Hi,

I'm a comedy writer and a philosopher. I'm working on a book about the philosophy of logic, comedy, and mysticism and Santa Claus. I also have a new puppet interview show I'm launching called "Love Me Cat" which has a kickstarter campaign: http://kck.st/160LTjR. I play a cat who wants to be loved but his problem is that he's hideous. My sidekick is Owly, an owl played by Community writer Andy Bobrow. You can also look at "Love Me Cat Trailer" on youtube to get a sense of the vibe.

I'm up to talk about anything. Shows I've written for include: David Letterman, Malcolm in the Middle, Futurama (I wrote Jurassic Bark) Flight of the Conchords and Zombie College.

I also run the animation studio Mirari Films which did the Drinky Crow Show and Hey It's Fluffy among other projects.

Also I'm qualified to teach metaphysics, philosophy of science, aesthetics and medieval philosophy and have taught courses in philosophy of personal identity, Heidegger, Nietzsche, Schopenhauer and Foucault, philosophy of language and philosophy of mind.

I am happy to be on reddit and would like to hash things out with everybody. Ask me anything you're curious about. It should be an interesting discussion!

Best, Eric Kaplan

Comments: 2960 • Responses: 102  • Date: 

dr_peeper1951 karma

Futurama good

ericlinuskaplan1403 karma

you good

dr_peeper1035 karma

i good when watch futurama

ericlinuskaplan1161 karma

good good. Good.

ceejiesqueejie701 karma

No, no. YOU good.

ericlinuskaplan924 karma

oh mama we both good

NannyGiggleby428 karma

Am....I good?

ericlinuskaplan585 karma

very good

HaterSalad333 karma

Why not Zoidberg good?

ericlinuskaplan434 karma

he good! he very good!

NeonChameleon874 karma

Why is futurama canceled?

ericlinuskaplan1182 karma

it has to do with ratings and money not the creative quality of the show

LoveYouLongThyme684 karma

It makes me really sad that Futurama is being cancelled, but the Simpsons is still on the air :'(

ericlinuskaplan804 karma

I think they should do a theatrical movie

jdh705536 karma

do you think that futurama will get another chance? maybe on netflix or one of these new streaming sites.

ericlinuskaplan746 karma

I hope so!

instantwinner507 karma

Futurama's got to have some great viewership on Netflix. I can only speak for myself but I've watched through the whole series on Netflix 3 or 4 times.

I'm really hoping it can come back from the dead again.

ericlinuskaplan408 karma

me too

DatJazz344 karma

Meanwhile Honey Boo Boo is set for another season...I hate people.

ericlinuskaplan301 karma

compared to what?

leAlexc602 karma

Where did you get the idea for writing "Jurassic bark''?

ericlinuskaplan984 karma

Well I wanted to deal with the pathos of being a guy in the future who has left his life behind and everybody he cared about. I have been interested in fossilized creatures since I was a kid. Originally it was going to be Fry's Mom but David Cohen thought it would be too upsetting.

theskabus812 karma

You're the only person to ever make me cry at a cartoon.

I hope you're happy, you glorious bastard.

ericlinuskaplan1908 karma

I didn't make you cry -- you wanted to cry and you used the cartoon as an opportunity

RamsesThePigeon1094 karma

I'm going to use this excuse the next time I get in trouble with my girlfriend.

"I didn't make you angry! You wanted to get angry, and you used the fact that I didn't do the dishes as an opportunity!"

ericlinuskaplan1271 karma

go for it -- let me know how it plays out

mechanate152 karma

Some science fiction cartoon writers just want to watch the world burn.

ericlinuskaplan273 karma

As somebody says "when I am dead let the world be destroyed by fire; I will not care; I will be safe." Selfish!

thepopchassid123 karma

Would there have been the same ending for the mom story? That would truly be upsetting.

ericlinuskaplan161 karma

I don't know! Can you think of a better ending?

theskabus263 karma

Something about Bender trying to murder Fry's fossilized mom wouldn't have quite the same comedic effect.

ericlinuskaplan182 karma

right!

wordybird42129 karma

I don't know, I think the ending was pretty darn good as it was. Funny that it was changed for being "too upsetting," when that episode is considered by most of the people that I know to be the Saddest Thing Ever (TM). How does it feel knowing it's renowned for being so sad?

ericlinuskaplan212 karma

I feel glad I made an emotional connection!

