Forty Percent Leadbelly

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Season 7 episode
Broadcast season 10 episode
Forty Percent Leadbelly
Forty Percent Leadbelly infobox.png
Bender performing as Ramblin' Rodriguez, at the restaurant T.G.I. Folky's.
Production number7ACV14
Written byKen Keeler
Directed byStephen Sandoval
Title captionAny Resemblance To Actual Future Is Purely Coincidental
First air date3 July 2013
Broadcast numberS10E04
Title referenceA running gag and the late American musician Lead Belly
Opening cartoon"In a Cartoon Studio"


Season 7
  1. The Bots and the Bees
  2. A Farewell to Arms
  3. Decision 3012
  4. The Thief of Baghead
  5. Zapp Dingbat
  6. The Butterjunk Effect
  7. The Six Million Dollar Mon
  8. Fun on a Bun
  9. Free Will Hunting
  10. Near-Death Wish
  11. 31st Century Fox
  12. Viva Mars Vegas
  13. Naturama
  14. Forty Percent Leadbelly
  15. 2-D Blacktop
  16. T.: The Terrestrial
  17. Fry and Leela's Big Fling
  18. The Inhuman Torch
  19. Saturday Morning Fun Pit
  20. Calculon 2.0
  21. Assie Come Home
  22. Leela and the Genestalk
  23. Game of Tones
  24. Murder on the Planet Express
  25. Stench and Stenchibility
  26. Meanwhile
← Season 6

"Forty Percent Leadbelly" is the one hundred and twenty-eighth episode of Futurama, the fourteenth of the seventh production season and the fourth of the tenth broadcast season. It aired on 3 July 2013, on Comedy Central. At a maximum-security prison, Bender meets a famous folk singer and attempts to make a copy of his precious guitar.


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On 27 January 2012, assistant director Aimee Steinberger commented that she could not go to the FOX-lot screening of the first full-color animation for "7ACV01"[1] due to her work on this episode.[2] On 14 February 2012, she said that the animatic for the episode was "done" and would be screened "[on the next day] at the FOX lot".[3] On the next day, she stated that she thought that it had gone "pretty well".[4]

As late as 8 January 2013,[5] it was revealed[6] that the title "Forty Percent Leadbelly", which had been, in February 2012, added to the Copyright Catalog[7] and said by show writer Eric Rogers to be the title of something "supergood",[8] was the episode's title.

On 12 April 2013, a preview clip for the episode was released during a HuffPost Live interview with Futurama writer Patric Verrone, showing Bender using the help of Dr. Ben Beeler to bring a guitar image stored in his file system into reality by use of a large 3D printer, the Make-O-Matic. The air date for the second half of season 7 was also revealed.[9]

Image gallery

Additional information



  • This is the only episode of the tenth broadcast season not to be featured in the Vulture preview clip.
  • The episode's title caption is similar to that of "The Route of All Evil".
  • Dr. Ben Beeler is named after Futurama writer Ken Keeler, who wrote this episode. Dr. Beeler also appeared in another episode written by Keeler, "Overclockwise", but he did not speak.
  • Part of the code in the guitar's formula for mass production reads "thankMakerBot". According to the commentary, the Make-O-Matic was modelled after a 3D printer that the Futurama crew had in the office, which Patric Verrone bought from New York's MakerBot Industries.
  • Bender's porn drive has a memory size of 100,000 terabytes and his main drive has the memory size of only 1 terabyte.
  • This episode confirms Dandy Jim's name, which was first used in a Volume Three menu.[10]
  • When Bender and Jezebel begin making out, a train goes into a tunnel, a metaphor for sexual penetration.
  • Bender is wrong, "octopi" is not a true plural form of "octopus" and originates from a misconception on Latin pluralization rules.[11][12][13]
  • The Bender duplicate says that his audience deserves better than some crappy, formulaic ending. This may be a reference to the fact that Ken Keeler wrote the finale.
  • Ramblin' Rodriguez's birth year is given as 2996. This may be Bender's "birth" year, making Bender 16 or 17 at the time of his "death".

