Transcript:Commentary:My Three Suns

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Transcript of commentary for
"My Three Suns"
Transcribed bySvip
Commentary participants
  • Note: One question mark in bold (?) means that the speaker was not identified by the transcriber.
  • Note: Three question marks (???) means that the word in proximity to the question marks is a suggested word, but not necessarily correctly identified, or if there is no word near the question mark (a space away is not near), then no suggested word was provided.

Billy West: [Zoidberg] Hello you, this is Futurama episode seven.

David X. Cohen: So, Stewart Burns, you wrote this episode. Where did this car wash-thing come from?

J. Stewart Burns: Right out of my head, I guess. This was one of the last things, actually, I put in the script.

DXC: And yet, the first thing on the air.

JSB: Yeah, I—

DXC: That doesn't sound possible!

JSB: It's like a good detective story, he start with the end and work backwards.

BW: Like the song.

JSB: That I stole.

DXC: From what I hear, the cars never seem to stop coming.

JSB: And here is our first dirty joke.

DXC: We used to do a lot of those cold openings early on, but then I decided that people needed a loud wake up call when the show started, so we just decided to come in with the music on most of the later episodes. Hey, let's introduce ourselves.

Matt Groening: Hi, I'm Matt Groening.

JSB: Stewart Burns, I wrote this.

BW: Hi, I am Billy West and I do some of the voices on the show.

Gregg Vanzo: Gregg Vanzo, supervising director.

DXC: David Cohen, executive producer.

Rich Moore: And Rich Moore, supervising director.

BW: And Jerry Matthers as the beaver.

MG: So, David, why the "X"? Why is it it David X. Cohen?

DXC: You don't believe that's my real middle initial? That is a completely fraudelin??? addentum??? to my name. What happened was, when we started Futurama, all the animated shows on TV suddenly came under the jurisdiction of the Writers Guild, which is the union of TV and movie writers. And they would not allow any two members to have the same name. Unfortunately, some other jerk named David S. Cohen had been jerked in before me, so I had to junk my S and come up with some other fake initial.

JSB: And I know you both!

DXC: You know the other David Cohen?

JSB: In New York.

DXC: He is a good guy. I've met him- we've created cheques several times. I think "X" would make me the David Cohen people remember.

JSB: I actually just use a J in front of my name to sound snooty.

DXC: But we are the two phoniest writers in town.

JSB: A lot of people may not know this, but this is actually patterned after some chef.

BW: Some chef with a widow???'s peak.

DXC: Actually John DiMaggio doing an impression of a certain chef. We won't name names. Emeril. Emeril's the guy's name. Emeril Lagasse.

DXC: Early conceptions of the series, Bender was gonna be the chef in every episode. That was gonna be his main function in the show. When we canned that, he was gonna be the translator. Then it turned out it was funnier just having him be a lazy bum.

JSB: And then full circle, he became a chef again.

DXC: A chef again. More like a hobby, this way he can have like a hundred hobbies like folksinging and cooking. He can pursuit them as it suits us for stories.

MG: Generally in animation, I hate it when characters are walking on the street, but this is really funny. This is really good. This is a joke that the network didn't like.

RM: So good it demanded 3D animation.

JSB: It's just like New York is now. I mean, there's guys on the corner selling you Rollex watches.

DXC: Just looking at how crazy this section of the show is, just reminds me that originally this was going to be the section episode of the series. The idea— the idea that I- will not spoiled, but the central premise of the episode was one of Matt's earliest ideas for the show. And we were gonna do it right away, but then we decided we better do a couple more more down to Earth episodes, like the second and third episodes, and this ended up moving to slot seven.

JSB: That was when we ran out of other ideas.

DXC: Exactly.

BW: Dave Herman is a great utility in field voice. The incidental characters.

DXC: That was him as the salesman. And this is Maurice as this guy here, I believe, Maurice LaMarche.

DXC: Fry has been cut up so many times now in this part of the series. Has his head cut off, his arm cut off, both hands cut off.

JSB: And yet, he escaped unharmed there.

DXC: We were a little chicken to get him actual cut off there. But one season later, it was just slice and dice.

JSB: Look at that, it's episode seven, and already we can make fun of the fact that he says "good news" all the time.

DXC: We haven't underused that expression.