Breadking54544 karma

I'm glad you went with Fry's dog, and I think in a sense it makes it even sadder since the dog can never wrap his mind around Fry never coming home. It's not much of a leap for many people to imagine a beloved pet waiting for them even when they will never come home again. It was a beautifully crafted story line (in the way it worked seamlessly with the overarching story and style of Futurama) and one I never expected in this type of show. Totally caught me off guard and I had to fight back tears watching it with friends! ... thanks for that btw you bastard :P

ericlinuskaplan34 karma

feelings are good

egglestone576 karma

What is your answer to people that criticize Big Bang Theory for stereotyping geeks and nerds in a negative manner?

Btw, I am not one of them. I really like the show.

ericlinuskaplan684 karma

I think that is a good thing to think about. Basically the show is based on actual characters. It was co-created by Bill Prady based on his experience as a computer programmer and with other computer programmers. So it should not be viewed as commenting about everybody just these particular people.

purple_baron684 karma

As a meganerd myself, I've always said that the Big Bang Theory is as accurate a portrayal of being a nerd/geek as ER was of being a doctor. That is, based in reality but amped up for entertainment purposes.

ericlinuskaplan522 karma

that seems judicious

rogersmith25226 karma

I have a theory of why people feel like egglestone and I am really interested to hear your feelings on the matter.

Big Bang Theory, though dissimilar in style, has a similar appeal to the show The Office (at its inception) - there are a few crazy characters (Michael Scott, Dwight Schrute) who generate humor by being extreme caricatures of real-life people we interact with on a daily basis. Then there is a character that we can identify with (Ryan Howard the "new guy", and eventually Jim/Pam); we invest ourselves into these characters and see ourselves in them as the show goes on.

On Big Bang theory, I would argue that the 4 "nerdy guys" are all, in a way, the "caricature" type in the vein of Michael Scott. Therefore, the character who people can identify with is Penny. Non-nerds are happy to put themselves in Penny's shoes the same way that people might identify with Pam Beasley on The Office - she isn't the most successful or intelligent character, but she often one-ups the nerds with her practicality. People with nerdy friends love the show because they project themselves onto Penny and their nerdy friends/family onto the 4 guys.

This is why the show is unpopular among nerds. We can't (or don't want to) identify with the 4 nerdy guys. And we can't identify with Penny because she is the anti-nerd in the group. I also think that the laugh track kills the "nerd jokes" because the audience laughs at the follow-up explanation or counter-punch rather than the joke itself.

I commend you for reading this far if you have...

TL;DR Do you think that the lack of a relatable nerd on Big Bang Theory is what causes its lack of popularity among "actual" nerds (like on reddit)?

ericlinuskaplan328 karma

I'm not sure -- I don't grok the whole "I am a nerd" meme. I feel like nerd is a hostile term. I don't view myself as a nerd. I just like to read a lot, don't care about fashion and enjoy fantasy RPGS.

Hiding_in_the_Shower127 karma

So what your saying is a bunch of computer programmer's can land a hot babe like Penny?

ericlinuskaplan489 karma

no -- just one particular one

RamsesThePigeon5 karma

Some people have referenced this fact before, but as an argument that the show is outdated. What are your thoughts on that?

Also, how do you feel about the claim that none of the characters actually embody anything approaching real intellect?

ericlinuskaplan15 karma

1)How so? What is the argument? 2)Disagree. We have them argue about Frege and psychologism.

