Saturday Morning Fun Pit
|Navigation in production order
|Season 7 episode
Broadcast season 10 episode
|Saturday Morning Fun Pit
|Patric M. Verrone
|BROUGHT TO YOU BY Regretto PERMANENT CLOWN MAKEUP
|First air date
|17 July, 2013
"Saturday Morning Fun Pit" is the one hundred and thirty-third episode of Futurama, the nineteenth of the seventh production season and the sixth of the tenth broadcast season. It is the sixth segmented episode. It aired on 17 July, 2013, on Comedy Central. It guest-stars George Takei and Larry Bird as themselves and Kath Soucie as Micky. The Futurama gang stars in a trio of craptastic Saturday-morning cartoons.
Act I: Bendee Boo and the Mystery Crew
Nixon and Agnew are sitting together in front of the T.V. in their pajamas, and a sergeant comes in and gives them the T.V. remote. Nixon awards him a purple heart, shoots him, and drops him down a trap-door. Agnew turns the T.V. onto the show Bendee-Boo and the Mystery Crew. The crew is on their way to visit Fry/Shaggy's nephew at his cloning lab, when a scary floating dragon ghost appears, tells them to turn around, and disappears. The crew are scared, but soon Fry/Shaggy and Bendee-Boo (Bender/Scooby-Doo) get hungry, so the crew stops at a kabuki theater for the concessions stand. While there, Fry/Shaggy and Bendee-Boo eat Yakitori that is over a year old while Amy/Velma asks the owner George Takei why his theater is so neglected. He explains that since the nearby basketball arena opened, everyone wanted to see basketball instead of kabuki, and his business suffered. Soon the crew leaves and they're back on their way to the Professor's cloning lab. Upon arrival they are greeted by the Professor's butler Zoidberg who openly states that he believes cloning is a sin. While there, the Professor introduces the crew to the Globetrotters. Ethan “Bubblegum” Tate explains that they are there to help the Professor with his cloning machine, and to clone a team of Larry Birds to practice against for the big game. The only problem is that they are being haunted by a mysterious dragon ghost. That night, Fry/Shaggy can't sleep, and goes to the window for some fresh air. Outside the window is the dragon ghost he saw earlier. In his panic, he wakes up the rest of the crew who agree on a plan to capture the ghost. While most of the crew stays behind with a trap the Professor built, Fry/Shaggy and Bendee-Boo will look for the dragon ghost. While both refuse at first, Bendee-Boo agrees when given a Bendee-Brew, and Fry/Shaggy follows. Soon, Fry/Shaggy and Bendee-Boo are being chased by the ghost throughout the cloning lab, and finally return to the main room where the rest of the crew is. There, Amy/Velma says that they believe the dragon ghost must be Zoidberg because he is the only one with access to the laboratory who has a problem with cloning. Leela/Daphne tries to remove Zoidberg's mask, only to accidentally remove his whole head. Meanwhile, the real culprit has been captured by the Professor's trap, and after removing his makeup, they realize that it is George Takei. Amy/Velma suggests that he did it because he figured if the Globetrotters couldn't play, people would come to his kabuki theater instead, but Takei says that he did it because he is mentally ill. Later the Globetrotters are at their big game. They feel ready for anything because they practiced against five Larry Birds, but then the opposing team is revealed to be six Larry Birds. The crew and Globetrotters laugh light-heartedly, and the episode ends.
