Hello Reddit! We’ve returned to the 21st Century to answer all your puny human questions about FUTURAMA.

We are Matt Groening (series creator), David X. Cohen (head writer), Billy West (voice of Fry, Professor Farnsworth, Dr. Zoidberg, and more), and John DiMaggio (voice of Bender, URL, and more).

Matt Groening Proof: http://imgur.com/v6N5dSZ Billy West David X Cohen and John DiMaggio proof: http://imgur.com/a/OLqUl

Also - Our shiny new mobile game, "Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow”, launched today... and it's fun on a bun, baby! Get it here: iOS: https://appstore.com/futuramaworldsoftomorrow Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tinyco.futurama

We'll be answering questions here for a little over an hour, then right after our AMA ends we're also doing a livestreamed video QA on Facebook...so talk to us there too! Check that one out on the Futurama Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Futurama/ from 2:30-3:30PM PST

EDIT: Thank you all so much for your questions. We've gotta run! A few of us might pop back in now and then to answer some more of your questions. Check us out at 2:30PM Pacific Time this afternoon for more live streamed Q&A on the Futurama Facebook page - you can ask us even more questions!

Comments: 9081 • Responses: 83  • Date: 

fakejakebrowne16206 karma

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 shitty 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.

Question: One $300 hookerbot or 300 $1 hookerbots?

-Futurama_Official-14752 karma

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

-Futurama_Official-3361 karma

It depends on if you have 3 bills or 300 bills. Act accordingly. - John

NotRoryWilliams1021 karma

You don't like asking hookers to make change?

-Futurama_Official-3236 karma

I don't like getting hit with rolls of quarters. - John

VentiMochaTRex9575 karma

In episode 2F09, when Itchy plays Scratchy's skeleton like a xylophone, he strikes the same rib in succession, yet he produces two clearly different tones. I mean, what are we to believe, that this is a magic xylophone, or something? Ha ha, boy, I really hope somebody got fired for that blunder

-Futurama_Official-9823 karma

As the writer of that episode I feel uniquely qualified to answer this. I'm afraid the person who got fired was me. For that error and a number of other, slightly less serious blunders, I was fired off the Itchy & Scratchy writing staff and had to go work on Futurama as a fallback. - David X. Cohen

emcee14968894 karma

What made Richard Nixon a recurring character? Why not someone else?

-Futurama_Official-15489 karma

The writers liked a head in a jar that said "Arrrrooo". - BW

-Futurama_Official-6100 karma

Well if we come back, it will be someone else. - Matt

-Futurama_Official-5534 karma

At the time of writing, he was the worst president in American history. Adios, Matt

simplerhythm8475 karma

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?!

Also: with Futurama off the air, what's it like being a bunch of total Zoidbergs; desperately poor AND miserably lonely?

EDIT: Rad! Thanks David.

-Futurama_Official-13617 karma

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. The information has gone into a black hole. - David X. Cohen

Frajer7927 karma

Why does Ross the largest Friend not simply eat the other five?

-Futurama_Official-4779 karma

He did... obviously you missed the series finale. - David X. Cohen

Warlizard6303 karma

Jurassic Bark. What the fuck man?

-Futurama_Official-5413 karma

Tell me bout it >John

jhxcb6154 karma

When you first started Futurama, how many seasons did you think it would last?

-Futurama_Official-8800 karma

27 years. - John

pita49125938 karma

Thank you guys for never truely letting this show die. As a fan it is great to see the people who made it care as much as the fans, even years after it ended.

My question is more of a plea: Will you please release an official Comrade Greeting Card. I have been sending my mom gifts with that poem on it for years, and I need an actual card to give to her. Also, Who wrote the birthday song?

-Futurama_Official-3667 karma

(Birthday song) Group effort by the staff. But Patric Verrone gets the check!!! >John

bdh0085881 karma

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?

-Futurama_Official-12190 karma

Yes, it was my favorite show and I have real separation anxiety about it - BW

DarcyIsPhoenix5237 karma

After watching the live stream on Facebook last week I was absolutely floored by how many characters each of you voice and how you make them all sound unique. For the vocal actors, how do you find inspiration for each individual character you voice?

-Futurama_Official-5820 karma

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

I_r_redditmans2679 karma

Loved the documentary you made, "I Know That Voice" by the way. Provides a lot of insight on this question and just generally showcases how impressive professional voice actors are.