RamsesThePigeon6 karma

  1. The argument goes as follows: While a tendency towards interests of a "geeky" nature was enough to make one a social pariah in the past, such is no longer the case in popular culture. As with everything, there are certain levels of involvement (or obsession) that go beyond what is socially acceptable, but none of your characters seem to showcase those levels... yet they're still portrayed as being socially awkward and/or oblivious.

  2. In response: I may not have communicated well in my original question, and for that I apologize. As an example, however: Sheldon is portrayed as having an allegedly fast mind, and yet he tends to miss social cues and rarely (if ever) makes any sort of realization not directly related to physics. Were he portrayed as being educated but stupid, this would be understandable. However, the current dichotomy is seen by many viewers as being somewhat unrealistic. Even assigning him a social disorder such as Asperger's Syndrome seems like an inaccurate method of patching his character, as one with such an allegedly powerful mind would be able to synthesize social adeptness when necessary.

Thank you for the questions you've answered thus far! I appreciate you sharing your thoughts with us.

ericlinuskaplan16 karma

  1. They are particular characters with the level of interest that they have. I think of them more as scientists than as fans of obscure pop culture. I am sure there are real people who know more about e.g. manga than our characters. What I don't understand entirely is the source of the animus.

2.Well I know a lot of people like that -- and used to be like that a bit more myself. I used to be more interested in books and abstract theories and less good at picking up on social cues or figuring out where other people are coming from. We did not assign him a disorder -- we are just portraying a particular character. To me it seems pretty realistic as a portrait of some people. But it shouldn't be viewed as a general statement about everybody, or everybody smart, or everybody who likes fantasy RPGS.

theskabus566 karma

I just want to say I think the Futurama episode Three Hundred Big Ones is one of the most underrated. Throwing everyone into the same situation and seeing what each of them does with it was a great way to explore the characters.

And then there's the Whale Biologist. Please tell me that was your idea.

ericlinuskaplan926 karma

ok

sgtspike507 karma

When are you going to write a Big Bang Theory episode on Bitcoin?

ericlinuskaplan152 karma

what's bitcoin?

IWillNotBiteYourDog20 karma

Here is an explanation that I hope relates better to your shows.

In 1944, Niels Bohr asked: is it possible to play a game of poker without physical cards? One can play chess without pieces, but to play poker, you want to deal the cards and not reveal them until later. An even simpler question is, how can you flip a coin while on the phone with someone you don't trust?

Lots of brilliant mathematicians and cryptographers worked on these and related problems for decades. Bitcoin is one of the 'virtual currencies' - probably the most popular and widely accepted one right now. It differs from most other such currencies (like 'Borders bucks' that your characters probably still have:) in that there is no central authority to issue new bitcoins. Rather new coins are created (mined) by people who serve the bitcoin users community by verifying the transactions - confirming that no one has e.g. double-spent their coins. Any geek can become a miner, although the earning potential much less lucrative than it was a few years ago.

ericlinuskaplan18 karma

that's interesting -- so everybody is a policeman for everybody else?

raspy_wilhelm_scream488 karma

I've never seen Ask Me Anything.

What's it about?

ericlinuskaplan1654 karma

some joker goes online and people complain about laugh tracks

Frajer349 karma

Which Futurama character is your favorite to write for?

ericlinuskaplan951 karma

Zoidberg -- he is like a marvellous crab man

youcantseemyusername351 karma

What about me, Bender?

ericlinuskaplan394 karma

you are also good

zakuiij0193 karma

Bite my shiny metal ass!

ericlinuskaplan329 karma

hey, there's no call for that kind of invective. this is the internet!

zakuiij0144 karma

We all love Zoidberg!

ericlinuskaplan213 karma

that is one funny crab-man

ericlinuskaplan202 karma

props to David Cohen and Billy West

lilpin1368 karma

He's my favorite too. Zoidberg is a perfection. Thank you.

ericlinuskaplan82 karma

thanks!

matosky225 karma

When you wrote your Flight of the Conchords episode, did you have to incorporate songs that already existed, or did they get written afterward?

ericlinuskaplan246 karma

they already existed

beckerist90 karma

[deleted]

ericlinuskaplan199 karma

girlfriends

BoogerMcFee202 karma

What elements of the two industries in which you've worked, comedy writing and academia, would best benefit the other (ie what can profs learn from comedy writers and vice versa)?

ericlinuskaplan219 karma

an excellent thoughtful question! I think I may like them each doing their own thing to be honest -- comedy responding to the needs of the audience, academia setting its lights by a distant star of truth. maybe academia could be a little more human and comedy a little more idealistic? Good question!

