List of Futurama characters
Along with the employees of Planet Express, Futurama includes a large array of characters, which include co-workers, media personalities, business owners, extended relatives, townspeople, aliens, and villains. Many of these characters were created for one-time gags, background scenes or other functions in the Futurama universe. A number of them have gained expanded roles and subsequently starred in their own episodes. Other characters started out as background characters, and have been used to personify new roles later on in the series.
The main characters are listed first; all other characters are listed in alphabetical order. Only main, supporting, and recurring characters are listed, with brief descriptions of the main and supporting characters also given. For more detail on recurring characters, see List of recurring characters in Futurama.
|Character||Voiced by||Description||First appearance|
|Philip J. Fry||Billy West||Protagonist, from the 20th century. Delivery boy. Many times great-uncle to Professor Hubert Farnsworth. Suitor of Leela.||"Space Pilot 3000"|
|Turanga Leela||Katey Sagal||Mutant cyclops, previously assumed to be an alien. Captain of the Planet Express Ship. Love interest of Fry.|
|Bender Bending Rodriguez||John DiMaggio||A kleptomaniacal, lazy, cigar-smoking, heavy-drinking bending robot who is Fry's best friend. Built in Tijuana, Mexico, he is the Planet Express cook.|
|Amy Wong||Lauren Tom||Chinese-Martian physicist intern at Planet Express. Fonfon Ru (Common Law wife) and Smizmar (soulmate) of Kif Kroker. A "little rich girl", her parents own the Western hemisphere of the planet Mars.||"The Series Has Landed"|
|Hermes Conrad||Phil LaMarr||Bureaucrat (Grade 36, then 38, then 37) and accountant of Planet Express. Former Olympic limbo athlete representing Jamaica. Husband of LaBarbara Conrad and father of Dwight Conrad. As Inspector #5, approved Bender out of pity, despite the robot not having a backup unit.|
|Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth||Billy West||Many times great-nephew of Fry. CEO and owner of Planet Express delivery company. Tenured professor at Mars University.||"Space Pilot 3000"|
|Doctor John Zoidberg||Crustacean-like alien from Decapod 10. Planet Express' staff doctor, although he is vague on human anatomy. May or may not have a medical degree, but does have a Ph.D in art history.||"The Series Has Landed"|
|Nibbler||Frank Welker||Nibblonian representative on Earth, actually "Lord Nibbler", who is thousands of years old. Poses as Leela's adorable pet while manipulating events behind the scenes to avoid cosmic catastrophes.||"Love's Labours Lost in Space"|
|Zapp Brannigan||Billy West||25-star General in the Democratic Order of Planets (D.O.O.P.), Captain of the Nimbus flagship and head of the D.O.O.P. army.|
|Kif Kroker||Maurice LaMarche||Amphibiosion alien. Fourth Lieutenant of the Nimbus spaceship and aide to Zapp Brannigan. Husband of Amy Wong.|
|Mom||Tress MacNeille||Antagonist. The richest person in the world, owner of MomCorp, which makes, among other things, all robots. Professor Farnsworth's former lover when he worked for her.||"A Fishful of Dollars"|
|Headless Body of Agnew||Maurice LaMarche||The headless body of Spiro Agnew, former Vice President of the United States. Incumbent Vice President of Earth and aide to Richard Nixon's Head.||"Space Pilot 3000"|
|Boxy||n/a||A robot only able to communicate by beeping. Assistant to Calculon.||"I, Roommate"|
|Brain Slugs||Small, parasitic aliens who attach themselves to the heads of intelligent beings and control them.||"A Head in the Polls"|
|Brain Spawn||David Herman||A race of flying telepathic brains, who feed off knowledge and wish to destroy other sentient lifeforms.||"A Clone of My Own"|
|Calculon||Maurice LaMarche||Famous acting robot. Star of the TV drama All My Circuits. Known for his long dramatic pauses.||"I, Roommate"|
|Antonio Calculon||Plays the son of Calculon on the show All My Circuits.|
|The Crushinator||Robot daughter of human hydroponic farmer on the Moon.||"The Series Has Landed"|
|Father Changstein-El-Gamal||David Herman||Leader of the First Amalgamated Church.||"Godfellas"|
|Chanukah Zombie||Mark Hamill||Undead personification of Chanukah. Part of the "Holiday Trinity".||Bender's Big Score|
|Clamps||Maurice LaMarche||An unstable member of the Robot Mafia, obsessed with using the clamps that form his hands.||"Bender Gets Made"|
|Dwight Conrad||Bumper Robinson/Phil LaMarr||Son of Hermes and LaBarbara Conrad.||"The Route of All Evil"|
|LaBarbara Conrad||Dawnn Lewis||Wife of Hermes Conrad, mother of Dwight Conrad. Former wife of Barbados Slim.||"A Flight To Remember"|
|Donbot||Maurice LaMarche||Head of the Robot Mafia.||"Bender Gets Made"|
|Abner Doubledeal||Tom Kenny||Businessman, owner of various sporting enterprises.||"Raging Bender"|
|Elzar||John DiMaggio||A renowned alien Neptunian chef, with three pairs of arms.||"My Three Suns"|
|Cubert Farnsworth||Kath Soucie||Professor Farnsworth's clone, who he is raising as a son.||"A Clone of My Own"|