It is a shame that big studios these days will just get big name stars to do a phoned-in performance for big budget animated features when there's so much talent in the VA community.

-Futurama_Official-2504 karma

Thanks so much, 5th anniversary of its release is coming up. >John

perladdict4413 karma

What year does the bending unit come out? I'm thinking of preordering but idk

-Futurama_Official-7397 karma

That's an Elon Musk question. - John

nstern24067 karma

How many butt tattoos of bender have you had to look at?

-Futurama_Official-6787 karma

Many, many...too many... I've seen more asses with a Bender tattoo than toilet seats. >John

jeppe963894 karma

Any chance we'll see more Futurama episodes or movies in the future? Please please please say yes!

-Futurama_Official-10142 karma

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

CigaretteCigarCigar3635 karma

The continuity is amazing, Nibbler's shadow under the desk, the Museum being free on Tuesday, and other such details. Are you guys really that planned out, and is there any off beat detail that you know us weirdos have missed?

Jedi-Guy3888 karma

On the episode "Fear of a Bot Planet", the mayor remarks that it's been 146,000 days of the annual human hunt with no success, and they before mentioned the planet was taken over by robots 400 years prior.

146,000 days equals 400 years. Love the math jokes more than anything.

-Futurama_Official-4743 karma

Can't write Futurama without a calculator! - David X. Cohen

tomgabriele1974 karma

Nibbler's shadow under the desk

Huh? Is that in the first episode? I seem to remember going back and it wasn't.

Edit: it is there, in my copy from the DVD @ 1:55

-Futurama_Official-4445 karma

IT'S THERE. - David X. Cohen

jamestporter2985 karma

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?

-Futurama_Official-6171 karma

Yes. Thanks for letting me get this off my chest. 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! - David X. Cohen

-Futurama_Official-5938 karma

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 nonstop unusable testicle jokes. We were going crazy, exasperated and fatigued with the all the balls puns that we were unable to stop making. Finally, someone wearily muttered, "This is not a productive area of discussion," and voila! Timeless comedy genius, plus we got to go home. Your friend, Matt

Jedi-Guy2317 karma

Bill West, do you think you'll sound like the Professor when you're an old, senile, 160 year old man?

I'm a HUGE fan of your work by the way sir. And Jon.

-Futurama_Official-3697 karma

Well, let's see. I'm 65 and I can do a 25 year-old's voice...so by 160 I shouldn't have a problem doing the voice of a 120 year-old. - BW

Preform_Perform2191 karma

Which would win in a fight, Luck of the Fryrish or Jurassic Bark?

-Futurama_Official-2985 karma

Jurassic Bark. In the third round. - BW

-Futurama_Official-2548 karma

Jurassic Bark. No question >John

icebice2136 karma

For John Dimaggio, I remember in one episode Bender ran into Jake from Adventure Time, Jake asked him "What time is it?" and Bender told him "Time for you to shut up!" Did anyone working on Adventure Time or Cartoon Network comment on that?

-Futurama_Official-2430 karma

Pendleton Ward is a big fan, and Matt is a big fan of his. - John

fauxman1927 karma

How much money would it take to crowdsource more futurama episodes?

-Futurama_Official-3872 karma

How much money you got? - John

Jedi-Guy1536 karma

Weirdest request ever: Sir Billy West, how much would you charge to call me on my birthday and say something to me in the Farnsworth voice? I could die a happy man after that, and it's been on my bucket list for awhile.

I'm totally serious, I would pay a dear price for such a favor.

-Futurama_Official-2687 karma

Send me a bitcoin or I'll hold the voice for ransom. (Nixon voice) Rrrransomware - BW

Leifsup1467 karma

So, we know Mom's first name is actually Carol, but do her, Walt, Larry, and Igner have a last name?

-Futurama_Official-3133 karma

Patric Verrone wrote the episode in which Mom first appeared, and he named her Edna Miller (his mother's name). We changed the first name to Carol, so there you go. Another useless Futurama factoid! Sincerely yours, Matt

mrsuns101340 karma

For John:

Bender is my favorite cartoon character of all time and I quote him daily! What was your favorite episode voicing Bender?

For Billy:

What was your favorite moment from playing Nixon's head in a jar? Also I grew up hearing your voice as Doug and Stimpy, so thank you for being a part of me growing up!

