Futurama: Fry and the Slurm Factory (season finale)
by Joel Keller, posted Aug 27th 2006 7:05PM
(S01E13) So we've come to the last episode of Futurama Season One (or, if you believe Fox, the fourth episode of Season Two). As you can tell, it was a good start to a show that continued to get better over its four years on the air. Even in this season, you could tell that the characters became more refined, and the episodes got progressively funnier as the year went on. It all seemed to culimnate with this episode, which I think is the funniest of the season. It shows us what's really in the ubiquitous drink Slurm, whose tagline is the one I think Red Bull should use: "It's Highly Addictive!"
Here's the secret: Slurm is made of worm poop! Ewwww! I thought it was going to be made of people, but apparently there's already a product like that: Soylent Cola (When Fry asks Leela how that soda is, she nonchalantly says, "It varies from person to person."). But that's not the best part of this episode; it's all the funny stuff leading up to this discovery. We have Slurms MacKenzie, complete with his party babes; a Willy Wonka-esque tourguide named Glurmo, with Billy West doing his best to channel Gene Wilder; Orange-colored Grunka Lunkas who tortuously try to fit their warnings to the crew in rhyming song; and Zoidberg trying on a shirt with "Slurm" spelled out in Hebrew. And, last but not least, the line that got the biggest laugh of the whole season from me:
"Ow! My sperm!"
That's what Fry says when Bender aims the "F-Ray" at his crotch. Of course, now that he's sterile, he doesn't feel a thing when Bender shoots those gamma rays in that area a second time. After that, Bender shoots the ray at a hoochie robot and finds out she's not a she. The hoochie talks back to him, in a perfect "Latina transsexual" voice, "Damn chico, one more upgrade and I'll be more lady than you can handle! Why you so stupid, stupid?" Rosie Perez's voice is less convincing than that robot's. For that, you can thank John DiMaggio, who did that voice around the office so much, the writers finally decided to write it into an episode.
- The disclaimers in the Slurm ad from the cold opening: "Slurm Has Been Found To Cause Cancer In Laboratory Humans", "Employees Of Slurm Corp. And Their Families Are Eligible To Enter And Will Probably Win" and "The following species are ineligible: Space wasps, space beavers, any other animal with the word 'space' in front of it, space chickens and the elusive yak-face". The third disclaimer is displayed in the original alien language the writers created (Thanks to IMSDb.com for the help with that).
- According to the DVD commentary, Matt Groening has never seen Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
- Slurms MacKenzie is voiced by David Herman. I love the fact that he doesn't want to party anymore: "I'm partied out. All I want is to stay home and rent videos and watch them with a few friends. Is that so much to ask?" That's how I've felt since I was 25.
- Oh, one of Slurms' party babes is a blond named Trixie. Guess who voices her? Pamela Anderson! They got her to say Trixie's lines when she was recording her contribution to "A Fishful of Dollars."
- At the beginning of the episode, when Bender's sick ("it's a flimsy pretext to try out my latest invention," says Farnsworth), notice that not only is his antenna bent, but his color is a bit on the warm side. That's because he's got a fever! Once they remove the watch from his belly, he turns grey again.
- Ah, Zoidberg. To me, that's Billy West's crowning achievement. The affectations in that Catskills-style voice of his are impeccable. For instance, when he's examining Bender, Zoidberg pronounces "robot" more along the lines of "robut." You tell me if Jackie Mason doesn't say the word exactly the same way.
- According to John DiMaggio, West recorded his Glurmo lines while looking at a picture of Gene Wilder. I guess that was a good method, because he nailed the voice, complete with the signature Wilder voice crack.
Billy West's take: They have taken some jokes, though, that have popped out there. Like one time I was screwing around when we were reading an episode, and it says "Closeup of the Planet Express" in the opening shot exterior, and it (the closeup) was kind of near the door. And I remember doing the reads before it was animated, and David Cohen was the narrator, and I'd interrupt him (as he read the scene descriptions) and go "and there's a sign there that says, 'Sorry, we're open.'"
JK: I saw that!
BW: That's one that I did get in. 'Cause I used to go to those Chinese restaurants that had a sign up saying "Sorry, we're closed," and I'd say "Good! They should have a sign saying 'Sorry, we're open.'"
JK: Yeah, I feel that way sometimes, too, where you walk in and you can't tell the difference between what's on the floor and what's in the food.
BW: You know, nowadays you don't know what you're eating. That's why I became a vegan.
JK: Oh, you're a vegan?
BW: Yeah, ten years ago.
JK: Has that been hard?
BW: No. It was like the smartest thing I've ever done in my life.
JK: And you just got healthier from it?
BW: Oh, yeah. It's a nice benefit, you know. And I should wake up in the morning looking like a bad Tower Records painting of myself, and I'm not. I'm old enough.
JK: So you eat a lot of tofu and stuff?
BW: Yeah. All that stuff. There's tons of stuff that people don't even know about that you can eat. Things that people can do with soy.
JK: Yeah I've got a nutritionist and she's showing me all the soy products around. Like the other day I ate these soy hot dogs that were OK.
BW: Um, luckily there's this vegan restaurant right down the street, and they have this fried chicken burger except that it's un-chicken. But it's crispy and it's juicy and it tastes just like chicken. Because they've got the ergonomics of food down now, the feel of it in your mouth and stuff like that. There's a lot of other stuff I eat, like grain loaves, like it's a meatloaf dinner, except it's like mixed grains and mashed.
I was foolin' around eating raw food for a while. I don't mind it, you know. I've had enough meat for 12 lifetimes. I grew up in Detroit, Michigan, so it was everything involved meat. Meat for breakfast, meat for lunch, meat for dinner.... Have a nice warm glass of meat before you go to bed...
JK: Meat wrapped in meat.
BW: Meat for dessert, meat snacks.
JK: Meat in your cereal.
BW: And it was like, OK, all right already.