A Head in the Polls
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|Season 2 episode|
|A Head in the Polls|
|Written by||J. Stewart Burns|
|Directed by||Bret Haaland|
|Title caption||From the Makers of Futurama|
|First air date||12 December, 1999|
|Title reference||Being "ahead in the polls," indicating a likely election win|
|Opening cartoon||Ko-Ko Needles the Boss (1927)|
|Special guest(s)||Claudia Schiffer|
"A Head in the Polls" is the sixteenth episode of Futurama, the third of the second production season and the seventh of the second broadcast season. It aired on 12 December, 1999, on Fox. It guest-stars Claudia Schiffer as herself in a jar. Richard Nixon announces his entry into the 3000 presidential election after obtaining Bender's body. Despite the attempt to get Nixon out of the race, Nixon wins the election.
- 1 The Story
- 2 Reception
- 3 Additional Info
- 4 Episode Credits
Act I: "How are you going to live without a body?"
Bender and Fry are on the couch at Planet Express watching The Scary Door when Leela runs in and changes the TV to C-SPAN9, which is showing the Presidential Debates of the year 3000. The candidates, Jack Johnson and John Jackson, are clones, with identical views on nearly every subject. Fry says he's not even registered to vote, so Leela makes him go register immediately. Fry meets representatives from all the political parties, and begins to become interested in politics. Back at Planet Express, they see a news report about a mining accident on Titan traps over 1000 robots and sends Titanium prices through the roof. Bender, whose body is 40% titanium, sells his body to a pawn shop.
Act II: "My body loved me and I turned its back on it."
Bender begins living it up with his new wealth. After speaking with the presidents' heads at the Head Museum, Bender realizes he has made a mistake and tries to buy back his body. But when he gets to the pawn shop, his body has already been sold - to Richard Nixon's head. It unfolds that Nixon is using Bender's body to run for President of Earth on a technicality ("nobody can be elected more than twice").
Act III: "You've got real charisma from the neck down."
Nixon’s Head, thanks to his shiny new robot body, sweeps the robot voters in early polls in spite of his miserable performance in the debates. Bender and friends try to get Bender's body back from Nixon. When Nixon refuses to return it, they break into his hotel room at the Watergate Hotel to steal it back. They are successful, but Nixon just buys a new body, a bigger one, with heavy weapons, and slides into office on the robot vote anyway. The regular characters all lament that Nixon won by just one vote, and that they all forgot to cast their own votes (apart from Bender, who wasn't allowed to vote anyway due to his criminal record). The episode ends with Nixon rampaging through the streets of D.C. and making a himself a new entrance to the White House.
- Heads seen in the Head Museum
- Movie stars
- Top row: Charlie Chaplin, Jack Nicholson, Clint Eastwood, Leonardo DiCaprio
- Bottom row: Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Sylvester Stallone, Sharon Stone
- B-movie stars
- Top row: John Turturro, Eric Stolz, Mimi Rogers
- Bottom row: Martin Lawrence, Elvis, Sarah Michelle Gellar
- Porn stars
- Top row: Long D. Silver, Ron Jeremy, Traci Lords
- Bottom row: Jill Big Breasts, Samuel Genitals
- TV stars
- Top row: Jerry Seinfeld, David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson
- Bottom row: Lucille Ball, Tim Allen, Katey Sagal (the voice of Leela)
- Top row: Heidi Klum, Kate Moss
- Bottom row: Laetitia Casta, Claudia Schiffer, Cindy Crawford, Rebecca Romijn
- U.S. Presidents
- First shot (opposite Bender)
- Top row: Millard Fillmore, Bill Clinton, George (H.W.) Bush, Ronald Reagan, Teddy Roosevelt
- Bottom row: Jesse "The Head" Ventura, Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, Richard Nixon
- Second shot (where Bender is on the shelf)
- Top row: George Washington, Benjamin Harrison
- Bottom row: William Howard Taft, Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren
- Others seen: Thomas Jefferson and Harry S. Truman are next to Richard Nixon, so that Bush can say "We don't just let Tom, Dick, and Harry in here."
- "Closet of Losers": Ross Perot, Walter Mondale, Rob Reiner, Bob Dole, Lyndon LaRouche
- First shot (opposite Bender)
- Movie stars
- The title caption was used for an Adult Swim bumper, which promoted their final Futurama marathon (seeing as how they were moving to Comedy Central).
- C-SPAN9 is a parody of the television network C-SPAN and its three channels, C-SPAN, C-SPAN2, and C-SPAN3.
- When the binary scene appears a few seconds later you can see a 2 at the bottom left corner.