-Futurama_Official-2314 karma

When Nixon proclaimed 'the great taste of Charleston Chew' - BW

-Futurama_Official-1364 karma

My answer sucks: all of them. Sorry...>John

MonkeyManDan1298 karma

How much fun was it recording the DVD commentaries?

-Futurama_Official-2116 karma

It was a total party that would later pass as 'entertainment'. - BW

Pawai231248 karma

What was the inspiration for Zapp Brannigan? And what led to giving him no pants (genius by the way).

-Futurama_Official-2149 karma

He was based on a few big dumb announcers that I used to hear when I was growing up who would make a one syllable word into four to fill the air with their beautiful, wonderful, dumb voices. - BW

G0LDLU5T1163 karma

What the hell does "nine, ten, a big fat hen—the name's Bender" mean?

-Futurama_Official-2820 karma

It means we were stuck on a line for awhile, and Bender had to get us out of the scene. If you were looking for deeper meaning, look elsewhere. - writers

RedBullRyan1125 karma

What is the favourite musical number that you've recorded for the show? I'm a big fan of the Devil song with the Beastie Boys

-Futurama_Official-2321 karma

It has to be Robot's Devil's portion of Fry's Opera. That song was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Music and Lyrics (written by Ken Keeler), by the way. - BW

-Futurama_Official-1600 karma

Singing with Beck was pretty killer. - John

IT_god_in_training1055 karma

Have you ever thought about a series dedicated to the life of scruffy?

-Futurama_Official-2000 karma

Dialogue would be a series of grunts and moans. And uh-huhs. >John

SlaughterhouseIce91034 karma

My toddler found Futurama on Netflix, on her own, and loves it. I'm very proud of her, and it's nice to have something I can stand to watch with her. Just thought you should know, there's a brand new generation growing up on Futurama. Has anyone else told you about their kids watching Futurama?

-Futurama_Official-1874 karma

You are a bad parent, and now the authorities know. Expect child services to be knocking on your door sometime soon. HUGS! - John

-Futurama_Official-1444 karma

I think it's actually awesome. Kids are smarter than we give them credit for. - John

Doodle012975 karma

Hey Futurama team!

I love the show and have watched all of the seasons several times, and one of my favorite things about the series is the plethora of interesting and funny side characters. Whether they show up several times, such as Nixon’s head, or only for one episode, such as the Monks of Dschubba, the side characters help to make the show what it is.

My question is, what is everyone’s favorite side character from Futurama?

My personal favorite is the greeting card from the “Mother’s Day” episode.

Oh, and for Mr. Groening: can you tell us anything about your new show coming to Netflix?

Thanks for doing the AMA, and have a good day!

-Futurama_Official-2214 karma

New show question! Here you go: 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." Sincerely, Matt

-Futurama_Official-1283 karma

Roberto, and Transvestite Hookerbot. >John

climber_g33k482 karma

My girlfriend and I constantly quote Roberto. Thanks for bringing him to life!

-Futurama_Official-831 karma

That's Dave Herman. He's the man! >John

-Futurama_Official-956 karma

That Greeting Card voice is amazing. And I see now it is mis-attributed on some internet pages. The actress who actually did that part is Nicole St. John! She also appeared several more times doing the heart-breaking voice of Sally, the orphan girl with the ear on her forehead. (Some internet sites mistakenly credit the card voice as Tara Strong... great actress who played Bender's tap-dancing rival Tonya in Futurama ep 7ACV25!) - David X. Cohen

Tinkleheimer931 karma

What state is New New York in?

-Futurama_Official-1838 karma

New Jersey - John & Matt

PM_ME_Positive_Feels872 karma

Any Futurama fan knows there are some episodes that just sucker punch you right in the feels. As the writers/cast/crew, are there any episodes that were particularly emotional for you to create? If so, which and why?

P.S. thank you for giving me a show to feel at home with all my adult life. Futurama is love, is life.

-Futurama_Official-1716 karma

The last one. It killed me. >John

symbiosa823 karma

Thanks for doing this AMA, meatbags!

Matt: If you could go back in time and make any changes to Futurama's characters/plot lines, what would you do and why?

David: Were there any challenges that plagued the writers in the writing room? What were they and how were they resolved?

