Comic-Con: FUTURAMA Panel Recap, Featuring the Entire Voice Cast Performing a Table Read, Screening of the Series Finale & a Drawing Contest to the Death

     July 22, 2013

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Appearing in their annual “last Comic-Con panel ever,” the creative talent behind Futurama once again delighted the audience with their own particular brand of off-center hijinks.  Gathering the entire voice cast together for the first time, the team treated fans to a table read of the first act of the series finale, followed by a screening of the fully-finished second act.  Unfortunately, the third act will remain behind the veil until the finale airs on September 4th on Comedy Central.  Until then, be sure to hit the jump and check out our panel recap as this may very well be the last time we get to see Futurama at the Con (though I’m hoping another network will once again swoop in to rescue the beleaguered comedy series).

futurama-planet-expressHead writer David X. Cohen and creator Matt Groening introduce their “guests”: John DiMaggio, Phil Lamarr, Lauren Tom, Maurice LaMarche, Tress McNeille (in her first Comic-Con appearance), David Herman, Katey Sagal and Billy West.

In possibly the “last Futurama panel” ever, the voice cast performed a table read of the first act of the Series Finale “Meanwhile” followed by the screening of the second act.  The Series Finale airs September 4th on Comedy Central.  A recap of the first two-thirds of “Meanwhile” follows.  If you’d like to avoid spoilers, skip down to the Q&A:

Fry, Leela and Bender visit the moon on a delivery and spend some time at the Moon carnival. Bender’ gets sick on a ride and vomits a stream of metal nuts and bolts.  The machine parts get stuck in the ride mechanics and cause a malfunction which sends Leela flying through the protective moon dome.  Fry mourns her passing (Bender isn’t the most compassionate), but Leela hides inside a stuff animal and breaths from a balloon animal and survives.

Fry, dealing with the thought of losing Leela, tells Bender he’s going to propose to Leela.  Meawhile, the Professor develops a time-machine that transports people back in time 10 seconds, a machine which takes exactly 10 seconds to recharge. Fry wants to use the button to prolong a moment … or uses it to steal an engagement diamond for Leela.  Fry and Leela go to dinner and Fry proposes with a ring in a clam … which closes on her hand and severs it.

Fry uses the time device to prevent Leela’s hand from being severed and then invites her to a dinner on top of the Vampire State Building.  Leela arrives on time, but Fry – thinking she has jilted him due to his out-of-sync watch – throws himself off the roof of the building. He spies her just before he hits the ground and activates his device again to take him back to the top…well, almost. He gets caught in a time loop and must keep activating the device to prevent himself from going splat. Meanwhile, the gang goes in search of the device, protected from the effects of the time alteration by a metallic hut. They manage only to distract Fry long enough for him to fumble the device and splatter into mush on the pavement.

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After the screening, Groening and Edmund Fong participated in a Drawing Competition TO THE DEATH … by snusnu (Groening loses.  Or wins, depending on your preference.)

The series finale will air on Comedy Central September 4th at 10/9c. A special presentation of the 10 Fan Favorite Futurama episodes will air on Comedy Central August 25th. Head to cc.com/fan to vote!

Audience Q&A

Why do Fry and Leela go by their last names?

  • For Leela, it’s a cultural thing. For Fry, it’s because his friends just call him by his last name as a nickname. (Groening gave Fry his first name – Phillip – because of his grandfather, Homer Phillip Groening.)

Why can Bender seemingly reach into a pool of lava unharmed in one episode while doing the same thing in another episode damages him severely? Did he get a dolamite upgrade?

  • The writers admit that they discussed this fact in the room, but didn’t think anyone would ever catch it or bring it up.

There is no update about Futurama continuing on any other network, but Cohen and DiMaggio have a few more stories in mind.

The panel ended with a clip montage that featured a Dalmatian Niddler, a bit of Black Magic, satires of The Thing and Planet of the Apes, plus a short segment on Fry and his dog

Futurama airs Wednesday nights at 10 on Comedy Central.

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