After seven years on TV Ice-Catraz, Futurama is coming back to Comedy Central in June, with 26 episodes on order. Earlier today, comedycentral.com posted a 30-second teaser trailer for the relaunched series which, while it might not send fans into paroxysms of laughter, will at least elicit some nostalgia.
With that nostalgia lighting our hearts afire, at least until we remember Bender’s Game, we thought we’d revisit the eight best minor characters from the original run of Futurama: (The Benders and John A. Zoidbergs of the world are disqualified here.)
8. Hedonism Bot
This grape-loving, solid gold bon vivant (built with taxpayer money, of course) is a decadent, vomiting opera patron, and he has no regrets. Interesting tidbit from Infosphere: “In the season three commentary, Matt Groening points out the importance of the name being hedonism bot and not hedonist bot – he is not only hedonist, he is the actual personification of hedonism.”
Goro-like smarmy space chef Elzar is one of those Futurama touches that’s at once quaint and endearing: An Emeril parody? Really? So early 2000s. But instead of saying “give it some bam!” Elzar just likes to shout “Bam!” a lot, often quite threateningly.
6. Fry’s Dog, Seymour
Whereas most of the other characters on this list are here for comedic purposes, Fry’s dog, Seymour, is here for pathos: The episode he appears in, “Jurassic Bark,” is unexpectedly sad and touching. There’s even a Facebook group called “I cried for the dog episode of Futurama.” Not going to spoil the episode here, but there’s a YouTube video of you want to see the tear-jerker of an ending.
Whew! Back to comedy. Beelzebot, a.k.a. the Robot Devil, not only rules over Robot Hell (in New Jersey), he can play a mean fiddle. See for yourself:
4. Richard Nixon’s head
Matt Groening definitely has a weird Richard Nixon obsession: see: The Simpsons. How to port him into the future? Easy: put his disembodied head in a jar and make him evil, funny, and still very capable of winning elections. You don’t get your face (and the jar it’s in) on the $1000 and $300 bills by catering to Communists.
3. The Hyper-Chicken
Just plead insanity! The half-Jimmy Stewart, half-Foghorn Leghorn Hyper-Chicken is not actually a particularly good lawyer, but his track record is not bad, when he’s not terrifying young witnesses (see below). And while he may just be a simple Hyper-Chicken, he knows when he’s finger-licked.
2. Harold Zoid
Zoidberg’s vaudevillian director uncle has some of the best lines in the series, which Hollywood would do well to listen to: “Just because its a dramatic scene doesn’t mean you cant do a little comedy in the background.” “You know, through all my ups and downs, I always thought the most important thing in life was to win an Oscar. But tonight, I realized what’s really important is to win two Oscars. I’m kidding, I’m kidding.”
In terms of sheer character, Harold Zoid would actually be our #1 favorite, except…
ALL GLORY TO THE HYPNOTOAD.
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