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The Untold Truth Of Futurama

In 1989, Matt Groening launched "The Simpsons." Ten years later, he created another animated comedy classic: "Futurama." The series centers around a late-20th-century pizza delivery boy named Philip J. Fry who gets stuck in a cryogenic freezing pod on December 31, 1999, and wakes up in the strange, futuristic world of New New York in the year 3000. 

Fry meets a surly robot (Bender), a one-eyed mutant (Leela), and his own distant descendant (Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth), a brilliant inventor who also runs a delivery company called Planet Express, the conduit to many comic sci-fi adventures. "Futurama" has a devoted audience that has stuck with the show through two cancelations (one by Fox, and another by Comedy Central) and has been rewarded with a revival on Hulu. But even the biggest fan of this hilarious sci-fi show can't know everything about it.

Good news, everyone: Here are some amazing facts and stories you might not have known about "Futurama."

It almost had a different name

"Futurama" was, in retrospect, the perfect title for an ambitious show about the amazing world of tomorrow. Still, creator Matt Groening had some other names that he liked better. On the first season DVD director's commentary, Groening says that his first idea for the show was "Aloha, Mars." His other idea was the significantly pessimistic "Doomsville." However, it would seem that nobody else working on the show at the time was psyched about those ideas. The title they eventually settled on was lifted from the 1939-1940 New York World's Fair. As visitors were welcomed into "the world of tomorrow!" (a cryogenic facility employee actually says "Welcome to the world of tomorrow!" to Fry in the show's pilot episode), many lined up for the General Motors Pavilion and its major exhibit called "Futurama," which offered a glimpse into the far-off, futuristic year of...1960.

Fry has the same namesake as Homer Simpson

On Matt Groening's first show, "The Simpsons," several of the main characters were named after Groening's immediate family — for example, Homer and Marge Simpson got their names from Groening's parents. "Futurama" lead character, Philip J. Fry, was also named after Groening's father — Philip was his middle name. This means that Homer Philip Groening (who died in 1996) had the unique distinction of lending his name to two major cartoon characters.

Different voice actors were supposed to play Fry and Leela

When production was underway on "Futurama" in 1998, two of the most important roles were locked down before voice recording began. For Fry, producers picked Charlie Schlatter, a veteran actor (best known for playing the title role in the short-lived TV adaptation of "Ferris Bueller") with a slew of voice acting credits in animated shows and video games.

For Leela, Nicole Sullivan got the job. At the time, Sullivan was the breakout star of another Fox show, the late-night sketch series "Mad TV."  But then, according to an IGN interview with voice acting legend Billy West, all of a sudden, producers changed their minds and decided to replace both actors. 

West, best known at the time for his work on "The Howard Stern Show" and "Ren & Stimpy," had initially lost the role to Schlatter. When the execs pulled their switcheroo, he got the gig after all. For Leela, producers signed actress and singer Katey Sagal, best known for her role as Peg Bundy on Fox's long-running "Married...with Children."

How Bender found his voice

Bender Bending Rodriguez, the sociopathic, alcohol-fueled bending robot, is probably the show's most beloved character. A big part of that is because of John DiMaggio's excellent voice work. The actor discussed his inspiration on "The Kevin Pollak Chat Show," and said he took a little bit from cowboy movie actor Slim Pickens (best known among comedy fans for "Blazing Saddles"), a little bit from drunk barflies, and little bit from a character that a college friend once performed called "Charlie the Sausage Lover." DiMaggio initially auditioned for the role of Professor Farnsworth with that unique, raspy blend of surliness, gregariousness, and self-importance. He didn't get that role, but he got Bender using the same voice.

Why not a Zoidberg origin story?

Dr. Zoidberg is a wholly original creation. A man of contradictions, he's lobster-esque but also human-like. He's a doctor, and yet also somehow poor. Best of all, he's a creature of the 31st century from another planet, and talks like an old Vaudeville comedian. Voice actor Billy West pulled from two major old-timey inspirations: actor and host George Jessel, and actor Lou Jacobi. Those inspirations definitely give a Jewish and Yiddish flavor to the character, which West says he thought was appropriate, given the traditionally Jewish "-berg" suffix of the name. 

