|Episode no.||Season three
|Directed by||Brian Sheesley|
|Written by||Aaron Ehasz|
|Original air date||March 31, 2002|
|Opening caption||"Love It Or Shove It"|
|Opening cartoon||"Jingle Jangle Jungle" by Fleischer and Famous Studios (1950)|
David Herman as Scruffy the Janitor and That Guy
Planet Express holds its stockholders' meeting, and the state of the business is not good. (Most of Planet Express's money came from $8.00 that the bank owed them.) Uninterested in the meeting, Fry and Dr. Zoidberg wander off in search of food. Fry finds his way into a cryogenic defrostee support group meeting, where he meets a sleazy 1980s businessman (referred to only as "That Guy" throughout the episode, though named in the script as Steve Castle). Resembling Gordon Gekko, That Guy arranged to have himself frozen to await a cure for his terminal "bone-itis".
Fry and That Guy return to the Planet Express stockholders' meeting, where a revolt against Professor Farnsworth is in progress. Fry nominates That Guy as new CEO, and That Guy beats out the Professor by one vote. That Guy names Fry his new Vice Chairman, and sets out to remake Planet Express by giving it an expensive image overhaul.
That Guy spends tremendous amounts of money on lavish, pricey, flashy items such as flying chairs, expensive suits, and an enigmatic television commercial. Annoyed, Zoidberg sells his stock to That Guy for a sandwich, exclaiming, "Net gain for Zoidberg!". After draining the company's funds and its employees' morale, That Guy announces that he is selling Planet Express to Mom.
The takeover begins at the orbiting Intergalactic Stock Exchange, and all the Planet Express employees vote against it. Unfortunately, the stock That Guy bought from Zoidberg gave him a controlling interest (Hermes had given Zoidberg huge amounts of shares; "The shares were worthless, and he kept asking for toilet paper!"), and That Guy outvotes them. Mom and her sons vote for the merger, though a slight mishap occurs as Igner mistakenly votes for Pat Buchanan: "The ballot was confusing, mommy!" (a joke on the 2000 Election when Buchanan received votes for Al Gore by accident due to complicated so-called butterfly ballots, which led to the infamous "hanging chads" and 2000 election recount).
However, before the final approval takes place, That Guy abruptly succumbs to a lethal attack of bone-itis, causing his body to contort as his bones snap, twist and curl. In his death-throes, That Guy admits he was so busy "being an '80s guy", he had forgotten to get the cure.
Fry gains control of That Guy's shares, and he votes against the merger. The Planet Express staff initially tries to convince him to sell the company, because the sale of their stock will make them all rich. However, Fry has already given a speech that drove the stock's price through the floor. Since the staff will be poor no matter what he does, he votes against the merger. The staff leaves to spend the weekend in disappointment over the loss of their potential wealth. A seemingly oblivious Fry happily remarks he will see them on Monday.
The title is wordplay on Future Shock, a book written by the futurist Alvin Toffler in 1970. The Planet Express advert which "That Guy" made when a woman comes in with a Planet Express box and hurls it at a glass screen with Mom on it is a parody of the famous 1984 television advert that introduced the Apple Macintosh. The episode also references the 1987 film Wall Street and other 1980s films related to stockbroking.
Broadcast and reception
- Future Stock commentary. Futurama. Twentieth Century Fox. 2003. DVD.
- Ray. Kenneth (2002-04-08). "BroadcastWatch. (Programming).(MARCH 25-31 television network prime time ratings)(Statistical Data Included).". Broadcasting & Cable (Reed Business Information). Retrieved 2009-03-07.
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