- Books in the library in the Scary Door episode include:
- Antigravity's Rainbow (referencing Gravity's Rainbow)
- Quantum Relativity for Dummies (For Dummies)
- The Preppy Handbook (The Official Preppy Handbook)
- The Newer Testament (The New Testament)
- The Red Dwarf of Courage (The Red Badge of Courage and Red Dwarf)
- Robot Run (Rabbit, Run)
- 2984 (Nineteen Eighty-Four)
- The Scary Door itself is a spoof of The Twilight Zone, particularly of the episode Time Enough at Last.
- President Nixon sings a line of Jefferson Airplane's White Rabbit with his pawned electric guitar while on TV.
- The stoner who represents the "Dudes for the Legalation of of Hemp" tells Amy that "Dave's not here, man". This line is likely a reference to the famous Cheech & Chong routine "Dave", in which a man named Dave argues through a door with his stoned friend to let him in, but his friend just yells out "Dave's not here!".
- Bender uses James Bond's famous "shaken, not stirred" line while ordering a martini.
- Nixon saying that he wouldn't give up his dog Checkers is a reference to the famous "Checkers speech" that then-Senator Nixon gave on 23 September, 1952 after being nominated for Vice President, in which Nixon defended himself against allegations of financial impropriety.
- When planning to get his body back, Bender says "Well, old friend, tie a yellow ribbon 'round your neck, because I'm coming home!" This is a reference to the song "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree". It could also be a reference to the horror folktale "The Girl with the Yellow Ribbon", in which a man marries a beautiful woman who always wears a yellow ribbon around her neck. In the end, the curious man cuts the ribbon off in her sleep, which results in her head falling off.
Bender's head: Game's over, losers! I have all the money!! Compare your lives to mine and then kill yourselves!
Bender: Bodies are for hookers and fat people.
Nixon's head: Listen here, missy. Computers may be twice as fast as they were in 1973, but your average voter is as drunk and stupid as ever. The only thing that's different is me: I've become bitter, and, let's face it, crazy over the years. And once I'm swept into office, I'll sell our children's organs to zoos for meat, and I'll go into people's houses at night and wreck up the place. Muahahaha!
Nixon's head: Hello, Morbo. How's the family?
Morbo: Belligerent and numerous.
Nixon's head: Good man! Nixon's pro-war and pro-family.
[Nixon takes a baby from Bender's chest cavity, kisses it, then shoves it back in.]
Bender's head: Great! First, he steals my body. Now, he's touchin' my stuff!
Morbo: All hail our gargantuan, cyborg president. May death come quickly to his enemies.
Nixon's head: [playing Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit"] Re-mem-ber what the Dormouse said. Feed your head! I'm meeting you half way, you stupid hippies!
Nixon's head: [screaming] Nixon's back!
- In one scene, Leela and Bender's arms are overlapped incorrectly and, while he is on the couch, Fry's arm clips through Leela's torso.
- The White House is in Washington DC now but in "When Aliens Attack" it was destroyed on Monument Beach.
- However they could have built a new one.
- When Bender is on the roulette wheel the only numbers to remain in the same positions between the horizontal and birds eye shots are the 21 red and 33 black.
- Bender states he has a self destruct button yet in "Space Pilot 3000" he requires a suicide booth to kill himself.
- However he may simply prefer the booth.
- When Bender is taping, his pupils do not look like the recording symbol, as they did in "Brannigan, Begin Again".
- Bender may be able to disguise it.
- Scoop Chang tells Richard Nixon that "the constitution clearly states that nobody can be elected president more than twice". Nixon has never run for President of Earth, but for President of the United States.
- It is possible that "president" refers to both titles.
- The Twenty-second Amendment to the Constitution actually states "No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice," using the word "person" rather than "body."
- It's also possible that there is a new Earth constitution with a different wording.
- In the first shot of the row of presidents, Millard Fillmore's head can be seen left of Bill Clinton's head. However, when Fry talks to Clinton, Fillmore is gone.
Alien Language Sightings
Location: Sign next to Planet Express
- Debut: Brain Slugs
- Bill Clinton's head
- Debut: Checkers' head
- Debut: Claudia Schiffer's head
- George H. W. Bush's head
- Gerald R. Ford's head
- Homer Simpson's Head (possibly)
- Debut: Jack Johnson
- Debut: John Jackson
- Jimmy Carter's head
- Kif (possibly)
- Michelle (cameo)
- Debut: Nixon's campaign manager
- Debut: Pawnshop Worker
- Poster Guy
- Debut: Scoop Chang
- Richard Nixon's head
- George Washington's head
- Voice Actors
- Special Guests
- DVD Commentary