That "Zoid," meanwhile, is a futuristic, alien-sounding word that has personal significance for "Futurama" producer and writer David X. Cohen. "Zoid" comes from "Zoid," a computer game Cohen created when he was a kid. He submitted it to Broderbund Software, which not only rejected it, but spelled "Cohen" wrong in the rejection letter — which seems like something that could happen to Dr. Zoidberg.

Phil Hartman was supposed to be in the cast

The late, great Phil Hartman specialized in playing characters both obnoxious and oblivious, such as Bill McNeal on NewsRadio. He also voiced sleazy lawyer Lionel Hutz and washed-up actor Troy McClure on "The Simpsons." So it makes perfect sense that Hartman had been cast to provide the voice of obnoxious, Captain Kirk-esque spaceship captain Zapp Brannigan on "Futurama." 

But after Hartman's tragic murder in 1998, Billy West stepped into the role. He'd once talked with Hartman over their shared loved of old time radio announcers that had big, booming voices, as well as a huge sense of self-importance. So, West performed Zapp Brannigan in that style as a tribute to Hartman, or at least how he thought Hartman might've done the voice.

Getting the Beastie Boys on the show was tricky

"Futurama" producers really wanted to line up one of the most popular rap groups of the 20th century, the Beastie Boys, to play themselves in the 31st century. Too bad it never actually happened. 

They'd planned to do it the way many contemporary celebrities guest starred on "Futurama:" as disembodied heads, kept alive in jars over the centuries. But according to the DVD commentary for the episode "Hell is Other Robots — in which Fry, Bender, and Leela go see the heads of the Beastie Boys in concert — writer/producers Ken Keeler and David X. Cohen went to New York to meet with the Beasties, but never managed to connect. Eventually, the band members were recorded doing their vocals separately. Well, Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz and Michael "Mike D" Diamond recorded their tracks; Adam "MCA" Yauch had a scheduling conflict, so Adrock just did his lines for him. 

Even after all that, the group wasn't entirely happy with the material that "Futurama" writers had prepared. In the finished episode, the Beasties perform a portion of their 1994 hit "Sabotage" a cappella. They'd initially been asked to do their 1987 hit "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party)" in this style, but refused. Nevertheless, there were apparently no hard feelings because the group gave a bit of a shoutout to "Futurama" on their 2009 single "Too Many Rappers." One of the song's lyrics says that they'll still be in the rap game "until the year 3000 and beyond."

An Adam Sandler movie may have ripped it off

In the 2015 Adam Sandler movie "Pixels," the government recruits a team of middle-aged guys who were video game champions in the '80s to fight alien attackers who've taken forms from classic video games like "Pac-Man" and "Space Invaders." "Pixels" is a full-length adaptation of a 2010 short called "Pixels," but both films bear a striking resemblance to a "Futurama" segment that aired way back in 2002. 

In "Anthology of Interest II," Professor Farnsworth uses his "What-If Machine" to see, at Fry's request, how the world would look if it resembled a video game. In the simulation, treaty talks break down between Earth president Richard Nixon and Ambassador Kong of the planet Nintenduu 64, and war breaks out. Battles evoke games of the 1980s — culminating in rows of aliens attacking Earth, just like in "Space Invaders." Fry is recruited and saves the planet, as he's the only person on Earth with both the skills and knowledge of '80s video games necessary to handle scenarios out of '80s video games. In other words, it's a pretty similar plot to "Pixels."

The saddest episode in TV history could have been sadder

"Futurama" was always meant to be a comedy, but some episodes would occasionally touch on Fry's sadness and loss at being stuck in the future, having left his life and loved ones behind. The 2002 episode "Jurassic Bark" is one of those episodes. 

While visiting a museum, Fry discovers the fossilized remains of his 20th century dog, Seymour. Professor Farnsworth tells Fry that he could feasibly take some of Seymour's DNA and create a clone. During the cloning process, Fry learns that Seymour lived to be 15. He figures that after he'd disappeared in 1999, Seymour must have lived a long, happy life without him. And then, the saddest flashback ever flashed across TV screens: Seymour didn't move on — he waited for Fry outside the pizzeria where he used to work for more than a decade. The episode ends with Seymour closing his eyes, passing away, and everyone watching in tears. 