Clever-Username789179 karma

A lot of people on reddit seem to really hate The Big Bang Theory for some reason and you are getting quite a bit of flack for it in this AMA. I just want to say as a Physics graduate student I am not offended by any of the 'shots' at nerd/geek culture and I actually enjoy the show and appreciate the subtle jokes that are woven into the dialogue.

I haven't been paying close attention in the latest seasons but I noticed early on that there is often a connection between the physics that is on the whiteboards in the apartment and/or office(s) and the theme of the episode. Is this an intentional planned part of each episode? Or are the equations decided after the fact by David Saltzberg.

ericlinuskaplan228 karma

thanks but I think hate is just misdirected love

gaygamesh178 karma

Hi, Eric, huge fan here.

I was wondering what advice you might have for someone who's looking to getting into TV comedy writing.

ericlinuskaplan324 karma

use the internet. keep writing and get stuff on the internet and connect with a fan base. kill your darlings!

pverrone173 karma

Do you think it is a coincidence that the tiny URL for your Kickstarter campaign starts with the same three letters as the initials of your Futurama colleague Ken Keeler?

ericlinuskaplan291 karma

there are no coincidences

pverrone116 karma

Correct. Keeler controls everything.

ericlinuskaplan245 karma

all hail the hypno-Keeler. how's his play doing? I want to see it.

Lilah_Rose8 karma

When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all.

ericlinuskaplan18 karma

like a thief in the night

AsianAnnie147 karma

What's your favorite episode of any of the shows you've written?

ericlinuskaplan361 karma

I like Jurassic Bark a lot -- but I can't play favorites!

AsianAnnie179 karma

Saddest episode ever. It still gets me :'(

ericlinuskaplan148 karma

sorry! you are from the UK?

ACHIEVER94974 karma

OOH! I AM!

ericlinuskaplan122 karma

great country!

fbk732139 karma

Huge fan of BBT since day 1, and redditors definitely are vocal about their displeasure with it overall. Haven't seen much love for it yet, but the D&D episode had me dying, Howard nailed it. No real question, just want to say don't take too much stock in the haters, every single one of those characters feels genuine to me.

ericlinuskaplan126 karma

I think hate is just backwards love

mitchdav138 karma

I am an avid Futurama fan and I have watched/listened to every commentary on every episode on every DVD... My questions are these:

  1. What is it like watching an idea of yours become reality, in knowing all the steps that need to be completed and refined like the rough sketches, sending it to Korea, the voice actors, sound production and final touches? Do you actively keep up with how each episode is progressing or after the script is written are you pretty much out of the loop?

  2. During the commentaries they mention that the writing staff would stay back extremely late some nights to finish a concept. Did that ever happen while you were working with them? If so, how late are we talking? 7 PM or more like 2 AM?

  3. What is it like to work with David X Cohen? He seems like a fantastic bloke and I wish he had a more social presence, Twitter comes to mind. Any chance you could ask him to do an AMA also?

Thank you for the work you have done so far for Futurama - hopefully it won't be your last (bring it back)!

ericlinuskaplan108 karma

1)It is very heartening and humbling 2)yes involved in all steps 3)4 am 3)David COhen's is a delight as a writer and as a human being You should ask him! Sent it out on the twitter-verse!

mitchdav35 karma

Thanks for replying! That's quite late, I never would have expected that!