Bender's file system


Click here to see cultural mentions made in this episode.



  • When the ship lands at the prison, the crew is already at the door.
  • When everyone is at T.G.I. Folky's, Hermes doesn't have a pipe in the first shot but later on he does.
  • In the scene where Bender is lying in bed with Jezebel, the left sleeve of his shirt isn't outlined.
  • In the scene where Fry and Leela are watching TV in Fry and Bender's apartment, the shot depicting the television set is clearly the one used for the Planet Express employee lounge.
  • Leela states that Big Caboose, Duplicate Fry, and Cookie are simply creations from Bender's song, but Bender met Big Caboose and Cookie before he wrote the song.
    • She is referring to the Big Caboose that was in the apartment. She may also be saying that she met Cookie herself, sometime after Bender presumably wrote him into his song.
  • Dr. Beeler says that a duplicate was created as a decoy in Star Trek: The Next Generation, but, in "Where No Fan Has Gone Before", Star Trek had been outlawed.
    • Dr. Beeler could have found an illegal method of watching Star Trek.


The prism railroad, which appeared in "The 30% Iron Chef".

    [Bender has the rotating image of a guitar projecting from his eyes. He and Ben Beeler are looking at it.]
    Ben Beeler: Using my fancy technology, I can make an exact copy of this guitar.
    [Ben Beeler points to the copy.]
    Bender: Tell me Dr. Beeler, will I need to threaten you?
    Ben Beeler: Not at all! You see nowadays, we can take a unique and beautiful object, and easily reduce it to a formula for mass production! I call the process: science!

    [A large 3D printer-like device called the Make-O-Matic begins to create a guitar downloaded from Bender's memory.]
    Ben Beeler: By laying down layer after layer of nano plastic, it can turn your wildest dreams into ordinary reality!
    Bender: Witchcraft! Sorcerer! Neat.

    Bender: You're always gett'n' frozen in stuff. It's your thing, man!

    Bender: I failed at my life-long dream again. How can I be so bad at everything I try, and still be so great?

    Fry: You know my favourite part of your song? The part where it ended.
    [Fry laughs.]

Alien-language sightings

    Time: 08:52
    Location: Fence next to The Rusty Rail
    Language: AL1
    Translation: WILCOT WAS HERE


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(In alphabetic order)


Characters at the funeral



Notes and references

  1. ^ Aimee Steinberger (27 January 2012). aimeekitty. (Twitter.) Retrieved on 27 January 2012.
  2. ^ Aimee Steinberger (27 January 2012). aimeekitty. (Twitter.) Retrieved on 27 January 2012.
  3. ^ Aimee Steinberger (14 February 2012). aimeekitty. (Twitter.) Retrieved on 15 February 2012.
  4. ^ Aimee Steinberger (15 February 2012). aimeekitty. (Twitter.) Retrieved on 16 February 2012.
  5. ^ Eric Rogers (08 January 2012). EricRogersLA. (Twitter.) Retrieved on 15 January 2012.
  6. ^ FoxFast: Futurama. ( Retrieved on 09 January 2013.
  7. ^ "Just Fan" (08 February 2012). "Futurama: Futurama News after 6ACV26 (Reincarnation)" (page 18). (PEEL.) Retrieved on 15 January 2013.
  8. ^ Eric Rogers (08 February 2012). Kitchelfilms. (Twitter.) Retrieved on 15 January 2013.
  9. ^ a b 'Futurama' Writer Shares Exclusive New Clip. (HuffPost Live.) 13 April 2013. Retrieved on 13 April 2013.
  10. ^ Special Features > Still Gallery on Volume Three, disc 4.
  11. ^ octopus: definition of octopus in Oxford dictionary (British & World English). (Oxford English Dictionary.) Retrieved on 13 July 2013.
  12. ^ Search Chambers - Free English Dictionary. (Chambers Dictionary.) Retrieved on 13 July 2013.
  13. ^ Definition of octopus. (Collins English Dictionary.) Retrieved on 13 July 2013.
  14. ^ Possibly a play on ".kp" and ".jpg".
  15. ^ A play on "3D" and ".pdf".