Transcript:Commentary:Fear of a Bot Planet

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Transcript of commentary for
"Fear of a Bot Planet"
Transcribed bySvip
Commentary participants
  • Note: One question mark in bold (?) means that the speaker was not identified by the transcriber.
  • Note: Three question marks (???) means that the word in proximity to the question marks is a suggested word, but not necessarily correctly identified, or if there is no word near the question mark (a space away is not near), then no suggested word was provided.
[Fry and Leela are standing watching the view.]

Matt Groening: God I love this cold opening. This is a good one. And didn't think it was gonna work. "Nah, that won't work", but it turned out great. Hi, this is Matt Groening.

Gregg Vanzo: Gregg Vanzo.

John DiMaggio: I'm John DiMaggio, I play Bender and bunch of other voices and stuff.

David X. Cohen: David Cohen, executive producer, head writer.

Rich Moore: And Rich Moore, supervising director.

[Opening sequence nears its end.]

DXC: Who picks these little cartoon clips that go on?

RM: Actually, you guys send a bunch of them over to us.

DXC: We do?

RM: Yeah. Frank Cowon sends a whole bunch of 'em. And Scott Vanzo, our director of 3D animation, and I go through the clips to pick out what will fit in what's less than two seconds.

JD: So it takes longer to explain than actual do.

RM: I could go on!


JD: Glorx, 3:16.

DXC: Blernsball, the name "blernsball" actually came out of a joke the writers had where we were working so hard at this point in this history of the series– this early on, that we didn't have enough days in the week to write the show — we were writing seven days a week. So I putted up a schedule that included "blernsday" as an eight day, so we would have time to get the job done. That's where this came out.

MG: The original name for this show was not "Futurama", by the way. There was a long long list of possible names, the only two I remember which were resoundly rejected, by everyone concerned with it; "Doomsville" was my number one choice. And my number two choice — and I don't even know why I thought this was a good idea for a name — somehow, "Aloha, Mars" struck me and that was also not particularly...

DXC: That could be used for an episode, maybe.

[Bender squeaks butter on the popcorn.]

DXC: Oh boy.

JD: I just got that.

[Multi-ball is unleashed at the station.]

DXC: Pinball reference there. We have a couple of pinball machine at the office. See where our inspiration comes from.

RM: The Tron light cycle.

JD: I have no idea what's going on in this game; it's great. Are there actually any rules to Blernsball that are definite?

DXC: It's starting to evolve a little now that we've seen it again now that we've seen it in some future episodes, but overall I think the goal is to keep it just out of the realm of understandability.

MG: Sort of like baseball.

DXC: Exactly.

MG: When I was a kid, I was obsessed by robots. I loved them and I was totally in fear of them, 'cause the thing about a robot—

?: ???

MG: Yeah, because you can't reason with a robot. You know, if they wanna kill you, you cannot talk them out of it. I learned this from television and the movies. I had a collection of toy robots. And I would watch them at night from my bed.

JD: Ah, did they scare you?

MG: 'cause they moved! Just a little bit, you know...

[A cleaning robot is cleaning up the dirt.]

DXC: That cleaning robot, that cleaned up the bottle, Bender threw down a minute ago. Originally, it appeared in the pilot, but was taken out as the show was too long.

Farnsworth: [episode] You're going to Chapek 9.

DXC: Chapek! Anyone know where that came from?

MG: Karel Chapek, right?

DXC: The robot expert is correct.

MG: Who coined the term "robot".

DXC: I believe that's right.

MG: In his play "RUR" or R-U-R — Rossum's Universal Robots. He also wrote a really good book called War with the Newts.

DXC: That's another good name for an episode.

DXC: Part of the inspiration for this episode was a story by one of my favourite authors, Stanislaw Lem, Polish comedy science fiction author, he's had a really funny short story he wrote, which I don't remember the name of, in which some– a human crashes into a planet inhabited by robots and has to hide in the bushes eating berries at night. Sounds funny, doesn't it?

MG: You know what, actually, it's...
<poem>RM: You're scaring Matt. David, stop!

MR: The fact is that this show is full of references to literary science-fiction, it's not just– it's not just rip-offs of Star Trek and Star Wars. Like everything else, you know.

DXC: It's rip-offs of thing you aren't aware of.

MG: Stanislaw Lem... Karel Chapek and–

DXC: In the Stanislaw Lem story, it turned out that all of the terrifying robots were other people who had crash landed and had disguised themselves as robots so they wouldn't be target. It later turned out that there were no robots on the planet. Oh, I just ruined it for anyone who goes out to read it.

[Fry and Leela are looking down at Bender being lowered onto the planet.]

JD: I like the wind blowing in their hair as they look down on the planet, great.

[Fry and Leela dress up as robots.]

RM: Our stock-static.

GV: Worked hard on that.

MG: My older brother, Mark, dressed up like that once when I was a kid.

JD: He scare the hell out of you?

MG: He scared the hell out of me.

[Fry and Leela are dancing like robots.]

JD: He's doing the robot. [Leela starts dancing.] Show him up.

MG: Hey, that was good animation. Good acting.

[Fry and Leela walk upon Chapek 9.]

DXC: Really neat planetscape here.

[Fry and Leela are met by the guard bots.]

MG: I like those robots, we should bring those back.

DXC: They transform in a minute, also.

JD: Is that Phil LaMarr's voice pitched down a little bit?

DXC: You know, it's so electronically processed, that I can't remember who did them.

MG: I think that's Phil.

DXC: That's Maurice—

JD: That's Maurice, and he doesn't have to pitch it down. Nice.

[Fry and Leela walk through the robot city.]

RM: There's that 3D animation.

JD: Oh yeah!

DXC: Here's a classic 3D shot coming up.