Act II: Purpleberry Pond
There are protestors outside the White House, Nixon and Agnew go to the window to see what they want. The protesters demand that he regulate children's programming and force the writers to “shoehorn in helpful messages”. Agnew calls Hollywood, grunts into the phone, and violently hangs up. They go back to the couch to watch the next cartoon, Purpleberry Pond. It opens in a purple land with small children (Leela, Bender, Hermes, and Amy) singing about Purpleberries, and the Berry Burglar (the professor) and his assistant Zoidberg watching them, plotting to get Purpleberries. Princess Purpleberry (Leela) then walks through the town greeting the other children, and the Marquis of Mulberry (Bender) muses about how they never get sick of the color purple. Princess Purpleberry explains that this is because of the healthy Purpleberries they eat, and then waters a nearby Purpleberry bush with maple syrup. A commercial comes on for a cereal called sugar blasted Purpleberry Puffs, a sad young boy is offered a bowl of the cereal, and he eagerly accepts it, Princess Purpleberry then comes off of the box and explains that the cereal is triple-coated in maple-flavored syrup to “start your day with purple power!” The show returns with the children of Purpleberry Pond singing about Purpleberries. They are interrupted when a carriage pulls into town carrying their new neighbor Lord Loquat. They all go to meet him, but most are horrified when he steps out of the carriage and is orange. The Marquis of Mulberry tells Lord Loquat he doesn't like him because he's different, but Princess Purpleberry defends him, saying that it takes two colors to make a rainbow. The Marquis of Mulberry apologizes to Lord Loquat, and they sing together. Meanwhile the Berry Burglar and Zoidberg still watch plotting. A new commercial comes on for sugar blasted purple and orange berry puffs. A young girl sits wondering about why there are two colors instead of one, her mother reads the box, and Princess Purpleberry once again jumps off of it, and explains that the cereal now contains two flavors of cereal. The girl starts eating it, and the commercial flashes forward, to the same girl, but slightly fatter eating the cereal. She burps, and a bubble comes out containing Zoidberg. The bubble pops and the girl and her mother laugh as Zoidberg falls into the milk. The show then returns, showing the Berry Burglar explaining to Zoidberg that he has a plan to steal the Purple and Orange berries. He fires a cannon at the town, and out comes a puffy white ball. It pops above the town, raining onto the Purple and Orange berries. The villagers come out, and Princess Purpleberry is horrified because she thinks that it is snow and will ruin the Purple and Orange berry crop. Lord Loquat tastes and says that it isn't snow, it's sugar. The villagers rejoice. Commercials come on again, and Princess Purpleberry once again comes off of the box, explaining to the girl and her mother that now they have sugar frosted sugar blasted Purple and Orange berry puffs, and the girl happily says that she doesn't know which she likes better, regular or type two. The show returns, and the Berry Burglar laments that he didn't get his hands on the Purple and Orange berries. Then, it cuts to the villagers eating sugar coated sugar blasted Purple and Orange berry puffs, and saying that they have learned that they all learned that it doesn't matter what color you are, so long as you eat the cereal, the villagers sing a jingle, and the episode ends.
Act III: G.I. Zapp
A new show comes on called G.I. Zapp. In the opening, tanks are shown shooting at each other, destroying buildings as they go. Suddenly, a rock breaks through the window and hits Agnew on the shoulder. Nixon and Agnew go to the window to see what the protestors want this time. They say that the G.I. Zapp cartoon is too violent and want him to censor it. He agrees, saying he is a servant of the people, and goes back inside. He then activates a device that will allow him to manually censor the show. The opening credits come back on, almost over, and he rewinds the tape, voicing over that the soldiers are rebuilding the town using bullet sucking vacuum tanks. The mission screen comes up, saying that the episode is Operation: Throat Slit, which Nixon promptly changes to Operation: Banana Split. The G.I.s are in an odd looking plane, heading to Fort Weaponsworth (a parody of Fort Leavenworth, Kansas), the base of the enemy A.C.R.O.N.Y.M., or A Criminal Regiment Of Nasty Young Men. The leader of A.C.R.O.N.Y.M., Profestro (the Professor), sees the helicopter and fires a surface-to-air missile, censored to say a surface-to-air warning shot and surface-to-air telegram. Each of the soldiers jumps off of the helicopter with their parachutes. Zapp leaves last, taking the pilot Kif's parachute pack because he forgot his. Kif crashes into the side of a mountain in a huge fire ball. Nixon voices over explaining that he safely landed the helicopter in a naturally occurring fireball at Disneyland. The G.I.s start exchanging fire with A.C.R.O.N.Y.M., with constant censorship from Nixon. Then, Freezer Burn (Fry) gets shot, and when they land he's dead, though Nixon voices over that he's sleeping. The G.I.s rush at A.C.R.O.N.Y.M. with new violent enthusiasm to avenge Freezer Burn. During hand to hand combat the violence escalates, and Nixon is forced to be more and more creative about his voice overs. Then it shows Orphan Crippler (Bender) open his chest to reveal a weapon with robotic arms controlling a chainsaw, a drill, and a machine gun. Extreme gore follows and Nixon gives up on censoring the show and pulls the plug. Then he cuts instead to an anti-violence PSA. It shows Cubert and Dwight fighting over a football, and then Nixon and Agnew pull up in a motorcycle w/sidecar. Nixon says violence isn't the answer, and Agnew rips the ball in half. Nixon leaves the kids crying, while himself laughing. The cartoons over, the network announces an upcoming six hours of golf, and Agnew angrily turns the T.V. off.