I will see if I can contact him, thanks for the suggestion Eric!

ericlinuskaplan45 karma

you bet!

ajhorsburgh119 karma

How much do you incorporate your study of philosophy (especially metaphysics) into screen writing?

Is there something especially geeky that you managed to sneak in, and no-one noticed?

Great work btw. Enjoyed a lot of your shows!

ericlinuskaplan207 karma

yes -- I put in a whole discussion of Frege in the Big Bang Theory and nobody noticed

themadcatt153 karma

In Series 4 Episode 03 – The Zazzy Substitution? Not only was it my favorite episode, but I squeeled during that dialogue. Thank you for that nerdy moment.

ericlinuskaplan165 karma

I'm glad you liked it! Yes!

itookabigboypoop109 karma

Can you tell me the meaning behind the lyrics to "Layla" and your inspiration for writing such a beautiful piece of music?

ericlinuskaplan77 karma

I don't understand

zagood166 karma

He's thinking of Eric Clapton. He doesn't realize you're the guy who used to play for Manchester United.

ericlinuskaplan65 karma

thanks for clearing that up

kindall22 karma

He's pretending to think that you are Eric Clapton.

ericlinuskaplan59 karma

that has been a popular joke since I was twelve

ibacktracedit86 karma

Why not Zoidberg?

ericlinuskaplan94 karma

why indeed?

iaman00b19 karma

One must not ask "why", but rather "why not"?

ericlinuskaplan48 karma

one must ask both

SeriousJones84 karma

One of my favorite things about Futurama are the touches of continuity and foreshadowing, e.g. Nibbler's shadow in the pilot. I don't expect you to spoil anything outright, but is there any scene or shot that fans should look more closely at?

ericlinuskaplan85 karma

it's good to look at everything

bojacksonsbowtie83 karma

Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones?

ericlinuskaplan169 karma

I like BB more cause it feels more "real" but I have enjoyed Game of Thrones as well.

BondGirl2081 karma

Did Sheldon and Amy engage in coitus? What body part did the number 14 refer to?

ericlinuskaplan128 karma

well that is part of the deliberate ambiguity of the text!

Elgandhi58 karma

How many of the jokes you write are inspired by real life events?

ericlinuskaplan277 karma

28%

SirNipply57 karma

What was the most complex script you ever had to write for Futurama?

Where did the idea for Bender come along?

Also, Futurama has been and will always be one of my favorite shows of all time. Thank you for granting the world such a great show, or contributing to it.

ericlinuskaplan82 karma

I stuck my head into the writing on the first movie which was super-complicated. Any time you leave the world of linear causation behind be ready for some late nights. Bender came from Matt Groening's dreamworld where he was menaced by homicidal robots. I do not know where Matt Groening's dreamworld came from though, so questions only lead to further questions. You're quite welcome -- thanks for watching -- it makes it all worthwhile

3BB755 karma

What is your favorite episode of Futurama and why? Futurama is my favorite, thanks for doing this!

ericlinuskaplan132 karma

I really liked "Hell is Other Robots" and the "Farnsworth Parabox". I am personally attached to Hell cause it was my first. I like Parabox cause it really stretches the mind, man.

TheNumberJ91 karma

dude... there's like a universe in all of us.

ericlinuskaplan59 karma

nice!

everyonehasfaces48 karma

Would you consider a sliders reboot?

Edit:sliders the tv show about quantum tunnels and parallel worlds

ericlinuskaplan94 karma

the little burgers? what do you mean?

JasJ00247 karma

First off, thank you for doing this, I love your work and always get excited when I know one of your episodes are coming up on a series I'm watching/rewatching

What other great television writers would you suggest current and retired?

Second question, will you keep the beard indefinitely?

ericlinuskaplan64 karma

Andy Bobrow! Yes until there is a groundswell against it.