Amazingly, this episode could have been even sadder. As revealed in the episode's DVD commentary, the writers' toyed around with Fry finding the remains of his mother, and then considering, but ultimately dismissing, cloning her.

The show created a new math theorem

The 2010 "Futurama" episode "The Prisoner of Benda" takes the "body switching" scenario of "Freaky Friday" to absurd heights. Professor Farnsworth invents a machine that allows him and his intern, Amy, to place each other's minds into one another's bodies. Then the rest of the Planet Express crew gets involved, using the machine to put their brains into each others' bodies to fulfill various whims and goals. However, there's a catch: the machine can't be used twice with the same two people. 

In order to get everybody's brain back to its original body, the Harlem Globetrotters come to the rescue with a mathematical theorem. In the "Futurama" universe, the Globetrotters are not only amazing basketball players, but also brilliant scientists and mathematicians. Obviously.

Also a brilliant mathematician? The episode's writer, Ken Keeler, who holds a doctorate in math. To find a mathematically accurate way to switch everybody's brain back into the correct body without using the same pair twice, Keeler had to actually devise a brand-new algorithm-based mathematical theorem. Here's the gist: Let A be a finite set, with more than 1 element; x, y ∉ A. Any permutation π of A can be converted to a trivial (identity) permutation with a sequence of products by transpositions each of which includes just one of x, y. Got all that? No? Well, you probably know how the Globetrotters feel about that.

Billy West has voiced over 40 different Futurama characters

Over the years, Billy West has consistently proven himself to be one of the most diverse and prolific voice actors of his generation. He has performed in over 275 distinct projects and frequently voices several characters in any given show or movie, bringing his total number of vocal roles to near incalculable levels. On "Futurama" alone, West has voiced more than 40 different characters, including multiple main characters. Not only does he play lead character Fry, but he's also behind major characters like Professor Farnsworth, Dr. Zoidberg, Zapp Brannigan, and literally dozens of others. Because of this, he often plays every character in a given scene, requiring him to act opposite himself multiple times over.

It would be difficult enough to record each voice separately while hearing the playback of his other performances, but West apparently tends to bounce back and forth between the various voices in real time to play all of the characters in a single recording session. Co-star Phil LaMarr was amazed when he saw West acting opposite himself in this way while recording the show's very first episode. "The entire scene was Billy," LaMarr told People. "And we all just sat in the room, and he did the entire thing in one take, three different voices, and you watch and you can't tell it's a single human being."

Bender has his own dice game

As a liar, a degenerate gambler, and a money-hungry robot, it makes perfect sense for Bender to have his own dice game. Bender's Game of Bluff is essentially a "Futurama"-themed variation on the old game of liar's dice. It is no longer in production and can be a bit hard to find these days, but copies of it are still floating around in the resale market for any "Futurama" super fans or avid collectors. It doubles as both a game and a collection of novelty Slurm cans, the fictional soda brand from the show. The set includes four Slurm cans, which function as dice cups. The dice themselves are adorned with the faces of Fry, Leela, Bender, Professor Farnsworth, Zoidberg, and Nibbler.

Bender's Game of Bluff is far from the only "Futurama" game out there. There have been "Futurama"-themed versions of Monopoly and Yahtzee, as well as playing cards with "Futurama" iconography on them. In the digital realm, the show was the subject of a video game (simply titled "Futurama") in 2003. Released on the PlayStation 2 and Xbox, the story centers around the Planet Express crew trying to stop the evil businesswoman Mom from taking over the world. The show was also turned into a popular mobile game titled "Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow," which shut down its servers in April 2023.

Bob Odenkirk's brother helped shape the show

With the success of "Breaking Bad" and "Better Call Saul," Bob Odenkirk enjoyed a meteoric rise to become one of the hottest dramatic actors in the industry. Before his pivot to prestige drama, he was beloved in comedy circles for many years with projects like "Mr. Show," as well as his work as a stand-up comedian. But Bob Odenkirk isn't the only member of the family involved in comedy: Bob's brother Bill Odenkirk worked alongside him as a producer on "Mr. Show" before being brought into the Matt Groening stable.