The Countdown to Futurama posts from 19 May and 20 May revealed the title of the Strawberry Shortcake-esque segment to be "Purpleberry Pond" and the title of the Scooby-Doo-esque segment to be "Bendy Boo", respectively. However, the Scooby-Doo-esque segment is actually called "Bendee Boo and the Mystery Crew".
- At one point, the episode's production number was planned to be 7ACV25.
- The episode is among the few Futurama media featuring its title.
- This is the only segmented episode of the second run to not be a broadcast-season finale (though it was originally planned to be the final episode of the second run before "Meanwhile" was created).
- The main Futurama characters only appear in the cartoon parodies, making this one of three episodes in which none of the main characters appear as themselves, the others being "Reincarnation" (the main characters appear in different animation styles) and "Naturama" (the main characters appear as animals).
- In all three segments, Farnsworth is an antagonist seen with Zoidberg at his side.
- Bendee Boo act :
- Purpleberry act :
- G.I. Zapp act :
- The Wilhelm scream is heard for the second time in the series during the end.
- Click here to see cultural mentions made in this episode.
- The Futurama and Friends Saturday Morning Fun Pit title card features a stylized version of the pattern of blue lights that appear in the opening sequence.
- One of the protesters outside the White House holds up a sign which reads "ANIMATION DUMB-A-NATION", a reference to the Sunday-evening animated-programming block that aired on Fox, Animation Domination, which was created in 2009 and, at its end in 2014, included The Simpsons, Family Guy, American Dad!, and Bob's Burgers. Past programs on this line-up included The Cleveland Show, the later seasons of King of the Hill, Sit Down, Shut Up, Allan Gregory, and an animated adaptation of the movie Napoleon Dynamite.
- One of the protesters outside the White House holds up a sign which reads "BRING BACK SEA HUNT". A similar sign was held up by protesters in Homer Simpson's imagination in the Simpsons episode "Mr. Plow".
- At the end of the episode, the announcer says "Now stay tuned for six hours of golf", angering Agnew. This is a reference to how Saturday-morning cartoon line-ups in the 1980s and 1990s always aired sports telecasts (or local programming) after the last cartoon, and to the real Agnew's bad golf playing, which would cause him to accidentally hit spectators with his golf ball.
- Bendee Boo act :
- The crew members are re-imagined as Scooby-Doo characters. Fry plays the role of Shaggy, Leela plays the role of Daphne, Bender plays the role of Scooby-Doo, Hermes plays the role of Fred, and Amy plays the role of Velma.
- Scratches and visible edge lines on the animation "cel" are added as a parody of Scooby-Doo's cheap production values (Futurama is animated digitally; such effects would never occur normally).
- Purpleberry act :
- The whole act is a parody of many classic Saturday-morning shows such as Strawberry Shortcake and The Smurfs, commonly criticised for being little more than thirty-minute-long commercials directed at children. In fact, the decline of this genre of cartoon is related to actions taken by the United States government to ban product tie-ins and mandating increased educational content in network television shows directed at children.
- The professor's character is a parody of the Purple Pieman, from Strawberry Shortcake.
- Micky is a parody of Little Mikey, from Life cereal's 1970s "Mikey Likes It" ads.
- "There goes the purplehood" is a reference to the phrase "There goes the neighborhood", which is a derogatory remark about racial integration.
- G.I. Zapp act :
- Nixon decides to re-edit the program, asking his secretary "Rose Mary! Have we got any type of machinery to edit tape?". She responds "Oh you know we do!". This is a reference to the real-life Nixon's Watergate scandal, where Nixon had secretly tape-recorded conversations. The real-life Rose Mary Woods had (by her account) accidentally erased part of the tapes while reviewing them, leading to some infamous gaps.
- Fry's name is Freezer Burn, a reference to the fact that he was frozen at the beginning of the show[1ACV01] and has been frozen multiple times since.[2ACV19][4ACV10][BBS][7ACV14]
- Nixon renames Leela's character as Pat. This is a reference to Nixon's wife, Pat Nixon.
- George Takei's ancestry was previously referred to in "Where No Fan Has Gone Before".
- Bendee Boo act :
- The professor also kept lengths of wire in "Space Pilot 3000".
