“Space. It seems to go on and on. But then you get to the end and a gorilla starts throwing barrels at you.”
Rarely does any TV Show begin with such a hilarious line, let alone TV comedies. Usually memorable opening lines are reserved for movies. Here, it serves as a sample of the relentless, bizarre and hilarious humour Simpsons creator Matt Groening has in store for us with the iconic sci fi comedy Futurama.
By now, first episode “Space Pilot 3000” so ingrained in fans mind they can recite it line by line. New York delivery boy Philip J. Fry (voiced by Billy West) accidently gets frozen for 1000 years. Wakes up in New New York in the year 3000. Befriends ass kicking one eyed alien Turanga Leela (voiced by Katey Segal) and selfish, thieving robot Bender Bending Rodriguez (voiced by John DiMaggio). Yada yada yada. They end up working at Planet Express, run by Fry’s only living relative Professor Farnsworth (also voiced by West).
“Space Pilot 3000” is the example of a perfect pilot episode. Nearly every element of the episode works to perfection, from the animation design to the writing. Kind of unusual because TV comedies usually struggle to find their voice in the first season, praying they don’t get cancelled. As a result, the characters and deliveries can be a bit off compared to later. Futurama dives in with full confidence in itself.