Bender Should Not Be Allowed on Television
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|Season 4 episode|
Broadcast season 5 episode
|Bender Should Not Be Allowed on Television|
|Written by||Lewis Morton|
|Directed by||Brian Sheesley|
|Title caption||Controlling you through a chip in your butt since 1999|
|First air date||3 August, 2003|
|Title reference||Parent groups who spoke out against Futurama, particularly Bender.|
|Opening cartoon||Much Ado About Mutton|
"Bender Should Not Be Allowed on Television" is the sixtieth episode of Futurama, the sixth of the fourth production season and the fifteenth of the fifth broadcast season. It aired on 3 August, 2003, on Fox. Bender becomes a television star as well as a terrible role model for children.
Act I: "For I have AMNESIA!"
Cubert and Dwight are dreaming of imitating anything they see on TV, particularily anything on All My Circuits, like amnesia which seems to have every character in its grip. As Calculon is throwing a big birthday party on screen, Cubert wants to have a big party too - but do clones even have birthdays? Professor Farnsworth says no, but he concedes that they can celebrate the day he scraped the cells for the cloning process off his back - thirteen years ago the next week. Around this time it will be Dwight's birthday too, so Hermes has the idea of combining both events in one party at the office and writing it off as business expense. Meanwhile, on All My Circuits, Antonio is having a technical breakdown, and the popular show "Everybody Loves Hypnotoad" is put on. Dwight's and Cubert's party is not a success, no one has turned up except the crew, their families and Tinny Tim, but Bender brings the news that All My Circuits is holding an open casting call for a child robot to replace Antonio and that he is intending to take it. At the audition, Bender boos out every competitor which makes Calculon reject them, and when it is Benders turn, he is accepted because Fry and Leela are cheering madly, despite the fact that Bender can't act.
Act II: "Now my character has a British accent?"
The first shooting in the studio starts with a disappointment for Bender, as his character is supposed to be in a coma. Bender, however, decides to do a little improvisation and does what he does best - singing, dancing, and smoking. Calculon decides to take the scene, as he never does two takes. After seeing the result, Calculon decides to fire Bender. But then, the Execu-Bots who run the network show up and decide that Bender stays on the show, for he stimulates the audience and is likely to make them rich. Bender becomes a TV star by doing the things he loves - smoking, drinking and stealing. Cubert, Dwight and even Tinny Tim embrace their new role model at once and imitate everything they see him do on TV. The Professor and Hermes are appalled and decide to form a protest group, Fathers Against Rude Television a.k.a. F.A.R.T.. Cubert, Dwight and Tim decide to rob Bender in a desperate effort to imitate him without throwing up from drink or cigars.
Act III: "I once put a laugh-track on a sitcom that had no jokes in it!"
The burglary at Robot Arms Apts. goes as planned, and the three of them throw a huge party for all children they know with the cool stuff they nicked from Bender. The Professor and Hermes crash the party, and Farnsworth finds out with his Cool-O-Meter that Dwight and Cubert are exceptionally cool with all the stuff, and ask where it came from. Cubert and Dwight break down and confess, strengthening their parents resolve to do something against their role model. Bender suddenly emerges from a safe stolen by the boys, where he was apparently sleeping. At first Bender defends himself, but when he finds out the kids stole from him, he immediately does a 180° turn and now says that Bender should not be allowed on TV himself. Logically he joins FART and organizes a march on Hollywood. He wants to quit, but the network does not let him go and forces him to stay by force of arms. The Professor wants to resort to violence to solve the problem, bringing Bender between the fronts. He tricks both armed persons and seizes their guns so he can hold a climatic speech in peace. He states that violence, crime and drug abuse should not be shown to kids, but that a big share of the blame rests with the parents who just can't shut off the TV once in a while. With their differences solved, the crew has learned an important lesson - and congregates in front of the TV to celebrate this fact.
- This is one among few Futurama media featuring its title, as the name of the episode is directly quoted by Bender.
- This episode's theme song is remixed with John DiMaggio beatboxing and Billy West providing some "Zoidberg, Zoidberg, Z-Z-Z-Z-Zoidberg" interjections.
