It's been an interesting journey for the Planet Express crew in the 31st Century. Beginning on Fox in 1999, by creator Matt Groening ('The Simpsons') 'Futurama' lasted 5 seasons, originally cancelled in 2003. The show would live on through four direct-to-video feature lengths ('Bender's Big Score', 'The Beast with a Billion Backs', 'Bender's Game' and 'Into the Wild Green Yonder'). Comedy Central would resurrect the series in 2010 giving 'Futurama' a little more room to breathe, without the FCC pressure on network television. This "rebirth" was quite a success as it ran for 52 episodes, ultimately ending in it's second cancellation just last week. With the series concluded (again) I want to take a look back over the past 140 episodes and remember some of the lesser known characters that made us laugh throughout the years.
"The Top 25 Best Supporting Character's in 'Futurama'"
Before I begin, this is In Memoriam to the fallen Planet Express crew:
Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth
Doctor John A. Zoidberg
Bender Bending Rodriguez
Philip J. Fry
We will all dearly miss the Planet Express crew, and this post should not take away from the greatness of the main cast. They were the heart and soul of the show. Their exploits and adventures were what kept us coming back. Their relationships and lives are what kept us interested. But, it is certainly safe to say that without the following list of characters, some of the greatest 'Futurama' moments would have never existed. This is a salute to the characters we may not have seen much (some only once) but when we did, they left their mark.
All the following characters are great, though this is how entertaining I find them.
#25 Reverend Lionel Preacherbot
He is your stereotypical Southern Evangelist. Leader of the Church of Robotology. He is an active opponent of Robosexuality (the love between a robot and a human) but is secretly a Robosexual himself.
#24 Joey Mousepad
Part of the Donbot's Robot Mafia, Joey Mousepad is your typical big, dumb, tough-guy Italian mobster; voice, mannerisms and style included (mousepad/mouse gold chain necklace).
"Yo! There's our pigeon now. Let's shoot bullets out of our guns."
"Yo! The Mafia supports you. But don't tell no one. Spread the word."
#23 Leonardo da Vinci
#22 Tinny Tim
'Futurama's' take on the classic "A Christmas Carol" character, Tiny Tim. Tinny Tim is a robot that is actually programmed to be a poor beggar. He walks with a limp and cane and is also the center of much verbal abuse from those around him, most notably Bender.
This character really dates this show. Elzar is of course 'Futurama's' equivalent of Emeril Lagasse, world famous chef, whose cooking show was a hit sensation in the early 2000's. Elzar emulates every essence of Emeril, from his signature catch phrases "Kick it up a notch, Bam!" to his show "The Essence of Elzar" and his love of spices (with a weasel). Elzar was the perfect satirical version of one of the time's most well known celebrities.
The leader of the Robot Mafia, the Donbot is exactly what he is. The Don Bot. He is your Vito Corleone, Tony Soprano and Al Capone of robots; a fat Italian that runs a crime syndicate.
Scruffy is the unseen and uncared about Janitor of the Planet Express crew. He is primarily known for his avoidance of doing anything related to his actual job.
#17 Hedonism Bot
#16 Robot Santa
Pazuzu is the gargoyle in which Professor Farnsworth owned and put through college. He was granted his freedom for saving the Professor's life, and is now bound to grant the Professor 3 wishes. This shows off the very outside the box creative writing from the 'Futurama' staff.
Hyper-Chicken! The stereotypical Southern attorney, you know, the kind that is always given the voice of Colonel Sanders from the Louisiana bayou.
#13 Famous Heads
This one is kind of a cheat. Basically any notable celebrity was featured as a preserved head in this show; including every President of the United States. Their presence on the show was one of the many ways 'Futurama' could stay within our time and be relevant to current events, while still being set 1000 years into the future. Notable Heads include: Leonard Nimoy, George Takei, Al Gore, Conan O'Brien, Sylvester Stallone, William Shatner, Napolean, David Duchovny and probably a hundred more.
#12 Richard Nixon
#11 Headless Body of Spiro Agnew
#10 Zapp Brannigan
The most cocky, self-assured General of the Democratic Order of the Planets and Captain of the Nimbus. In reality he is one of the dumbest and weakest men in the world. A self-obsessed ladies man, he is also one of the series most popular and most featured characters.
Hyptnotoad is constantly...hypnotizing. With the power to hypnotize anybody and everyone at once, the Hypnotoad could be the most powerful being in the 31st Century. He is also a highly recognizable public figure having many shows and TV appearances in the 'Futurama' world.
#8 The Harlem Globetrotters
Featured in, perhaps, my favorite episode of 'Futurama' ever, "Time Keeps on Slippin'", the Harlem Globetrotters, living on the Globetrotter Homeworld, are not only the Universe's best basketball players; they are also some of the greatest scientific minds.
Nibbler is not only the cutest member of the Planet Express crew but also the oldest and most wisest. Nibbler was introduced as Leela's pet, and as the series went on, his deep and rich history was revealed. He is a member of the Nibblonian race; one of the Universe's oldest. He is one of the most interesting characters with a very developed background.
The criminally insane robot who is constantly trying to stab anyone in his way. He is one of the most comedic characters in the shows diverse history.
#4 Robot Devil (Beelzebot)
The Robot Devil is one of the series best creations. He is the ruler of Robot Hell and he is a notorious gambler who thinks of unique and creative ways to punish his robot souls. He is featured throughout the series, which are some of the best episodes of all time.
#2 Francis X. Clampazzo (Clamps)
#1 Morbo the Annihilator
'Futurama's' most beloved news anchor, who openly and outwardldy wants to kill them all and take over their planet. His news reports are filled with disgust and hatred towards the Earthicans and I think it's some of the funniest stuff 'Futurama' has ever done. I love this character, and I hope we have not seen the last of him.
Is this really the end for 'Futurama'? History says, "No" and I think they might be right. As the Series Finale said from the title card, "Avenge Us". It is confirmed we will see the Planet Express crew again on an upcoming episode of 'The Simpsons' this season and something tells me we might see them showing up on Fox in a time slot of their own again. Only the future knows.
|Can you name them all?|
*This is not historical fact, idiot.