Futurama, perhaps the most severely underrated and criminally mistreated show in television history, has proved to be one of the most interesting depictions yet of a futuristic world. Here are 15 things you probably didn’t know about the show. Stay tuned for part two, coming soon!
Number Fifteen: Bender’s Binary Reference on Futurama
Remember Bender’s apartment? The number on its door reads 00100100, which is binary code for 36, which is ASCII code for $. A little pun that makes perfect sense for such a greedy, narcissistic character.
Number Fourteen: Owls Replace Rats and Pigeons
It’s been an under-the-radar running joke on the show since it first aired in 1999. According to Futurama, there will be no rats or pigeons in the future, and owls will take their place as the most ubiquitous of the city animal pests.
Number Thirteen: It Has Been Cancelled Twice
Having been aired erratically during its first four seasons, Fox decided to cancel the show altogether in 2002, despite having new episodes ready to be aired. It came back on TV three years later, when Comedy Central acquired the rights to the show. On April 2013, the channel announced the date for the series finale, which aired on September that year.
Number Twelve: Bender Was Named After a Character From the Breakfast Club
The name for the infamous robot was picked by show creator and writer Matt Groening, inspired by The Breakfast Club’s vicious character, John Bender. Both sarcastic, witty, rebellious and falling on the jerk side of the spectrum, it’s undeniable that Judd Nelson’s famed role was a source of inspiration for Futurama’s writing staff.
Number Eleven: Leela’s Costume Was Inspired by ‘Alien’
What do Alien, Red Planet and Terminator 2 have in common? They are all sci-fi movies with strong leading heroines. All of these powerful ladies wear similar outfits: dark pants and a tight, white tank top. Leela, who is a strong heroine in a sci-fi production herself, borrowed her costume from these iconic ’90s movies.
Number Ten: Fry’s Outfit Was Modeled After James Dean
Blue jeans, white shirt, red jacket. No, it’s not a Lana del Rey song—it’s James Dean’s outfit in Rebel Without a Cause. Fry’s clothes were copied exactly as they appear in the movie. The show creators decided to imitate every detail, including Dean’s famous toupée.
Number Nine: Bender Uses an Atari Microprocessor
On episode “Fry & the Slurm Factory”, Bender gets his head “F-rayed”, which lets the viewer take a look at his microprocessor. His chip reads 6502; that happens to be the same processor used in Atari and Apple II systems back in the early ’80s. Since the show takes place in 2999, that would make it a 1038-year old processor.
Number Eight: Fry’s Voice Actor Has Dubbed Almost Everyone
He dubbed Bugs Bunny on Space Jam, Mr. Holloway on King of the Hill and Popeye on Popeye’s voyage. But not only that; he was the voice-over actor for most of the characters in the show, including Fry, Dr. Zoidberg, Professor Farnsworth, Zapp Brannigan, Richard Nixon and Leo Wong, among many others. Stay tuned for part two, coming soon!