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September 2, 2014

david cohen

David X. Cohen of Futurama: The TV Squad Interview

by Joel Keller, posted Nov 26th 2007 11:01AM
Bender's Big ScoreOn November 27, Futurama comes back in a big way with Bender's Big Score, an "epic" film involving all the characters from the show that ran on Fox from 1999-2003. The DVD is the first in a series of four direct-to-DVD releases, which will be edited into 16 episodes that will air on Comedy Central in 2008. Fellow Squadder Brad Trechak gave the disc a positive review last week, which is high praise coming from a big fan of the show as he is.

David X. Cohen, executive producer and show-runner of Futurama, spoke to me via phone last week. We didn't have much time, only about ten minutes or so, so we got down to the nuts and bolts: how the movies will play on Comedy Central, some information on the show's comeback, a quick preview of the next DVD, and how the Fox executives felt about being ground into all-purpose powder.

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Matt Groening talks about Futurama's comeback

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 31st 2007 6:33PM
Matt GroeningProbably my favorite moment during the TCA press tour week -- and this is a week where I joked around with Greg the Bunny and visited the set of Scrubs -- was when I met Matt Groening at FOX's party on the last night of the tour. Because just about all the questions I had about The Simpsons were asked during the show's press session earlier in the day, I took the opportunity to concentrate on his other show (and a perennial favorite amongst our readers), Futurama, and its impending return to TV.

Groening gives the show's loyal fans all the credit in the world for helping the show come back. "The continued devotion of the fans, chiefly on the Internet, kept us thinking that maybe we could bring this back," he said.

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Futurama: Fry and the Slurm Factory (season finale)

by Joel Keller, posted Aug 27th 2006 7:05PM
Futurama: Fry and the Slurm Factory

(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!"

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Futurama: When Aliens Attack

by Joel Keller, posted Aug 20th 2006 8:01PM
Futurama: When Aliens Attack(S01E12) Very few writers can somehow lampoon both Independence Day and Ally McBeal in the same episode and somehow make it look like it makes sense. I mean, take a look at Family Guy; it rockets from one pop-culture reference to the next without much of a thought to context or its relatability to the actual plot of the episode. The writers of Futurama, however, seem to take such a juxtaposition and smoothly incorporate it into the plot of the show. It could be the fact that the show takes place in the future, where you can create something like Monument Beach and make it sound plausible. But it might just be damn good writing (or at least, writing that's not done by manatees).

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Futurama: A Flight to Remember

by Joel Keller, posted Aug 6th 2006 9:22PM
Futurama: A Flight to Remember(S01E10) If you watch this episode along with the rest of Season One's set, you might think that this one is a bit on the snappy side, with the jokes coming at a bit of a faster pace than on previous episodes.

There's a reason for that; for the first time, there are more than a couple of stories going on at once, something that David Cohen acknowledged in the DVD commentary to this episode. You've got Leela using Fry to try and get away from Zapp Branigan, Amy using Fry to satisfy her parents, Hermes returning to his limboing roots, Zapp arrogantly steering the Titanic off course into a "swarm of comets," according to his first mate Kif, and Bender falling in love with the Countess de la Roca. Quite a bit for one episode; it's almost Seinfeld-ian in scope, which is something that the brain trust mentions in the commentary.

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Futurama: I, Roommate

by Joel Keller, posted Jun 18th 2006 8:19PM
Futurama: I, Roommate(S01E03) So, now we've seen how Fry gets to the year 3000, and we've met the Planet Express crew. Now's the time to tell some stories.

There were a bunch of interesting tidbits from the DVD commentary to this episode. One was the admission from Matt Groening that the storytelling in Futurama was more linear than it was on his other show, The Simpsons, mostly due to the fact that there's so much going on in the background of a typical Futurama epsiode. Well, with all due respect to Groening's genius, duh. I've always equated the storytelling on Futurama to what the early years of The Simpsons were like before the pop-culture asides and other wackiness started to dominate. This episode, where Fry and Bender become rommates, is a perfect example of the show's storytelling prowess; an episode like this would have been told completely differently on The Simpsons, or at least on the show from it's third season onward.

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Billy West: The TV Squad Interview

by Joel Keller, posted Jun 15th 2006 11:15AM
Billy West of Futurama
If you've watched any cartoon on TV in the last fifteen years, chances are you've heard Billy West's voice. West is one of the premier voice actors working today, and during those fifteen years, he's used his versatile voice to create new characters -- and resuurect old ones -- all over the television and movie landscape. From Shaggy to Bugs Bunny to Woody Woodpecker to the Cherios Honey Bee to the Red M&M, the 54-year old West has put his imprint on all of them. But most people know him from two classic cartoon series: On Ren & Stmpy, he did the voices of both main characters (he picked up Ren after creator John Kricfalusi was fired after the first season), and on Futurama he did the voices of Philip Fry, Professor Farnsworth, Dr. John Zoidberg, and Zapp Brannigan, among others.

In this wide-ranging interview, conducted by phone on May 31, Billy and I talked about his history with John K., the way he went about creating some of his Futurama characters, his early-'90s role on "The Howard Stern Show", and the influx of celebrity voices in current cartoon movies (let's just say he's against it). We also went over all the Futurama Season One episodes in the 90-minute (!) interview, which you will see in my Retro Squad coverage of the show. He was even nice enough to do a Futurama / R&S -themed intro for our APB podcast, which we used to open podcast #13 last week. Needless to say, Billy West is a mensch.

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