Thursday 22 March 2018

Will it return? The creators and cast of Futurama answer questions from the internet

Though the show has ended now, Futurama’s cast and creators received a warm reception on Reddit.

Matt Groening (Yui Mok/PA)
Matt Groening (Yui Mok/PA)

By Edd Dracott

The cast and creators of fan-favourite cartoon Futurama have followed in the footsteps of former US president Barack Obama, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay.

They’ve done an Ask Me Anything (AMA) on Reddit. AMAs are pretty self-explanatory, and this time round Reddit users’ questions ranged from the sublime to the bizarre. Led by series and The Simpsons creator Matt Groening, the answers were all the more so.

Futurama, a comedy cartoon satirically based in the year 3000, shot its last episode in 2013, but many fans were left wanting more.

Q: “Any chance we’ll see more Futurama episodes or movies in the future?” – jeppe96

A: “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.” – David X. Cohen, Futurama’s head writer.

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Q: “So I think the Series end was great, but if given the chance, would you do new episodes for streaming services like Netflix or Amazon?”– bdh008

A: “Yes, it was my favourite show and I have real separation anxiety about it.” – Billy West, the voice of Fry, Professor Farnsworth and others.

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Q: “For the vocal actors, how do you find inspiration for each individual character you voice?” – DarcyIsPhoenix

A: “You can get it from the character bible, which is basically an outline of all the character’s traits (his/her point of view). You get it from the drawing, voices that you’ve heard in your own past. There are many avenues of inspiration.” – John DiMaggio, the voice of Bender and others in the series.

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Q: “I tried about 20 times to get the picture of Fry, saying ‘Shut up and take my money’, on my bank debit card. The bank rejected it every time due to copyright. Understandable, but plz, I want this. Can there be a way to make it happen?” – notTomHanx

A: “Don’t know whether or not your bank looks at the card requests by humans on an individual basis or if it’s done by image recognition. Either way, keep requesting the card each time with poorer and poorer quality.” – The Futurama cast.

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Q: “With Futurama leaving Netflix, I can’t believe I must revert to using my DVDs. So, my question is this: What is this, the middle ages?!” – simplerhythm

A: “On a related note, I was re-watching some of the old episodes recently and enjoying seeing the various outdated technologies like floppy disks and VCRs that they still use in the year 3000. But it’s also very confusing because I remember that even then, we were writing some of those things into the scripts because they were ALREADY comically outdated and we thought it was funny. But now I can’t remember which ones were hilariously outdated and which ones were just the actual cutting-edge technologies of the time.” – Cohen

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Q: “For Billy: what do you think Fry’s best attribute is?” – jaf27

A: “His ability to become the central character of a cartoon show called Futurama.” – West

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Q: “Why does Ross the largest Friend not simply eat the other five?” – Frajer

A: “He did… obviously you missed the series finale.” – Cohen

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Q: “Is there any joke you guys put into the show that you were really happy/proud of that maybe wasn’t noticed by viewers, or got the reaction you wanted?” – jamestporter

A: “We were stuck writing the scene in which the head of Henry Kissinger in a jar was negotiating with the Balls (in the episode War Is The H Word). It took two full days to come up with a single line for Kissinger – two full days of non-stop unusable testicle jokes. Finally, someone wearily muttered, ‘This is not a productive area of discussion’, and voila! Timeless comedy genius, plus we got to go home.” – Groening

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A: “In episode 4ACV10, The Why Of Fry, the Nibblonians tell Fry that the giant brains are going to destroy the entire universe. Fry’s eyes narrow and he grimly replies, ‘Now it’s personal’. That makes me laugh way too much for a line I wrote myself. Everyone else – laugh harder, dammit!” – Cohen

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Q: “Not sure if you were aware of its existence, but there’s an entire subreddit of people who fall asleep to Futurama. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a s***** or stressful day and put on an episode to help me go to sleep and try to make the next one better. Thank you so much for creating something that, when I didn’t have any friends, made me feel like maybe I did.” – fakejakebrowne

A: “Yes, I do know about Futurama Sleepers, and the fact that there’s a subreddit devoted to it is proof this is indeed a strange and wonderful world. The truth is I once fell asleep during the show, but it was during a late-night Futurama writing session, and the couch was so damn comfy… So whaddaya say we grab a six-pack and watch the end of the universe? Your pal, Matt.” – Groening

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Q: “Mr. Groening: can you tell us anything about your new show coming to Netflix?” – Doodle012

A: “When I was a kid, my mom got annoyed at dinner when my brother and sisters and I kept asking what was for dessert. She’d always say ‘strawberry surprise’. Then, when she served the dessert, she always said, ‘Surprise! No strawberries’. But finally Mom got so aggravated that her new line became: ‘Surprise! No dessert.’ What I’m trying to say is: Stay tuned for ‘Strawberry Surprise’.” – Groening

After the Q and A on Reddit, some of the crew took questions live on video on their Facebook page.

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