JSB: That was a catchphrase that actually got used enough, that we could make fun of using.

DXC: The first catchphrase we used enough that we got tired of it, and just started warping??? it.

BW: Funny warps??? though, that came out of that idea.

DXC: "To serve man".

JSB: Star Trek, right?

DXC: Awh. Twilight Zone.

JSB: I just assumed everything was Star Trek on the show. I haven't seen it, it must be Star Trek.

BW: [announcer like voice] It's not a submissive statement, it's a cook book!

JSB: This I remember took like a day to come up with the idea that slug shrinking ??? finish this story up.

DXC: By the way, for the people who don't know, days are really long time. We don't really have a day to devote each five seconds of the show.

JSB: It involves like five meals.

DXC: How comes Fry's head is so wide there?

GV: It's a— it's the widescreen version...

RM: We used a ???morf—

DXC: Because Zoidberg's head is also kinda wide.

RM: These were the old days.

DXC: I am just trying to distract from the sloppy early writing.

BW: Well, you're not alone, I look with wimpsy at a couple of things here and there, with you know— some of these voices that are the characters have changed, they've morphed a little bit. That's happened to me in every cartoon. You start one place, and then you begin to grew with it and...

MG: Well, although it happened 30 seconds ago, when the ship lands, the sound you hear is a bus's airbreaks.

DXC: That was one thing I remember you always liked to have one bit of a crummy malfuncting aspect to it.

GV: A homage to an old Popeye cartoon. The turn table background.

RM: Yeah, it's a beautiful shot.

MG: This is great design here, the designers really came out with some good stuff.

MG: One thing I never understand in our show, is why they always land the ship really far away from where they are actually going to.

JSB: Yeah, that was a desert.

RM: There was a landing pad there.

MG: Oh, okay. So anyway, as David was saying, this is one of the first ideas— that I came up with, when we were doing the show, we talked about science-fiction animated show, and I said "wouldn't it be neat, if we had a delivery boy in the future who— when he got to the planet, he drank the emperor" and that was— basically the first story.

DXC: In the original version, I think he just drank the emperor, and then they got mad at him and we realised that that only occupied 14 of our 20 minutes. Then we came up with the additional twist, that Fry became the emperor between here— seems to fill things out pretty well.

JSB: Fourteen minutes shrunk down to about five seconds. Looking like they are out to kill him.

DXC: And here is Billy West. He had another appearance.

BW: [Gorgak] With one of those marble characterisation.

RM: Gorgak has actually come back a couple of times, hasn't he? In later episodes?

DXC: Has he? No, I don't think so. We've had– we've had other– you're think of—

MG: We've had Florp.

DXC: Florp. Exactly, Florp, the liquid comedian, is the only one, I think, is come back in a really far down the line episode, we have an unnamed liquid character back as a criminal, I remember. Just in a quick scene, season 4.

BW: I am just fascinated that all the people that inhabit the planet are made of water.

JSB: On a planet that has no other water.

BW: No, on a planet that's like so hot with all those suns and everything. Must be a struggle just to live each day.

DXC: How do you explain that? What do you have to say about that?

JSB: There will be a sequel; the "steam people" or something.

DXC: Who's Dr Zoidberg's voice modelled on? Anybody?

BW: Yeah, the kinda George Jessel, he's an old comedian- radio comedian, vaudeville, he had the voice that sound really like [George] it was stuck- like a potato in his throat, [normal] and he would say [George] "hello, mamma, this is your son George, from the money each week". [normal] And I fused it with a little bit of character actor named Lou Jacobi. [Jacobi] Who was very like this, I'll??? try to do.

MG: How did you know about George Jessel

BW: How do I know about him--?

MG: I mean, how did you know-- how did you hear him?

BW: I'm practically 50.

MG: Well, so am I. Well, no, the only reference of George Jessel; they would imitate him on the Johnny Carson show.

BW: You should have missed that. I've seen films of George Jessel, been a long time ago I watched him, whenever he was in a movie, I would pick him going "that guy's got a weird voice".

RM: They are on right before Star Trek, man.

?: No wonder Matt's a big fan.

?: Twilight...

MG: You are referring to the fact that I've never seen Star Trek, which is a– it's a shocking admission, I know.

BW: Do you know that I've never watched the news in my life. I've never seen a news cast.