[Clock turns to 12:00 and tonnes of robots flock the street.]

RM: There they are.

JD: Look at them! [tongue wobble] Great, aargh.

DXC: Tetris, anyone?

[Fry is holding up a picture of Bender in a magician outfit.]

DXC: We're going to see Bender's magician's outfitting again 3 years from the point of this episode. Took a while to come back.

Leela: [episode] Robots don't have bathrooms.

Fry: [episode] Oh right, I wonder where they smoke in high school.

RM: But they do have garbage cans...

JD: I never smoked in the bathroom at high school. We had an actual smoking section back when kids could smoke.

MG: Is that true?

JD: Yeah, we had a section at the north end of my high school where we used to smoke at.

GV: Yeah, we did that too.

JD: Between classes.

MG: That was designated?

JD: Designated smoking area, you're caught smoking anywhere else, you would–

RM: Marlboro High

JD: That's right. God bless the 80s.

[A robot is talking to Fry and Leela.]

DXC: That's Tom Kenny.

JD: Yeah, it is Tom Kenny.

DXC: He's first appearance in Futurama, I think.

JD: A wonderful actor, very funny. A cast member on Mr Show, if you will.

[The robot screams]

RM: Scared, Matt?

DXC: That's a reference to the second Body Snatchers movie, the one with Leonord Nimoy. It's the sound they made.

Anti-Human patrol: [episode] Intruder alert.

JD: That's Robotron, right?

DXC: Berzerk.

JD: Berzerk.

DXC: Same era. Great video game from the 80s.

[They hide in the cinema.]

MG: This is a good scene.

JD: Maurice LaMarche.

RM: I remember this, we used to do the space mutant movies from The Simpsons.

JD: I think I play the space mutant here.

DXC: Your best performance, ever.

JD: I think it is.

DXC: Here it comes.

[The "human" appears behind some bushes and threatens the robots!]

JD: Yeah, that is me.

[The "human" eats the robot's head.]

DXC: That's really funny animation.

RM: Ah, the classic ???.

[The robot general is talking.]

JD: Dave Herman.

[Fry is talking to some robots after the film.]

JD: Billy West talking to himself. Yeah, all three of those robots. Actually, Fry's not a robot. I'm sorry. But he still scared the hell out of me, Matt!

[The robot mayor appears.]

DXC: That's Maurice.

JD: That is Maurice LaMarche.
<poem>MG: This show would have frighten me, as kid. Robby the Robot scared the hell out of me, you know. As I recall, for the crew, we made t-shirts with Bender's saying, "death to humans" and didn't you get taken to task for that?

DXC: I think it was one of the other writers, Lou Martin, was in the supermarket wearing his "death to humans"-shirt and another customer came up to him and said "how can you wear that horrible shirt?"

JD: Well, they're not watching the show, are they?

[Bender is holding up the cover of his new album, Bender Lets Loose.]

DXC: That crazy position his arm is in.

[A robot toots a horn for the daily human hunt.]

DXC: Macintosh startup sound.

[The free butter trap.]

DXC: We went through a huge list of possible baits that humans would like, most of them had whipped cream and sprinkles and stuff. We decided that the combination of butter and free was the ultimate bait for a human.

[Fry and Leela have found Bender, but he ain't coming.]

JD: Aww...

RM: I don't know what to say.

JD: Yeah.

GV: Getting caught up in this.

JD: I cried a tear.

Robot mayor: [episode] Congratulations, Bender, your album just went gold.

JD: "... went gold".

DXC: One thing all planets have in common is their tracking of record sales.

[Hall of Justice.]

GV: Hall of Justice.

DXC: We ought to get some sort of payment from Apple Computer company, that's another Macintosh there. Giving him a lot of free screen time.

[The Macintosh freezes up.]

DXC: I've seen that one too many times, while working on a script or a term paper. Not that there's anything wrong with the Apple computer corporation.

[Fry and Leela falls through a trap door.]

DXC: Matt Groening has always been a big fan of trap doors in my experience.

MG: I am also frightened of them. In fact, all this stuff is just cathartic for me and you know, I'm just working out my own fears.

RM: Trap doors with robots at the bottom.

JD: I will say this, my friends still say to me, "[Robot Elder voice] Silence! Silence! Silence!" Yeah, just having a sip of beer at the bar and they're talking, "[robot elder voice] Silence!"

MG: A lot hooded cloaks in science-fiction.

RM: Robots in hooded cloaks...

[Bender is handed his weapon to kill the prisoners.]

JD: I see a Morning Star, is there a Glaive Guease Arm on that as well?

GV: A plus 2.

JD: Oh a +2 Glaive Guease Arm.

MG: What the hell are you talking about?

JD: Dungeons and Dragons.

MG: Oh.

JD: It's okay, shake it off.

[The weapon smashes as Bender throws it off screen.]

JD: It just smashes!

Jimmy: [episode] Duh, that's for sure.

JD: My best attempt to– at a famous fictional boxer.

[Fry, Leela and Bender are fleeing.]

RM?: So this would be one of the running away endings.

GV: Yes.

[Fry and Leela shows Bender what they did for him.]

DXC: That menorah there, made of beer bottles. Or was it a robo-norah?

[Music's on.]

JD: Popping and locking to Klezmer music. I love it

[The picture montage; last picture.]

JD: I love this one.

DXC: The last one is the best—

JD: The last one is the best.

DXC: Bender can cut another character's throat and still be likable somehow. That's how you know you have a good character when they can get away with that.

JD: Unbelievable. Yes, that's the first appearance of Tom Kenny, yes it is. Oh boy. Any theme song with chimes, I'm all about.

RM: Sad to think that most of these people are dead now. They were great.

JD: [Randy] Hey, it's 30th Century Fox again!