisoner of Benda. The Futurama theorem was created by writer Ken Keeler, who holds a PhD in applied mathematics, and proves that any number of people who’s minds have been switched can be easily returned with the introduction of two people. It stands as the first known theorem to be created solely for entertainment in a TV show, and shows the innate intelligence behind the show. As David X. Cohen said in the AMA, “Can’t write Futurama without a calculator!” However, some other, smaller things went into the show that may not be so obvious.
In one infamous episode, “War is the H Word,” the characters enter a war of humans versus large ball creatures. Because of the peculiar anatomy of the Spheroids, a lot of puns ensue. When asked about his favorite joke from the series that hadn’t gotten much attention, Matt Groening said that when the negotiation scene was being written, it took two days to write a single line, because of the endless, unusable puns. He recounts that “Finally, someone wearily muttered, ‘This is not a productive area of discussion,’ and viola! Timeless comedy genius, plus we got to go home.”
2. There’s an announcement coming later this summer, and there may or may not be a reboot coming soon.
Ever since the original series ended in 2013, people have been begging for more Futurama goodness. As a result, most of the questions asked were about the show making a possible return. When asked if he would ever want to do a reboot of the show, Billy West replied “Yes, it was my favorite show and I have real separation anxiety about it.” However, David X. Cohen ad other plans for us, more disappointing in some ways but more exciting in others. In his words, “There are no new TV episodes or movies in the pipeline at the moment… HOWEVER, here and now I promise a different avenue of exciting Futurama news later this summer, no kidding. Keep your expectations modest and you will be pleased, possibly. I am not allowed to say more or I will be lightly phasered.”
I’m sure he had good intentions when saying to keep our expectations modest, but this is the Internet. It’s our job to turn molehills into mountains. Personally, I’m ready for a Futurama theme park and eight new seasons. All I can say, though, is that I really hope it’s not just another mobile game. If they do well with the mobile game, though, I would not say no to a real Futurama game for console or PC. Until the announcement comes in the coming months, though, it’s all just speculation.
3. Everyone loves Nixon (but he definitely won’t be coming back).
Richard Nixon’s head is one of the most infamous side characters from Futurama, although one of the silliest. In the show, the head is elected as President of the World for the entire series, and does a comically bad job of governing the world. According to a time traveler, he goes on to build a huge fence around the solar system, eventually leading to mass human extinction and a robot tyranny. When asked why he shows up so much, Billy West commented that “the writers liked a head in a jar that said ‘Arrrrooo’.” West also said that his favorite moment voicing Nixon was when he proclaimed “the great taste of Charleston Chew.” However, Matt Groening said that the reason he showed up in the show was that, at the time, he was the worst president in the nation’s history, and someone else would star in the role if the show were to return.
You can find the full AMA here.