Commentary:Teenage Mutant Leela's Hurdles

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Commentary for
Teenage Mutant Leela's Hurdles
Teenage Mutant Leela's Hurdles.jpg
Production number4ACV09
Recorded date7 April, 2003
On DVDSeason 4
Disc 2
Matt Groening
Executive Producer
David X. Cohen
Executive Producer, Writer
Rich Moore
Supervising Director
Jeff Westbrook
Bret Haaland
John DiMaggio
Actor (Bender, miscellaneous)
Maurice LaMarche
Actor (Not in episode)

Topics of Discussion

  • Matt Groening leaves during the introduction to make a phone call and doesn't return.
  • The initial idea for the episode was to have Leela live with her parents.
  • Only a few of the vehicles during the scene where Professor Farnsworth drove the Planet Express Ship needed to be created from scratch.
  • The space station blown up is Deep Space Nine, from the Star Trek series of the same name.
    • Leela's book's cover features an alien based on the Gorn from Star Trek.
  • The 2000 election recounts.
  • Deleted scenes included Farnsworth selecting soft foods at the salad bar.
  • This commentary was recorded a little over a week after the episode premiered.
  • Popularity of botulism injections and use as an actual medical treatment.
  • Actors needed to adjust their voices for the character variations.
    • The commentators are especially impressed by those of Billy West, due to the sheer number of variations required of him.
      • The producers considered nominating him for an Emmy.
  • Designing younger versions of characters.
    • Fry and Leela already had some young versions in earlier episodes.
    • Zoidberg's progression through various species.
    • Bender's younger forms include the antennae ears that were in the early concept art.
  • The race was inspired by Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace's Podracers.
  • The (mostly) scientific origins of the oil eating bacteria.
  • David X. Cohen once lost an auction of trilobite fossils to Nicholas Cage.
  • Pazuzu is named for the Assyro-Babylonian god Pazuzu, king of the demons of the wind, and was also the name of the demon in The Exorcist.
    • David questioning if perhaps it was in the Dungeons & Dragons sourcebook Deities & Demigods, and being told it isn't. (It's instead in the Monster Manual, and one of the types of creatures that worship it are gargoyles.)
  • Maurice LaMarche is credited despite not acting. Brian Cowan, a producer who happened to be there, confirmed that Maurice won't be paid for the episode.

Highlights / Quotes

    Jeff Westbrook: We always like to get the Professor naked, it's one of our favourite visuals.
    Bret Haaland: Maybe one of yours.

    Maurice LaMarche: Where did you guys come up with the notion of not having me in the episode?
    David X. Cohen: That was fairly early on, Maurice.
    Maurice LaMarche: [nearly Lrrr] What, what am I doing here again?
    Randy [He pulls alongside Farnsworth and tells him to speed up]
    John DiMaggio: Hey!
    Cohen: That was John as Randy - his favorite part.
    DiMaggio: Randy, I li-- [overly effeminate voice] 'Randy's fabulous

    David X. Cohen: It's a shame Billy's not here. We may submit this episode for Billy for the Emmy in fact, 'cause Billy is doing the Professor, Fry and Doctor Zoidberg. But their voices are all changing throughout the episode.
    Jeff Westbrook: That's true.
    Cohen: In a consistent fashion. Zoidberg's doesn't really change.
    Westbrook: That's pretty much part of Zoidberg.
    Cohen: But it's pretty much a tour-de-force, I'd say.
    Westbrook: It is.
    John DiMaggio: "Billy is a tour-de-force.
    Westbrook: When we were writing it we were certainly aware- we thought it'd be challenging for the actors. So we figured Maurice could maybe not do this one.
    Maurice LaMarche: Yeah.
    [DiMaggio laughs heartily.]

    ["Also Starring Maurice LaMarche" appears in the credit roll]
    Maurice LaMarche: "But I wasn't in that one! Why did I get a credit?
    John DiMaggio: [whispering] Shut up!
    David X. Cohen: Did you get a credit?
    LaMarche: Yes!
    Bret Haaland [?]: I don't know, but...
    DiMaggio: Did you get paid?
    LaMarche: Does that mean I get a check!?
    Cohen: Brian Cowan happens to be here right now - our producer. Brian - Brian, check in to that, make sure Maurice isn't getting paid.
    LaMarche: Yeah, pretty sure I don't get any money for this one.
    Haaland [?]: Strike him from those credits!
    Rich Moore [?]: "...Says he's not, we're okay."