Number Seven: The Title ‘Futurama’ Comes from a General Motors Exhibit
Futurama was an exhibit at the 1939 General Motors World’s Fair, which took place in New York City. Designed by Norman Bel Geddes, it was meant to be a look 20 years into the future. Among other things, the installation featured an automated highway system that proposed a solution to traffic congestion.
Number Six: The Alien Language Had to Be Changed Twice
The hieroglyphic Alien language system present in the background of most episodes was created as an inside joke to test the intelligence and determination of the fans of the show, who proved to have excelled on the matter. Because they kept figuring out what these messages meant, the show creators had to come up with two new “dialects” throughout the series.
Number Five: Zapp Brannigan’s Voice Was Based on Phil Hartman
It’s no surprise, considering that Matt Groening is the creator and head writer of both shows (Futurama and The Simpsons). Besides a striking physical resemblance between these characters, Zapp’s voice was meant to be modeled after that of Phil, from The Simpsons.
Number Four: Fry’s Dog Is an Homage to Hachiko
One of the most touching scenes in the show is the one in which we find out that Fry’s faithful dog has been waiting for him at his workplace for years until finally passing away. That is the same situation (minus the whole cryogenization thing) the famous Japanese dog Hachiko went through when his owner passed away at work. Hachiko, who used to welcome his owner at the train station every day, waited for his master to return from work for over 10 years outside the Shibuya train station, in Tokyo.
Number Three: There Is an Episode Solely of the Hypnotoad
“Everybody Loves Hypnotoad”, from the Bender’s Big Score extras (the first of four straight-to-DVD Futurama movies), is a 22 minute-long episode featuring nothing but the Hypnotoad, which concludes with a voiceover saying that “the audience will wake up remembering nothing and feeling refreshed.” The title of the episode is a reference to the CBS TV series Everybody Loves Raymond.
Number Two: Stephen Hawking Voiced Himself on Futurama
Hawking seems to be a fan of the show, something he proved by not only appearing in three episodes but also dubbing himself in all of them. Writer and Executive Producer David X. Cohen claimed to have had a great time with Mr. Hawkins during his voice-acting gig in the show. Hawkins also dubbed himself in The Simpsons.
Number One: Matt Groening Bought the Rights for 30th Century Fox
Fox executives, who owned the rights to the show during its first 4 seasons, did not quite enjoy Groening’s idea of showing a “30th Century Fox television” sign at the end of the episodes. However, Matt wasn’t willing to give up his idea, so he went ahead and purchased the rights to the name and design of the slogan.