Billy and John: What's the strangest vocal direction that you've received in the booth? (Not necessarily during the production of Futurama)

-Futurama_Official-1697 karma

"Do it louder, but make sure it's still soft." - John

-Futurama_Official-1023 karma

For the last couple of years of the series, we had a 3-D printer in or near the writers room, running all day every day. It was a MakerBot "Replicator" kit model, assembled by Ken Keeler and Patric Verrone. The "plaguing" part was the noise and molten plastic fumes. Well worth it to print out some home-made Benders though. - David X. Cohen

Mutt1223816 karma

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

-Futurama_Official-1661 karma

Salted caramel. Bender's favorite flavor would be rust. - John

pm_me_nice_anecdotes711 karma

Is there any particular episode that you're especially attached to?

-Futurama_Official-1722 karma

Jake, the brick. Oh wait, wrong show, sorry >John

-Futurama_Official-1549 karma

I love all the anthology of interest episodes: Luck of the Fryrish, Jurassic Bark, and Roswell that ends well

  • John

-Futurama_Official-1709 karma

As a true cartoon fan, the episode, "Jurassic Bark" blew me away. I never thought a cartoon would have the resonance to evoke such a feeling of sadness. I was really sad. And, then I got mad at myself for my eyes misting up. - BW

tluckie709 karma

First off, I cannot thank you guys and the entire cast and crew of Futurama for creating such a personally influential piece of (dare I say it?) art.

David: How has your academic career influenced your writing? Was a career in writing something you pursued during grad school or did it 'just happen'?

Billy & John: Your ability to just slip into your characters is nothing short of magic, but I've always been curious to know what you do to warm-up before VO sessions.

Matt: I'll be moving to LA in a few weeks. In the incredibly rare possibility that I see you in public, what should I absolutely, positively, not do if we meet?

-Futurama_Official-1051 karma

Just don't ask for a bite of my taco. Burrito, yes. Taco, no. Regards, Matt

-Futurama_Official-899 karma

I gargle with Old Thompson, an ancient booze. I think John gargles with Old Crow, another ancient booze. - BW

-Futurama_Official-878 karma

Old Crow. The secret to my success. >John

-Futurama_Official-841 karma

To warm up, you can sing scales in the car. You can....I always look crazy in the car cause I'll be talking and singing and doing vocal warmups in the car. The car is the best place!!! Hot tea with lemon, entertainer's secret (which is a throat coat)...um...I think that will do for now. >John

Davis_Birdsong578 karma

For Billy:

Did you have to rest more than the other actors because you voiced so many characters on the show? Was there any character in particular that strained your voice more than the others?

If you have time for one more: Did it hurt to voice Jackie Puppet?

I'm a big fan of your work!

-Futurama_Official-887 karma

Thanks for being a fan! I'm not done yet so stay tuned. I'm a freak and I was basically designed to do that stuff- plus it's very cathartic to scream and yell in multiple voices. - BW

RedBullRyan568 karma

Billy: What was your favourite voice to do on the show?

-Futurama_Official-798 karma

I can't say honestly, I loved everything I was given the opportunity to interpret - BW

Rollarman511 karma

What the real percentage of metals that Bender is made out of?

You guys are amazing!

-Futurama_Official-1202 karma

The formula is quite simple... for all metals X, 40% X. - David X. Cohen

G0LDLU5T479 karma

Why is there a magician in Atlanta?

-Futurama_Official-826 karma

Search for the lyrics for The Donovan Song, "Atlantis" - John & writers

HomeroSanchez463 karma

Could we please make a monument in your honor, Matt Groening?

-Futurama_Official-1029 karma

Too late, I'm sculpting my own. - Matt G

viagrawal444 karma

We're finally starting to see some manifestation of smart robots in the home (Roomba, Kuri, even Amazon Echo). What does Bender think of these robots, and the others that will eventually be his ancestors?

-Futurama_Official-1165 karma

Yea, I tapped them. - Bender

jaf27350 karma

For Billy: what do you think Fry's best attribute is?

-Futurama_Official-1176 karma

His ability to become the central character of a cartoon show called Futurama. - BW

No-Titties-PLZ337 karma

My favorite episode is Roswell that ends well. What are your favorite episodes?!?!!?

