In animation, the "people hose" or "audience hose" is a term used to describe the filling of stock characters into crowd scenes or other scenes requiring activity from non-speaking characters. In Futurama, this is an automated process, done after the important characters for a scene are inserted manually. However the hose is not without faults, occasionally leaving overlapping or duplicated characters in a crowd.
Animators for Futurama have a certain array of stock characters, ready to be inserted into scenes when required. These stock characters usually fulfil some kind of people type for the scene.
In certain scenes, such as stock exchange in "Future Stock" or the conference in "Crimes of the Hot", the stock characters require to be a certain kind of people, business people and scientists in those two scenes respectively.
In general, there are three generic types of stock characters, non-speaking, speaking and gag/Easter egg characters. The last, of course, is seldom used.
Speaking stock characters are generally only used as a method of getting a crowd scene some interaction from the crowd.
These characters may only speak once, despite appearing on several occasions.
Another one is the Decapodian business woman in "A Fishful of Dollars" who bids for the Angry Norwegian anchovies, but also appears later at the Intergalactic Stock Exchange in "Future Stock" as well as being one of the Decapodians on board the Mobile Oppression Palace in "A Taste of Freedom".
Characters in the Hose
- Head of the ACLU
- Crack Addict
- 21st Century Girl
- Underwater House Salesman
- Unnamed Fat Guy
Gag/Easter egg characters
This is perhaps the most seldom form of the stock character used, as it is intended from the beginning to be used as a joke or recurring gag. The best example of such a character is the Number 9 Man, who appears in several episodes in season 1 and season 2, but it is only really noticeable because of his number 9 shirt.
He later makes a reappearance in Into the Wild Green Yonder as a major character.