- Fry is seen reading a Space Boy in Outer Space comic, the cover of which matches the 1979 issue previously seen in "Monkey Sea, Monkey Doom!".
- There is a cardboard cut-out of Slurms MacKenzie facing out Fry and Bender's window.
- The song "TV Party" by the punk band Black Flag is featured in this episode twice: First, in Act 2 when Bender is introduced in the theme song of All My Circuits but right before Dwight smokes his dad's cigar. The second time is during the ending credits; however, this version is sung by the voice actors.
- The sound effect during the Curiosity Company logo at the end is replaced by the Hypnotoad's "angry machine" sound effect.
- In "Attack of the Killer App", Bender appears in an eyePhone mash-up of an All My Circuits episode.
Calculon: [after Bender having auditioned] That was so terrible I think you gave me cancer! I don't care how popular you are, you will never work on my show!
Fry: [outside] Yay Bender!
Leela: [outside] We demand Bender!
Calculon: However you've got the job.
Fry: [watching Everybody Loves Hypnotoad] This show has been going downhill since Season Three.
Bender: Stupid dumb coma. Could have been British.
Leela: As unclean as it makes me feel, I agree with Bender. Kids don't turn rotten just by watching TV.
Fry: Yeah. Give a little credit to our public schools.
Bender: Bender should not be allowed on television!
Professor Farnsworth: Oh, I'm getting a reading of over forty Mega-Fonzies!
Bender: TV would stink if everyone on it was a positive role model.
Fry: Pft! What kind of bozos would form a Bender protest group?
Professor Farnsworth: Good news, everyone! Hermes and I have formed a Bender protest group.
Dr. Zoidberg: That was uncanny.
- The Hypnotoad from "The Day the Earth Stood Stupid" now has its own TV series, Everybody Loves Hypnotoad (which, according to Fry, has been going downhill since season three, though the fact that Fry is the only one who isn't brainwashed by the show is a reference to not having the Delta brainwave, which he lost when he had sex with the woman who turned out to be his grandmother and became his own grandfather).
- A poster of the movie 'Le Petit Thief', starring Harold Zoid, can be seen in the background of the casting office.
- As the FARTers are marching down the street, a poster for The Scary Door, a popular TV show in the Futurama universe, is seen on one of the studio doors.
- Bender's banjo makes its fourth appearance.
- All My Circuits is running up to new heights of soap opera in this episode, imitating just about every other soap opera. Especially the much-liked amnesia is omnipresent in the first two minutes.
- Emotitron Jr., one of the child robots who auditions for the part of Antonio, is a spoof of the classic movie Mommie Dearest. In the episode the mother hits her child screaming "no... more... hanging... wires!" while in the movie she hits her daughter with clothes hangers screaming "no more wire hangers!".
- Calculon said that he only did one take. This may be an allusion to filmmaker Ed Wood, who usually used only one take to make his films.
- The Execu-Bots are a spoof of the executives of every TV network and their weird policies that at times seem like random mental spasms.
- The alarm that is set off when the Execu-Bots are coming is the same as the Red alert in Star Trek.
- The Cool-O-Meter used by the prof determines coolness by Fonzies, this is a reference of Fonzie, the coolest character of the TV show Happy Days.
- Calculon says he never does two takes. In "That's Lobstertainment!" he did at least 95 takes on one scene.
- When the FART mob shows up, Calculon mentions "great Shatner's ghost", even though William Shatner's head is still alive. However, some argue this may simply be a thespian quip.
- 7¹¹ clerk
- Debut: 7¹¹ Robot
- Debut: Antonio Calculon, Jr.
- Brett Blob
- Debut: Casting woman
- Debut: Charles
- Debut: Director
- Debut: Emotitron Jr.
- Debut: Executive Alpha
- Debut: Executive Beta
- Debut: Executive Gamma
- Professor Farnsworth
- Harold Zoid (cameo, unknown moment)
- Horrible Gelatinous Blob
- Debut: Jay Leno's head (cameo, unknown moment)
- Debut: McCauley Caulcon
- Debut: President of the network
- Debut: Robber-bot
- Debut: Stage Mom 7.0
- Tinny Tim
- William Shatner (mentioned in speech only)