JasJ00240 karma

Yes!!! P.S. Malcolm in the middle is probably my all time favorite series. Loved both of your work on that show.

ericlinuskaplan36 karma

thanks!

rak144 karma

why do all the characters on big bang theory wear long sleeves?

ericlinuskaplan369 karma

I think it has something to do with how shirts are constructed

rak124 karma

I should have included the word long. is there a specific reason as to why they only wear long sleeves? My girlfriend and I have been trying to figure out this mystery for too long. Thanks for the AMA I have been watching your work for over a decade now.

ericlinuskaplan23 karma

I don't know!

HonestlyLike40 karma

Big fan. You're a very unappreciated part of TV show making and I just want you to know that there are people out there, like me, who when we watch shows like this, can identify your humours and writing style anywhere.

ericlinuskaplan30 karma

thanks! that's great to know!

martigan9936 karma

Jurassic Bark made me cry and I am a full grown man, well done

ericlinuskaplan35 karma

I'm glad!

redsoxsam9734 karma

Hi Mr. Kaplan. Ardent fan of the big bang theory here. One quick question, on the big bang theory, do you ever wish you had taken Sheldon's persona in a different direction? What would you have done with it?

ericlinuskaplan56 karma

no -- it is more organic -- Sheldon grows based upon the writing and Jim Parsons' performance

SnookSnook32 karma

As a comedy writer, do you have any kind of comic spin you can give us on this NSA situation?

ericlinuskaplan125 karma

people want to have their neighbors spied on so they feel safe but feel bad if they themselves are spied on. it's a conundrum!

unique_new_york_31 karma

Do you think your philosophical background helped you to be a better comedy writer?
What kind of metaphysics do you enjoy studying??

Thanks for doing the AMA!!

ericlinuskaplan68 karma

yes -- I think philosophy and comedy are both about holding irreconcilable perspectives in the mind at the same time. I like metaphysics that feels like an imaginative exploration of what reality could be -- I like metaphysics that present new possibilities to me that I never considered before

BytownBoozer22 karma

Hey Eric, thanks for your contributions to comedy and animation! Could you speak a bit about your time working for Letterman? How much has the landscape of late-night has changed in your opinion in the decade + since you were with him? Were you able to transfer over any of the stuff you learned/did for it to your projects afterwards? Thanks again and enjoy your summer!

ericlinuskaplan30 karma

it was a very intense comedy boot camp because we did a new show every day. you really had to learn to write fast and not to be attached to your ideas. that definitely transfers to sit com writing for sure no doubt! I have no particular insight into the late night world since I left since I retire early.

Astronomy122 karma

Is it likely that Futurama could live on past the final 13 episodes of the 7th season? Additionally, what was it like working with Matt Groening?

ericlinuskaplan43 karma

we can control the future. Matt Groening is a terrific guy -- very nice and an American icon. He is very down-to-earth and accessible and funny -- like a normal person despite being a world-bestriding colossus of culture.

Anonymous-Ninja20 karma

Just wanted to say, Jurassic Bark is one of the best Futurama episodes. Crazy enough, watched it yesterday with my little brother-in-law, telling him how good it was.

ericlinuskaplan22 karma

thanks man -- I appreciate it! did he like it?

Anonymous-Ninja17 karma

Yes. Now I have a question. Would you be able to write for a new episode about how Fry later changes his mind and does clone him? or do you get picked for certain episodes and have to stick to a certain topic?

ericlinuskaplan18 karma

it could happen!

bookoisseur19 karma

Do you have any writing pet peeves?

What is your preferred method of writing - ie computer, paper and pen, lying on the floor dictating to an assistant?

ericlinuskaplan46 karma

I've been typing since I was ten so I type but there is somethig to be said for pen and paper -- it gets you out of the left hemisphere a little

SHv244 karma

Best part about being left-handed, only people in their right mind.

ericlinuskaplan45 karma

well put noble son of a good family (or daughter)

Wizuhd17 karma

Wait so you wrote for Futurama (a show almost unanimously loved by the tech audience) and then Big Bang Theory (a show almost unanimously hated)

What happened?!

ericlinuskaplan39 karma

why is it hated?