-Futurama_Official-1026 karma

One of my faves. "Fry, you ever get the feeling you like girls cuz you're supposed to?" - John

hihungryimdadDOTcom318 karma

How do you feel about socks and sandals?

-Futurama_Official-1210 karma

Some people will eat anything - BW

hubristicCal184 karma

If you were in Fry's situation would you have boinked your own grandmother?

-Futurama_Official-407 karma

Strangest...question...ever... My grandmother wasn't very attractive, so...no. - John

ampsmith3164 karma

How fleshed out were the characters initially and how much of their "growth" happened naturally as the series progressed?

-Futurama_Official-306 karma

In the first season everything is kind of a work in progress, and ideas and voices morph over time. In other words, it becomes what it was supposed to be. - BW

DrCooorat127 karma

This question is for Billy and John,

What advice do you have for an aspiring voice actor? Is being located in Los Angeles a necessity or is there a better way to be recognized?

-Futurama_Official-384 karma

Well where the hell do you live? LOL

Being located in Los Angeles helps, or New York, or Chicago. But for the most part, the best way to be recognized is with your pants on. - John

OhTheStatic99 karma

One question about three different episodes!

In the episodes The Series has Landed, Amazon Women in the Mood, and The Deep South, Amy says something/swears in Cantonese, I believe. What exactly is she saying?

Thanks again for all the laughs!

-Futurama_Official-235 karma

She says "Ahh-da-see-nay Fot-cha-gooey!!"

Sorry - I couldn't afford a translator... - BW

WickedSushi81 karma

For David:

Would you rather fight 50 tiny Benders that are 3 feet tall, or a singular, 50 ft giant Bender,

For Billy:

What is John K (Ren & Stimpy) like?

For John:

What is Pendleton Ward like?

For Matt:


What is your reaction to that video? Does it look just like Bart?

-Futurama_Official-141 karma

I hate to speak ill of the dead. - BW

-Futurama_Official-136 karma

Ok, I'm going to answer the Pendleton Ward question. Way back when he was a young teenager (or maybe even younger), Pen's mom brought him over to my house for advice about animation. Neither of us remembers much about the meeting, except later Pen said he had fun playing video games with my son Abe. So I guess Abe is partly responsible for "Adventure Time." Cordially, Matt

-Futurama_Official-89 karma

The coolest cat. Uber nerd to the max. And always fun at a karaoke bar after a couple of pops >John

mymorningjacket56 karma

What do your bellybuttons smell like currently?

-Futurama_Official-163 karma

touches belly button and brings finger to nose

Totally clean. Why, do you wanna do shots out of it? - John

Rizface46 karma

My friend wants to know: What do you think of Canada?

-Futurama_Official-114 karma

I love Canada. Poutine, um....um...hockey! Trudeau!!! In a pink shirt!!!! And did I mention poutine? Seriously though, I love Canada. - John

-Futurama_Official-40 karma

Yeah, "my friend." Sure. Be proud, Rizface! Canada is the best. My dad, Homer Groening, was born there (near Beaver Flat, Saskatchewan). And I've heard other good things, too. Your pal, Matt

captainkool324 karma

Is life remarkably different when you have a lot of money?

-Futurama_Official-126 karma

Money can't buy you happiness, but it can buy you a big boat so you can sail right up close to happiness and say 'Hi'. - BW

befriends123410 karma

Who's your favorite character?

-Futurama_Official-26 karma

Zoidberg. - John

TheShadyGuy8 karma

John! I caught you at the House of Blues Sunset Strip beat boxing with Yonder Mountain String Band a few years ago. That was freaking awesome! How do you know the band? Just a fan that used your fame for the forces of kicking ass Bender style or what?

-Futurama_Official-10 karma

I am a very good friend of "the now departed from the band" Jeff Austin. We met at a jam band festival in Amsterdam called Jam in the Dam. He also did the title track for my documentary, "I Know That Voice". A great guy. - John

crowscountingspades5 karma

What does Bender have to say about the Fight for $15?

-Futurama_Official-10 karma

It depends on who I have to fight - John

mackedeli5 karma

What was the inspiration for the character bender?

-Futurama_Official-13 karma

I can tell you this about the voice, 3 things: a blend of Slim Pickens, every drunk at a bar on the North East Coast, and a character my friend from college, Ralph Columbino, named Charlie the Sausage Lover used to do. - John