Futurama: The Great Cartoon That Refuses to Die

Futurama is back!  When people think of cartoons with nine lives, Family Guy might spring to mind, but for me the epitome of a great animated series that continues to survive despite the odds is Futurama

Originally airing on FOX, Futurama managed to stay alive for over four years, despite the network's constant pre-emptions and other poor scheduling choices.  Reruns on the Cartoon Network kept its memory alive and its fanbase kept growing.  Brand new, straight to DVD cartoon movies began to be made in 2007, including Bender's Big Score, The Beast with a Billion Backs, Bender's Game, and Into the Wild Green Yonder.  Now, 26 new episodes are coming to Comedy Central!

The series was created by Matt Groening who also gave us The Simpsons and the wonderful Life in Hell comicstrip.  Futurama is a sci-fi cartoon that delights in taking all the cliches of the genre and turning them on their head.  The excellent characters include Fry, a slacker pizza delivery guy who is accidentally cryogenically frozen and awakens in the year 2999; Leela, a one-eyed mutant; Bender, a hard-drinking and cigar-smoking robot who is often in a foul mood; Professor Farnsworth, an ancient mad scientist; Dr. Zoidberg, an alien physician who resembles a giant lobster; Amy Wong, an intern and heiress of the Western Hemisphere of Mars; Zapp Brannigan, the egotistical captain of the Starship Nimbus; and many others.

The show has had many classic moments, my favorites being all the spoofs of science fiction staples -- nothing is sacred, everything is mocked, from The Twilight Zone to Star Trek and all sci-fi inbetween.  Who can forget the disembodied heads of Richard Nixon, Al Gore, and other 20th/21st century historical figures?

If you have never seen Futurama, now is your chance.  Tune in to the new episodes and see the humor that you've been missing. Or, if you're already a loyal fan, tune in and savor the return of one of the best cartoons ever made.

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