Commentary:Xmas Story

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Commentary for
Xmas Story
Xmas Story.jpg
Production number2ACV04
Recorded date2001
On DVDSeason 2
Disc 1
Matt Groening
Executive producer
David X. Cohen
Writer, executive producer
Rich Moore
Supervising director
Peter Avanzino
Paul D. Calder
Bill Odenkirk
John DiMaggio
Actor (Bender, etc.)

Topics of Discussion

  • When Conan O'Brien left The Simpsons, David immediately took his desk and started working there. O'Brien left a note for whoever would take the office informing them among other things that the window was sticky, where the garbage was and which corner of the office to urinate in.
    • Animation of heads in jars is harder if, like O'Brien, they stick out of the jar slightly.
  • Matt says that Bender falling off the cliff and through the ice is one of the best moments in Futurama.
    • The skating kids are a homage to Peanuts, and are all dead now.
  • The snow and rain in Futurama, according to Cohen, is better than any other show, including live action shows.
  • The medal Farnsworth won is a bronze. It was decided that a gold would be too far fetched.
  • A commentator's mother, a teacher, only ever commented on one thing in the series the use of "aks"
    • In early production they considered regular use of updated words such as "aks" and "li-bary".
  • The scenes around the Xmas tree were written to be in the lounge, but they decided it would work better in the bigger room in which the Smell-o-scope is kept.
  • Unlike The Simpsons, female characters are used for slapstick comedy.
  • This episode's plot was one of the earliest developed, with the gist of it worked out before the pilot's
  • It is incredibly difficult to storyboard movement of characters and the camera in a round room.
  • Humans have designed and built robots that serve no purpose or endanger them, such as homeless robots, Santa and the Robot Mafia.
    • However this can be explained by the robots building themselves.
  • The Store Clerk was last seen in "A Fishful of Dollars".
  • Bongo from Life in Hell appears
  • Frank Welker is the parrot, it took a lot of work to make it more and more annoying as the episode progressed.
  • Hermes' chair was designed so that his butt would hang out of it.
  • Clock tower is based on the film Safety Last, The New Yorker then stole the joke from them.
  • Voice of Santa was John Goodman here but later became John DiMaggio
  • Episode was controversial, and the network forbid them from airing the subsequent Xmas episode at 7pm.
    • The show was never intended to be aired at 7pm.
    • The the clock at the end is set to be the time at which the episode was to air.
  • The "trash pickup" line was re-written about 10 times.

Highlights / Quotes

  • Matt Groening: I'm Matt Groening. I hung around a little bit.
  • Bill Odenkirk: It's only marginally more difficult to get a live head to live in a jar, than to animate it.
  • Unknown: I always love doing Bender dancing, it always comes with a really good song.


  • Cohen mistakes "A Fishful of Dollars" for episode 104, whereas it was actually 106
  • The time on the tower clock sometimes first has six digits, then viewed up close five digits and in the credits it has six digits again.