?: I've never read a newspaper.

DXC: I've never not been watching Star Trek at any moment.

RM: Even right now.

DXC: I have my own little TV going.

MG: I didn't finish gravity's rainbow.

DXC: We really wanted to get the word "ass" in screen four times there. "Assassin", "assassin".

DXC: There was a lot of early versions where she just pulled that book out from her jacket pocket.

RM: I remember that.

DXC: At the end, we couldn't take it anymore that it would fit in her tiny little pocket somehow.

BW: It's that book.

JSB: I love this joke.

JSB: I guess it's not really a joke, still love it.

?: Nice story.

DXC: It's a relaxing story.

BW: That he's so committed to.

MG: I like the tuxedo and running shoes.

?: And a little Burger King crown.

DXC: We had some physics discussion, whether a planet could really orbit three suns like this. It's a little effy.

JSB: Yeah, what's the answer on that? I can't think so.

DXC: I think there may be some theroum where it is inheritablely unstable and the planets would fly off across the universe. But they might be, because I cannot remember what outcome of the discussion was.

?: It was like a woman carrying a huge book in coat.

RM: I think we've had more physics discussions than any other show.

BW: And a lot of drinking.

DXC: That's what happens when you give up on the physics discussions.

DXC: That was a tricky effect, as I recall.

DXC: We originally had a much longer thing here where every single member of the crew tried and tried to make him cry with their sad life stories and Hermes was going on for a while about the troubles of being a bureaucrat and so on.

RM: I just realised it was too long to have Fry with his shirt off.

JSB: This really got Amy in a really skimpy dress. And Zoidberg in a tuxedo.

BW: I'm noticing her, if I was that Fry right there, I would just run off with her. The end.

JSB: Hermes' I don't know where.

JSB: I was somehow convinced that we were never able to say that.

DXC: They are much more concerned about the number of curse words than the actual content of the show. As part of the network is concerned.

JSB: I think there was a time where we actually knew how many times the word "ass" would occur on the show.

DXC: You think, but then we lost count after that.

JSB: The board got filled and we gave up on it.

?: How many times can we say "ass" in this discussion, maybe we can set another record on DVD.

MG: Well, it's an extra ten million years each in Hell, so...

?: Well, ass!

RM: You're going for eternity.

DXC: The juicer.

DXC: One problem with having a show in the year 3000 is that every time we think we've named something in a futuristic way by naming it the "blank-amatic 3000". We have to do a rewrite later and make it "4000", when we remember what year it is.

DXC: Hey, Matt, how come the show's set in the year 3000? Instead of like 2281 like Star Trek or something like that?

MG: It was just because it was simple on the freezing tube to set it for a thousand years. What's a better answer, I don't know.

DXC: I think you used to claim it was some kind of excuse for technology to be—

MG: Oh yes, I remember that answer, yeah, we– by having– setting the show so far in the future, we could justify any technology we wanted and if you recall in the pilot episode, we showed the Earth getting destroyed a couple of times by flying saucers and civilisation being rebuild, so that's how it comes, it is not incredibly technological advanced, we still have light bulbs and battering ramps and other old fashioned—

?: Juice-amatic.

MG: Juice-amatic.

?: Now that I know that, I don't feel so assanined.

MG: It's a sitcom. Of course she's alive.

BW: I've always loved all that cool meat hanging off his face. It looks like a four fingered hand or something.

MG: Those aren't fingers.

BW: I know.

DXC: Any place that design came from? We heard where the voice came from. Dr Zoidberg's design?

MG: No, I– I don't know, it's just– I like mollusks. I mean, I really like mollusks.

DXC: Isn't he a bit of a cephalopod also?

MG: A little bit. What's your point? No, he's contradictory, he's– he seems to have an exoskeleton with lobster claws and yet his head seems to be kinda musshy.

JSB: It's funny how aliens always look like things on Earth shoulda???.

MG: When you beat someone with a chair in a cartoon, the chair doesn't break. It just– it's–

?: It's like real life that way.

MG: Yeah.

?: A western cartoon.

GV: Animation is more real than life action.

RM: Standards in practises say stuff about that.

?: What's acceptable like the chair being used as one thing and if you go too far, it's not acceptable standard of practices.

?: We never listen to them, you know.

?: No.