Bill Odenkirk has worked on Groening's shows "The Simpsons," "Futurama," and "Disenchantment" as both a writer and a producer. He joined "The Simpsons" as a supervising producer for the show's 15th season, but he was involved in "Futurama" as early as Season 2 and helped shape the show moving forward. Overlapping with his brother again, Bob Odenkirk lent his voice to both shows. He voiced Chaz in a Season 5 episode of "Futurama" and a mob lawyer in a Season 31 episode of "The Simpsons," in reference to his famous Saul Goodman character.

The comic books carried on after Comedy Central canceled the show

Alongside the show, a "Futurama" comic book series also enjoyed a lengthy lifecycle. The TV series premiered on Fox in 1999, and the first issue of the comic book — titled "Monkey Sea, Monkey Doom!" — was published just one year later.

The comic series was not tethered to its television counterpart's network status, meaning that even if the TV show got canceled, the comics were able to continue production. As a result, it managed to outlast both the Fox cancelation in 2003 and the later Comedy Central cancelation in 2013.

The comic lasted for a total of 83 issues before finally ending production in 2017. The final two installments were not released in print and were only available digitally through the Futuramaland app. With the Hulu revival of the TV show, there is a chance that the comic book series may spring back to life, as well.

One of the alien languages created for the show was too complicated to use

Within "Futurama" there are two distinct alien languages (known as Alienese) that can be spotted on screen at various times. At first glance, the symbols may appear to be gibberish, but they actually form a language that can be decoded via a substitution cipher into readable English. The genesis of these alien languages actually extends back to before "Futurama" even existed. "We realized at first in 'The Simpsons,' and later carrying on the tradition in 'Futurama,' that we could hide these jokes in the background that were called freeze-frame jokes," co-creator David X. Cohen told Wired. These alien languages were perfect for freeze-frame jokes. "We tried to cash in on every bit of real estate in space and time in the show," Cohen added.

Fans were able to decode the first alien language almost instantly. The second iteration was more complex, and, although it was still decoded by dedicated fans, it took more legwork to figure out. Cohen has revealed that there was actually a third language ready to go, but they never ended up implementing it in the show because it was too complicated and too time-consuming. The creative team concluded that this third iteration would go uncracked for years and would not only require the aid of computers to decode, but would require more advanced computers than were currently on the market. "It was a little too ambitious," Cohen told Wired.

One of the co-creators doesn't use his real name

"Futurama" is densely packed with jokes on top of jokes, with many Easter eggs snuck into the background of episodes. For a series that never passes up the smallest opportunity for a gag, it is perfectly fitting that series co-creator David X. Cohen's name is a joke of sorts: The X in his name does not stand for anything, nor is it his real middle initial, which is actually S. When Cohen went to join the Writers Guild, there was already a David S. Cohen, and duplicate names are not allowed. As such, he needed to change his name. Cohen explained his reasoning during a Reddit AMA, writing, "I decided that once I was going phony, I would take the phoniest letter of all."

In addition to X being the "phoniest" letter, Cohen also thought it had a cool factor to it and that it sounded the most sci-fi. "As you know, aliens' names always start with 'X' or 'Z,'" Cohen told Sci-Fi Online. When he wrote for "The Simpsons," Cohen wasn't yet in the Writers Guild and was therefore able to be credited as David S. Cohen. When he switched his middle initial for "Futurama" it led to some confusion over whether or not he was even the same person who worked on "The Simpsons." His choice of middle initial is also the likely source of inspiration for a joke in "Futurama" where Bender calls the letter X cool.

Bender was inspired by the work of a Polish author

While "Futurama" certainly has its fair share of crass and low-brow comedy, it also features a ton of elevated humor and far more complicated math and science than you might expect. One of the main reasons the show works as well as it does is because it takes its sci-fi concepts seriously. This fundamental basis in hardcore science fiction comes from a great many sources, with one of the most obscure being the late Polish author Stanislaw Lem.

Lem was a renowned sci-fi writer who published novels, short stories, poetry, and essays from the 1940s all the way into the 1990s. His work was a major influence on David X. Cohen. "My mom was a voracious science fiction reader, so actually that's where I got my love of science fiction, and some of the books I found lying around when I was a kid were the Stanislaw Lem books," he told Wired. "These are these really strange, surreal, and funny sci-fi short stories that I think did have a big influence on me, especially as far as the idea that robots could be characters. So Bender being kind of the most human character on 'Futurama' I think does owe a little bit to Stanislaw Lem."

