- Fry: But I know you in the future. I cleaned your poop.
- Nibbler: Quite possible. We live long and are celebrated poopers.
Fox is full of celebrated poopers. The network has ruined more things I like than I care to mention and by now, I should have recognized their schtick: Cancel a cartoon. Wait a few years. Bring it back to applause from fanboys everywhere.
That worked with stupid Seth MacFarlane’s Stupid Family Guy. Apparently, he has naked pictures of a Fox executive and a farm animal, because not only did they bring the mediocre and unfunny Family Guy back on the air, they gave him ANOTHER show.
I didn’t think it was possible, but American Dad is somehow even less funny than Family Guy. And then, because apparently MacFarlane has never heard of the law of diminishing returns, he decided to pull those naked pictures out again so Fox would let him make The Cleveland Show, a Family Guy spin-off that takes all the long, unfunny jokes from Family Guy, draws them out even longer and adds some more blatant racism. But it’s not, cuz Cleveland’s black! Get it?! If so, could you explain it to me? Because I don’t.
But I digress. Last month, it was revealed that Fox would SORT OF bring back Futurama, Matt Groening’s hilarious-but-cancelled animated show about a normal, 20th Century slacker who is cryogenically frozen and wakes up 1,000 years in the future in the city of New New York. He ends up working for his great nephew (who is, of course, ancient) and having space adventures with a foul-mouthed boor of a robot, a beautiful one-eyed pilot, a lobster-esque alien doctor and the rest of the employees at an intergalactic space delivery company.
The show was cancelled in 2002 after four seasons on Fox. Four direct-to-DVD features were successful enough that the show was set to head back into full production this year on Comedy Central, which placed an order for 26 new episodes.
Fox, in its infinite wisdom, is not bringing back Futurama as you know it. Because of a pay dispute, Fox is recasting most of the main characters. I guess they think these actors are replaceable and that you will not notice when Bender, Fry, Leela, Dr. Zoiberg, Professor Farnsworth, Mom, Kif Kroker and Zapp Brannigan start talking with different voices. Fox is looking to replace Billy West (Fry, Farnsworth, Brannigan and Zoidberg) John DiMaggio (Bender), Katey Sagal (Leela), Tress MacNeille (Mom) and Maurice LaMarche (Kif).
They did not likely anticipate the entire nerdy population of the Internet rising up this morning threatening to hold our collective breath until Fox fixes their mistake. There’s a facebook group that is providing addresses of Fox casting directors so disgruntled fans such as yourselves can send demanding, angry emails.
And who are we to not offer the same? If you are pissed off and want to vent, why not email this guy: firstname.lastname@example.org and this guy: email@example.com and let them know that you won’t watch Futurama with new actors.
You can also sign an online petition to keep the original voice actors.
Will this change anything? Who knows. All I know is, I love Futurama. It has made me laugh and cry (The episode with Fry’s dog is seriously one of the saddest episodes of television I have ever seen) and I was happy to hear it was coming back. But it is decidedly not smart to bring back a show beloved by legions of Internet nerdz without the things that made it great in the first place. I mean, you can do it, but you have to expect a wave of irritated anger from people with a lot of time on their hands.