Wizuhd26 karma

Well I got about four episodes in before they had "Halo Night" where they then had sounds that weren't Halo, had the actors randomly mash buttons, had Penny say "whose head did I just blow up?!" which you can't do in Halo. I literally just walked over and shut off the TV after that. The show is rife with stuff like that. It tries to pretend it's for "nerds" but it's actually just for people who play angry birds and think they're 'nerds' and it's kind of just a slap in the face for the people that they are allegedly trying to pander to.

Not trying to hate on you specifically, I don't know how much Reddit you've been on but TBBT is not a popular show around here it's pretty much just scoffed at.

ericlinuskaplan68 karma

I'm not trying to pander to anybody. If you watch more recent episodes I think you will find it more accurate I don't play Halo but I do play D&D and the D&D episode is mad accurate.

ZugTheMegasaurus6 karma

Hey, love all your answers in this thread but just wanted to respond to this one in case you really would like a further answer since it seemed like you were genuinely asking why that would seem offensive.

I think "pandering" has a negative tone to it, like you're trying to make a certain group happy at the expense of others. I don't believe for a moment that's the intent.

I totally understand where /u/Wizuhd was coming from though (though I don't speak for him and he might disagree). I spent a significant portion of my childhood and adolescence being mocked, ridiculed, and even beat up for being "too smart" or "nerdy." And while part of me always wanted those jerks to just get where I was coming from, it seems insulting that those things that so negatively affected my life have become popular and desired by those same people. This has nothing to do with you or the show, of course, but I think a lot of us feel like it's unfair that those who made us feel bad get to enjoy the things they made us feel bad about.

ericlinuskaplan29 karma

I have been teased too. I feel for you. But I would say imho you shouldn't let those experience define you. You will have something in common with every human being, and something not in common with every human being. I would not let the dichotomy nerd/popular kid be the lens through which you see all people -- you will miss a lot. In my opinion. I know these are volatile issues and I appreciate your candor.

Thebearjew11516 karma

Is there any relation to Motivational speaker And NEw York Times bestseller Steve Kaplan?

ericlinuskaplan86 karma

we are descended from Moses' brother Aaron

Thebearjew11537 karma

Oy vey.

ericlinuskaplan33 karma

I think?

Thebearjew11521 karma

I'll have you know, I'm glad you responded. This is the first time someone has responded to my AMA question. Now for the real question.

Futurama is one of my favorite shows. I was sad to see it being canceled... Again. What are your thoughts about that and do you think it'll be back on the air like before?

ericlinuskaplan37 karma

if the fans make it clear that they love the show and they are numerous then there is a strong possibility. Hollywood is a business.

Iplaymeinreallife13 karma

How does one get into that business? Do you need connections to the studios? Or do you just send in scripts hoping to get picked up?

ericlinuskaplan21 karma

there's no one size fits all answer -- basically you have to be an opportunist and use all the opportunities you have and make opportunities -- I think the main thing these days is to get your stuff out there on the internet and connect with fans and with other creators

BytownBoozer13 karma

Because of your zombie expertise, what are your thoughts on World War Z? Too late on cashing in on the Zombie 'fad' or will be a huge hit?

ericlinuskaplan56 karma

I didn't see it! But I think zombies are a metaphor for human life stripped of meaning and becoming only a struggle for life qua life

quezlar7 karma

so youre saying americans ARE the zombies

good take!

ericlinuskaplan15 karma

zombies are cool what you got to watch out for is djumbies -- that's a zombie possessed by an evil demon spirit. WAAH

vira1311 karma

[deleted]

ericlinuskaplan24 karma

I wrote comedy in elementary school -- little plays and stuff like that. my friend Andrew encouraged me in college to try it profesisonally.

gmoneyshot6910 karma

What is your favourite sitcom to watch? (That isn't something you write for!)

ericlinuskaplan20 karma

I like Fawlty Towers

gmoneyshot6912 karma

Wow, thanks for coming back and answering this!