- Purpleberry act :
- G.I. Zapp act :
- Bendee Boo act :
Most errors are very obvious and intentional to mock the low production values of Hanna-Barbera's cartoons back in the late 1960s.
- In the first shot inside Mystery Express, Bendee Boo is sitting in the front, but, in the next shot, he is riding in the back.
- During the first driving scene, Hermes' hand can be seen flickering white when he turns the wheel.
- Although the professor's cloning machine is shown being turned on, every other shot of it (especially while it is actively cloning) depicts the switch pointing at "off".
- At the end, one of the Globetrotters' arms is flickering.
- Purpleberry act :
- G.I. Zapp act :
- Nixon is already shown at his desk when Rose Mary activates his tape editing machine, however in the next shot Agnew puts him down at the desk.
- In the first shot of the characters on the plane, Leela's nametag reads "Waterboard", which later actually is Hermes' alias.
Fry: Like, it's basketball superstar Larry Bird!
Hermes: Larry Bird?! What are you doing here?!
Larry Bird: Hi, this is Larry Bird calling. Listen, my agent sent me a cartoon script and I've decided I don't wanna be involved in any way.
[An answering machine beeps.]
Amy: It all makes sense! He knew that if he scared the Globetrotters away from the big basketball game, disappointed fans would flock to his kabuki theater!
Hermes: Of course!
George Takei: No, that's not why I did it.
Fry: Then, like, why did you do it?
George Takei: I'm mentally ill.
[The laughtrack plays.]
Narrator: Purpleberry Puffs are the sweetest part of your complete breakfast, along with juice, toast, ham, eggs, bacon, milk, cheese, liver, waffles, and a biiiig horse vitamin!
Nutcracker: I will avenge him, you heartless...
Nixon: Bastards! [to Agnew] It's okay if I say it.
One of the protesters: Mr. President, our children are fat and dumb and we blame cartoons!
- Amy / Debut: Lady Lavender / Debut: Boxcutter
- Bender / Debut: Bendee Boo / Debut: Marquis of Mulberry / Debut: Orphan Crippler
- Debut: Cereal girl
- Debut: Cereal girl's mother
- Curly Joe
- Farnsworth / Debut: Berry burglar / Debut: Profestro
- Fry / Debut: Lord Loquat / Debut: Freezer Burn
- George Takei
- H.G. Blob
- Hermes / Debut: Viscount Violet / Debut: Waterboard
- Huge-assed woman
- Jimmy Carter (cameo, 1:00)
- Debut: Larry Bird
- Debut: Last clone of Agnew
- Leela / Debut: Princess Purpleberry / Debut: Nutcracker
- Debut: Micky
- Morbo (cameo, 0:55)
- Randy Munchnik
- Recruitment officer
- Richard Nixon's head
- Rose Mary
- Sweet Clyde
- Zapp Brannigan
- ^ Countdown to Futurama: Futurama and Friends Saturday Morning Fun Pit. (Comedy Central's Tumblr page.) 18 May 2013. Retrieved on 10 July 2013.
- ^ Tom Mohrman (02 September 2012). Bumbershoot Review Day 2: Futurama Writers Panel. (CultureMob.) Retrieved on 13 September 2012.
- ^ Jesse David Fox (05 February 2013). Watch a Preview of Futurama’s Seventh Season. (Vulture.com.) Retrieved on 17 August 2013.
- ^ a b c Countdown to Futurama: Fry as Lord Loquat and Leela as Princess Purpleberry. (Comedy Central's Tumblr page.) 19 May 2013. Retrieved on 10 July 2013.
- ^ a b Countdown to Futurama: Larry Bird Clones. (Comedy Central's Tumblr page.) 20 May 2013. Retrieved on 10 July 2013.
- ^ Roy Camacho. FUTURAMA 719 (Purpleberry Pond) Animatic Board :Rufino Roy Camacho II. Retrieved on 09 July 2013.
- ^ Countdown to Futurama: Purpleberry Puffs Cereal. (Comedy Central's Tumblr page.) 21 May 2013. Retrieved on 10 July 2013.
- ^ Comedy Central. Retrieved on 10 July 2013.
- ^ Michael Rowe (05 December 2013). Mike Rowe. (Facebook.) Retrieved on 11 December 2013.
- ^ Futurama Live! - Episode - Season 7 - Ep. Special. (Comedy Central.) 11 July 2012. Retrieved on 10 July 2013.