One episode was dedicated to a famous tortoise

"Futurama" occasionally takes a foray into the anthology format, straying away from the continuity of the rest of the series with vignettes. These special episodes are stylistically similar to the "Treehouse of Horror" episodes on "The Simpsons." One of these special installments is presented as a sci-fi nature documentary, with the main characters appearing as anthropomorphic animals. Season 9's "Naturama" is divided into three segments: "The Salmon," "The Pinta Island Tortoise," and "The Elephant Seal."

The title "The Pinta Island Tortoise" refers to a specific species of Tortoise from the Galápagos Islands. The episode itself is dedicated to the memory of Lonesome George, the last living tortoise of his species who died two years before the episode aired. The character Lonely Hubert is a clear nod to George, who caught the imagination of the world after he was discovered by a Hungarian scientist on Pinta Island in 1971.

George passed away at the Tortoise Breeding and Rearing Center on Santa Cruz Island in 2012. His age was unknown, though scientists estimated that he was around a hundred years old. That might seem like a lot, but giant tortoises of this type can live for twice that amount of time. "His death shocked those who cared for him due in part to his young age," said Smithsonian Magazine.

The DVD menus are packed with Easter eggs

During the Fox years "Futurama," was in constant danger of being canceled, so DVD sales were vital to the longevity of the series. If execs at the network expressed a lack of faith in the show, high DVD sales were a way for the creators to numerically prove that "Futurama" had a large fanbase out there. High DVD sales may have been enough to prevent Comedy Central from canceling the series for a second time, but David X. Cohen didn't want to urge fans to keep buying DVDs after they had already done so much to help the show, he told Wired.

Those who did buy the DVDs will have probably noticed that there's a bunch of Easter eggs on the menu pages, though it might have taken them a while to find them all — you're required to scour each menu in search of secret parts of the screen that are clickable. The Easter eggs included hidden goodies like fake movie posters, behind-the-scenes images, special artwork, full table reads of episodes, and other secret special features.

Leela and Amy's personalities were swapped

Leela and Amy are both important members of the Planet Express team. They have a few things in common, but they have drastically different core personalities. It's hard to imagine today, but their personalities were originally the other way around: Amy was written to be a tough tomboy type who served as the crew's mechanic and wore coveralls rather than her trademark pink sweatsuit, while Leela was the softer of the two in the original pilot script. By the time casting was underway, it was clear a change needed to be made.

Lauren Tom wound up in the role of Amy Wong, but there was one big issue — she wasn't actually a good fit for the character as initially written. As Tom herself explained to People, "That's not really my persona that I put out." Luckily, series co-creator Matt Groening was willing to workshop the character and retool Amy's personality to better suit Tom. They were able to keep all the plans they had for Amy by transferring her rougher attributes to Leela, which worked better for everyone. "They made Amy a little bit softer, kind of free with her love," Tom explained. "And then they made Leela the tougher one when Katey Sagal came on — that also fit perfectly with her persona."

David X. Cohen quit the show early on

"Futurama" wouldn't have been the same without David X. Cohen's input, but there was a time when it looked as though the show would have to be made without him. Not long after work on the show began, Cohen found himself overwhelmed by the heavy workload, the tight schedule, and the high-pressure demands of the job. The stress reached such a boiling point that he ended up walking away for a time. He told Sci-Fi Online: "A few months into the production of 'Futurama,' I got so exhausted that I couldn't do the job anymore and I actually quit. For about 4 days."

Luckily for fans of the show, Cohen was able to keep his cool and power through all the trials and tribulations. The schedule and production demands were so extreme for the job that the creators jokingly invented an eighth day of the week called "Blernsday" to be able to get all of the work done on time. "Blernsday" eventually led to the creation of "Blernsball," the show's jazzed-up version of baseball.

Bender's apartment number is a super nerdy joke

Bender's apartment is a central location in "Futurama" and winds up becoming Fry's home too when he moves into the spacious closet, which is several times larger than the rest of the apartment. The apartment building is specifically designed for robots and is known as the Robot Arms Apts. All the door numbers here are written in binary: Bender's apartment number is 00100100. On its own, this is a simple visual gag, but the joke goes deeper for any fans willing to put in a little extra effort.