Really cool of you

ericlinuskaplan15 karma

you betcha

ampap7 karma

Eric, I've heard rumors and speculation as to why Comedy Central ended Futurama. Some say it's due to declining ratings, others say it's due to FOX's ownership of the show.

If you have any knowledge, could you answer?

And is there a chance Futurama could be picked up for new episodes by another network, like Adult Swim, or possibly Netflix?

ericlinuskaplan15 karma

well sure it could be picked up anywhere. for these networks it's all about the bottom line so if the fans make it clear to netflix or anybody else that they are really committed to the show it will make it more possible. the means of distribution are getting much more democratized.

Minifig815 karma

Welcome to reddit, Mr. Kaplan!

I am /u/Minifig81, I have decided to ask every person who is an announced AMA a few simple questions:

  • What are you currently reading?

  • Is it non-fiction or fiction?

  • What books do you recommend to everyone that they should read or what books have changed your life?

These books will be compiled in to a spreadsheet with your name and the date you did your AMA, so that if you revisit us on a future date, I can remind you of what you were reading the last time you visited our fair site.

Thank you for time!


As per Mod request, I am to ask you one personal question on top of my Reddit AMA Books Project, so I have decided to ask you; How can we get Futurama back... again? :)


Reddit AMA Readers who wish to see the Reddit Books AMA Project will have to wait, as I'm still compiling information. I don't know how long I should wait to share it (I've been thinking a month), but I have promised the AMA Mods that I'm going to share the data eventually.

ericlinuskaplan7 karma

I am currently reading "Bringing up the Bodies" by Hillary Mantel -- it is fiction. I recommend "Fads and Fallacies" by Marvin Gardner.

elky215 karma

Hello Eric, i am a huge fan of BBT and i must say you writers still keep the high standard of the show. My first question - during first season, Sheldon did not appear to me as a pure asexual being(which he is now, well until latest episodes) and from the dialogs i thought of him just as a shy boy. Have you switched to his asexuality because of the humorous potential or was he supposed to be that way from the very beginning? Second question, what female character is most fun to write?

ericlinuskaplan2 karma

they are all fun. I don't think he is asexual.

KngNothing4 karma

You're a cruel, cruel individual for Jurassic Bark.........

....it gets posted and reposted often, and everytime everyone here suffers the feels....

ericlinuskaplan4 karma

I can be cruel but I can also be kind if needs be

starfire14 karma

We love BBT at our house. Thank you for all the laughs!

ericlinuskaplan7 karma

thanks

bookoisseur4 karma

It's been really cool working on Love Me Cat. Just wanted you to know!

ericlinuskaplan4 karma

I'm glad you have been enjoying it!

bookoisseur4 karma

What was your favorite book growing up?

ericlinuskaplan14 karma

Probably Alice in Wonderland!

Alix_Chris4 karma

Great AMA! so what has been your favorite thing you have worked on?

ericlinuskaplan4 karma

Love Me Cat!

Angrymanspokane3 karma

Big Bang Theory is very well written, great job. Malcom in the Middle, also extremely creative. Thanks for all the great entertainment!

ericlinuskaplan1 karma

thanks

Westerli3 karma

I think this is really Eric Kaplan. Reddit screens people before they do an AMA so that it's all verified.

Does Chuck Lorre have a tattoo? When did BBT wrap the last episode?

ericlinuskaplan4 karma

I'm not privy to that info. BBT wrapped last ep in april

Abeds_BananaStand3 karma

Despite Big Bang Theory being one of the most highly watched and rated comedy shows it also has a very vocal group of detractors. How do you feel about that? Is it ever frustrating knowing that the show is so well received by most but loudly disliked by a strong minority as well?

ericlinuskaplan7 karma

sure -- I want everybody to love me. They should come on the AMA and we can finally work this out.

zurichinspace3 karma

Favorite BBT character to write for?

ericlinuskaplan9 karma

I like Sheldon