Good news, everyone. Futurama‘s coming back!
That’s right, new episodes of Matt Groening’s animated sci-fi sitcom will air on Comedy Central with the first one premiering on Thursday, June 24th at 10:00 pm. The original voice cast will be returning, and Futurama‘s many fans couldn’t be happier. You can check out the teaser here.
In case you’re unfamiliar with the show, here’s a brief history:
Futurama (created by Matt Groening and developed by Groening and David X. Cohen, both of Simpson‘s fame) aired on Fox from 1999 until it was canceled in 2003 after only four seasons. Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim later aired reruns of the show where it picked up a cult following that led to the creation of four movies and eventually, its transfer to and its soon-to-come resurrection on Comedy Central.
The premise of the show is as follows:
Fry, a delivery boy living in 1999 New York City, delivers a pizza to a cryogenics lab on the eve of the new millennium just before midnight. While there, he accidentally falls in (or is pushed into…) a cryogenic tube where he is frozen for 1,000 years. When he wakes up, he is in the year 3000, and things have definitely changed. He soon obtains employment at Planet Express, an interplanetary delivery company, and the show tells the humorous tales of him and his co-workers.
To celebrate its return, here are five of my favorite Futurama episodes.
Roswell That Ends Well [originally aired December 9, 2001]- The Planet Express team is sent back in time to 1947 Roswell, New Mexico. Zoidberg and Bender turn out to be the alien and “UFO parts” that made Roswell famous, Leela and Farnsworth attempt to, rather humorously, blend in and figure out how to return to the future, and Fry… well… Fry spends a little time with his grandparents who are young in 1947. Roswell That Ends Well has several hilarious moments and is referred to in subsequent episodes because of what Fry does here (if you don’t know, you’ll have to watch and see). Here is a Hulu clip from the episode.
Parasites Lost [originally aired January 21, 2001]- This one was the inspiration for my Toxoplasmosis article and probably my all-time favorite.
After eating an egg sandwich purchased in a truck stop bathroom, Fry becomes infected with worms. Instead of being a health hazard, however, these worms are actually beneficial, making Fry smarter, more talented and more physically fit. This makes Fry’s long-time crush Leela finally interested in him. This should be great news, but he worries that Leela loves the worms, not him. So, he confronts the king worm to try to get them to leave his body.
Hell is Other Robots [originally aired May 18, 1999) The first season’s finale, this one follows Bender as he gets addicted to electricity, turns to “Robotology” to overcome his addiction, gives up that religion (after Leela and Fry try to get the old Bender back with temptations of prostitutes and alcohol), and is taken to Robot Hell by the Robot Devil. Leela and Fry travel to Robot Hell to rescue their companion, and, after a catchy musical number that you can watch here, are challenged to a fiddle contest.
A Fishful of Dollars [originally aired April 27, 1999]- Fry goes to the bank to collect the remainder of his account from 1999 (which he believes to be just under a dollar) so he can buy some gum. He is pleasantly surprised to learn that, after a thousand years of collecting interest on the account, he’s actually rich! He decides to buy items from the 20th century (now antiques in the year 3000) and try to regain what he can of his old life. One of these items is a can of sardines, an extinct fish in this future. Mom, the multi-billionaire owner of Mom Corp, wants those sardines for some reason (revealed in the episode) and will do anything to get them from Fry. Here is a fun scene from that episode.
The Farnsworth Paradox [originally aired June 8, 2003]- Hermes asks Leela to protect a box that Professor Farnsworth forbade her (and the rest of the crew) from opening. Naturally she’s tempted, so she flips a coin, opens the box and falls inside. She finds herself in a sort of “Bizzaro World” that contains all the Planet Express employees, but they have some alterations (Bender is gold, Fry and Leela are happily dating). At first everyone thinks their opposites are evil, but they eventually realize that the difference between the universes is coin flips; the outcomes are opposite. So convinced that neither side is evil, both crews get together and decide that the portal between the parallel universes must be closed, but the Zoidbergs are causing mischief. Here’s a clip from this episode.
Welcome back, Futurama. It’s about time!
When is Futurama Returning?
Futurama Voice Cast Returning!