When the binary is converted into a standard decimal number, it is revealed that Bender's apartment number is 36, but there is still one more conversion required to land at the final punchline. This last step requires knowledge of the official ASCII table, which is basically the standardized computing chart that breaks down how letters and special characters are processed by computers. To simplify, binary uses 0s and 1s to create all numbers, and ASCII then uses numbers to create all other characters that are output by computers. 36 in the ASCII table corresponds to the dollar sign, which is perfectly appropriate for Bender's greedy, money-hungry personality.

This hidden gag is a perfect example of the team behind "Futurama" not only packing every inch of screen space with some sort of joke, but also taking the opportunity to get mathematical and scientific with it whenever possible.

Hermes almost sounded completely different

Hermes Conrad is the bureaucrat who serves as the Planet Express crew's accountant and famously has a Jamaican accent. The show frequently references his Jamaican heritage and even centers entire storylines around his life back home as Jamaica's Olympics contender in limbo competitions. As hard as it is to imagine today, Hermes almost wasn't from Jamaica at all.

When voice actor Phil LaMarr first landed the role of Hermes, he leaned far more heavily into the nerdy accountant side of the character when figuring out his voice and personality. This more standard nerdy voice utilized LaMarr's own American accent for the character, and Jamaica wasn't yet a part of Hermes' backstory at all. LaMarr recorded the first three episodes of the show like this, but it was clear that it wasn't quite working, or at least not firing on all cylinders.

It was Matt Groening who had the idea to switch up the character's accent, LaMarr explained to Vanity Fair in a career retrospective. "Adding the accent gave the character another dimension, added depth," he said. "Because all of a sudden instead of just writing accountant jokes, they were writing Jamaican jokes." LaMarr happily changed it up, and the character finally felt like the right fit for the series moving forward. "Had Matt not suggested that, I probably wouldn't be sitting here," he added. "I probably wouldn't have made it past episode four."

John DiMaggio almost refused the Hulu reboot

As the voice of Bender and numerous side characters, John DiMaggio is an indispensable part of the core cast of "Futurama." Nevertheless, the Hulu reboot nearly moved forward without him. The rest of the show's main cast had already agreed to return, but DiMaggio was holding out for higher pay. He considered the rates being offered to the cast by Hulu's parent company Disney to be woefully insufficient. It is important to note that DiMaggio wasn't only trying to get his own pay increased but also the wages of his co-stars across the board. The scandal became known as #Bendergate online, and fans were up in arms about one of their favorite voice actors potentially being replaced.

DiMaggio revealed that the plan to produce the show without him was to have Bender's voice change from episode to episode with different guest stars each taking turns with the character. He ended up returning and the full cast of "Futurama" was reunited once again, but the situation wasn't resolved as amicably as some may have thought. His return had many fans thinking he successfully landed the raise that he was after, but DiMaggio didn't receive any additional money in the end. He described Disney as completely unwilling to negotiate or offer fair compensation, so his return to "Futurama" was out of love for the series.

Matt Groening often doesn't understand the show

"Futurama" was co-created by Matt Groening and David X. Cohen, though the former is sometimes totally lost when the show gets complicated with its content. Many of the geekier references go over Groening's head, and he freely admits that much of the hard science and mathematics in the show is just gibberish to him. But, this is part of why he and Cohen make such a good team. Cohen and most of the other writers are all veritable experts on the show's far-ranging subject matter. Writer and producer Ken Keeler even has a PhD in applied math, which has come in handy over the years.

Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, Groening admitted that he has no idea how space travel in the "Futurama" universe actually works. "Originally we planned to have the spaceship powered by the MW drive, which is 'magic wand' — all science fiction has that magic wand where you can travel through galaxies very quickly," he said. "And, instead David had a friend who had a theory that you could slow down the speed of light and therefore make things faster. I never understood it, but that's what happens. And the ship is fueled by dark matter, whatever that is. Again David Cohen could explain, as could all the writing staff, except me."

