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Why Professor Farnsworth's Name On Futurama Might Mean More Than You Think

Matt Groening's sci-fi-heavy but immensely humorous show "Futurama" was always crammed with many nods and guest appearances linked to the beloved genre. Besides the ongoing adventures of the Planet Express crew, there were enough excellent references to get fans rewatching it long after the show came to a close in 2013 after blessing our screens for over a decade. Among its plethora of appearances from "Star Trek" stars and trips to otherworldly factories that would give Willy Wonka a run for his chocolate money, theories were linked to the show that continued to be picked apart long after "Futurama" came to a close.

One particular brain-buster involved the head of the Planet Express and one of the last living relatives of Philip J. Fry, Professor Farnsworth, the ever-so-slightly mad scientist who occasionally had good news for everyone. While there's certainly a lot to pick apart from the professor's almost 160 years living on and off the world, one particular detail regards the origins of Farnsworth's name and its intriguing connection to a crucial element to Groening's much-loved space adventure.

The origins of Farnsworth's name might be the origin of another

With names like Zap Brannigan and Roberto the Robot flooding Groening's hit series, Farnsworth's name is one of the few on the cast list that actually holds real historical merit. In the 23rd episode of the show's 6th season, "All the President's Heads," it is revealed that the professor is named Philo J. Farnsworth, named after the same Philo T. Farnsworth, the inventor of the television (and according to the professor, childhood obesity). While it's an interesting connection, it goes even deeper given the original Farnsworth's history and the event that hosted one of his life-changing moments.

After inventing the machine that would change human history forever, TV inventor Farnsworth attended an event at the 1939 World's Fair to show off the new product. Designated to a specific section, the television was revealed at the event for futuristic items, which was titled (you guessed it) "Futurama." It's a great link that shows things went full circle for Groening's beloved series that is set for a comeback in the not-too-distant future.