Billy West predicted Futurama's streaming revival years ago

After already going through so many ups and downs with "Futurama" over the years, Billy West wasn't quite as downtrodden when the show was canceled again by Comedy Central in 2013. The first cancelation was hard on everyone involved, but by the time Comedy Central pulled the plug, past experience had convinced West that it was only a matter of time before the show came back again. As such, while the Hulu revival of "Futurama" was a welcome surprise to the fans, it was no surprise to West. Back in 2015, two years after the last cancelation, West predicted not only the return of the show, but specifically a revival on a streaming platform.

In an interview with The Week, he said, "The show's too good to not be on television," adding, "There's the content that's not even on TV. It's on Netflix, stuff like that. I have a suspicion that somebody like that will pick up the show and continue production with it." The latest revival might not be coming from Netflix, but West was right on the money about a streaming platform taking up the reins. He also said that the writers "have enough material for five, six more seasons," hinting at the potential longevity of the rebooted series.

The writers sometimes predicted the future correctly

Although "Futurama" is set far into the future, some of the sci-fi gadgets and pop culture predictions made in the show have come true ahead of schedule. Most impressive is the fact that there have been many instances of "Futurama" predicting future technologies correctly. Some of the wildest predictions that the show writers likely never expected to come true include the street corner suicide booths and Professor Farnsworth's Smell-O-Scope: In 2021, the BBC confirmed that a company in Europe hoped to launch euthanasia pods in Switzerland (where assisted suicide is legal), and in 2022, The New York Times ran a story about a device dubbed the Nasal Ranger, a field olfactometer that measures odors.

Even silly references such as "Baywatch" being adapted into a feature film have come true. The show also jokingly proposed choose-your-own-adventure movies, which can now be found in projects like Netflix's "Black Mirror" special "Bandersnatch." It has mostly been fun and gratifying for the "Futurama" writers to see their predictions coming true, but David X. Cohen admitted in an interview with Uproxx that he gets nervous about some of the things they've said in the show coming to pass in real life. "Like, there's one joke about Bender," he said. "I don't remember the exact line, but it's something like, 'I hope I don't get buried alive like Julia Roberts.' Jeez, what if that happened? It's very unlikely to happen, but if it did, it would really wreck up that episode very badly."

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ by dialing 988 or by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

Futurama's connection with Disenchantment

There has been a ton of overlap between "The Simpsons" and "Futurama," which extends beyond the two shows into the comic series and other related media. What's less discussed, however, is the extensive connective tissue between "Futurama" and the Netflix original animated series "Disenchantment," which was also co-created by Matt Groening and utilizes David X. Cohen as a writer and producer. "Disenchantment" is littered with hidden jokes and Easter eggs, including many references to "Futurama."

Groening co-created "Disenchantment" with Josh Weinstein, who also worked on "The Simpsons" and "Futurama" as a writer and producer. Weinstein spoke to Wiretap about the "Futurama" references that he snuck into "Disenchantment" and confirmed that there are still more connections left to be discovered. Of the "Futurama" Easter eggs and references, he said, "Fans started to realize certain things — like Dreamland is the ancestral home of the Elves. But there are other things people have not realized at all that have to do with the deep, canonical arc."

He also went out of his way to dispel one particular fan theory that is incorrect and could lead people to expect a reveal that is never coming. He told Wiretap, "People have this complex theory that 'Disenchantment' takes place in that future that we saw with Fry and the time machine, and that is not true. This is the first time I'm saying that, because I love fan theories."

Maurice LaMarche stepped in to provide Amy's burps

Amy burps loudly every now and again on "Futurama," but burping on command is something that voice actor Lauren Tom has trouble with. Rather than using a stock burp sound effect or faking it in some other way, the creators get one of Tom's co-stars to step in. In the past, John DiMaggio has filled in as her burp double, and so has Maurice LaMarche, who voices several characters on the show, most notably Kif.

For LaMarche, burping is no casual exercise. LaMarche takes burping quite seriously and has devised his own carefully crafted method for delivering the most effective on-command burps possible. This method extends to other bodily noises, such as vomiting, and employs an element of Tuvan throat singing to produce an especially guttural sound. LaMarche is actually somewhat famous in the voice acting world for his fake burping abilities — Amy Wong is far from the only character he has served as the burp double for. LaMarche was Wacko's burp double on "Animaniacs," and he even served as Will Ferrell's stunt-burper on "Elf."