|Flexo||John DiMaggio||A bending unit from the same assembly line as Bender. Almost identical in appearance, voice and personality, except he has a small triangular beard.||"The Lesser of Two Evils"|
|Al Gore's Head||Al Gore||Former Vice President of the United States. Member of the "Vice Presidential Action Rangers", and First Emperor of the Moon.||"Anthology of Interest I"|
|Gypsy-bot||Tress MacNeille||Robotic fortune-telling machine.||"My Three Suns"|
|Stephen Hawking||Stephen Hawking||Member of the "Vice Presidential Action Rangers", and celebrated scientist.||"Anthology of Interest I"|
|Hedonismbot||Maurice LaMarche||Robotic personification of Hedonism.||"Crimes of the Hot"|
|Horrible Gelatinous Blob||A large, translucent and acidic alien. Known for eating people, who can then be seen through his gelatin.||"The Series Has Landed"|
|Hyperchicken||A hyperchicken lawyer.||"Brannigan, Begin Again"|
|Hypnotoad||n/a||A large toad with oscillating, multicolored eyes. When hypnotizing people, it emits a buzzing noise known as "Angry Machine"||"The Day the Earth Stood Stupid"|
|Kwanzaabot||Coolio||Robotic personification of Kwanzaa. Part of the "Holiday Trinity".||"A Tale of Two Santas"|
|Lrrr||Maurice LaMarche||Alien ruler of Omicron Persei 8 who frequently invades the Earth after being nagged to do so by his wife Ndnd; father of Jrrr. Enjoys watching Earthican TV, which arrives 1000 years after its broadcast on Earth.||"When Aliens Attack"|
|Linda van Schoonhoven||Tress MacNeille||Co-anchor with Morbo of √ News.||"A Big Piece of Garbage"|
|Hattie McDoogal||A twice-widowed cat-loving landlady. Shareholder of Planet Express.||"I, Roommate"|
|Michelle||Kath Soucie/Sarah Silverman||Former girlfriend of Fry, from the 20th century. Later freezes herself until the 30th century.||"Space Pilot 3000"|
|Morbo the Annihilator||Maurice LaMarche||Alien co-anchor with Linda van Schoonhoven of √ News. An advance scout, gathering information for a forthcoming alien invasion of Earth.||"A Big Piece of Garbage"|
|Joey Mousepad||John DiMaggio||A member of the Robot Mafia, who wears a mouse and mousepad around his neck.||"Bender Gets Made"|
|Randy Munchnik||A stereotypical homosexual man, who owns a jewellery shop.||"I, Roommate"|
|Richard Nixon's Head||Billy West||The head of Richard Nixon, former President of the United States. Now incumbent President of Earth.||"Space Pilot 3000"|
|Mr. Panucci||John DiMaggio||Owner of "Panucci's Pizza" and the former boss of Fry in the 20th century.|
|Pazuzu||David Herman||A large gargoyle, formerly owned by Professor Farnsworth. Occasionally appears to rescue Farnsworth in urgent situations.||"Teenage Mutant Leela's Hurdles"|
|Petunia||Tress MacNeille||An elderly, chain-smoking and promiscuous woman from Nutley, New Jersey.||"Put Your Head on My Shoulders"|
|Reverend Lionel Preacherbot||Phil LaMarr||Robot minister of the Temple of Robotology.||"Hell Is Other Robots"|
|Roberto||David Herman||Criminally insane, psychotic robot. Obsessed with stabbing people in different places with different objects.||"Insane in the Mainframe"|
|Robot Devil||Dan Castellaneta/Maurice LaMarche||Robotic personification of the devil, and ruler of Robot Hell.||"Hell Is Other Robots"|
|Robot Santa||John Goodman/John DiMaggio||Robotic personification of Santa Claus, designed to give out presents to those it deems "good". Invariably judges everyone except Zoidberg as "naughty" due to a programming error. Part of the "Holiday Trinity".||"Xmas Story"|
|Sal||John DiMaggio||Surly overweight blue-collar worker who speaks in plurals. Occupies various positions performing mostly menial jobs.||"The Series Has Landed"|
|Scruffy||David Herman||Philosophically-minded janitor at Planet Express. Often agrees by saying "A-yup".||"A Fishful of Dollars"|
|Barbados Slim||John DiMaggio||LaBarbara Conrad's former husband, and Hermes' rival. Only athlete to win gold medals in both limbo and sex.||"Bend Her"|
|Smitty||Billy West||A human policeman, partner of URL, a robot.||"Space Pilot 3000"|
|Bubblegum Tate||Phil LaMarr||Renowned physicist and leader of the Harlem Globetrotters from the Globetrotter homeworld.||"Time Keeps on Slippin'"|
|Tinny Tim||Tress MacNeille||Robotic personification of an orphan. Suffers frequent misfortune.||"Space Pilot 3000"|
|Turanga Morris||David Herman||Leela's father, a mutant who lives in the sewers. Has one eye, a sideways mouth and ten toes on each foot. He and his wife, Munda, leave their daughter, Turanga Leela, on the doorstep of an orphanage so she will have a better life after being mistaken for an alien. They then surreptitiously follow Leela from the sewers, and protect her from harm.||"I Second That Emotion"|
|Turanga Munda||Tress MacNeille||Leela's mother, a mutant who lives in the sewers. Has one eye, tentacles instead of arms and hands, and a tail. She and her wife, Morris, leave their daughter, Turanga Leela, on the doorstep of an orphanage so she will have a better life after being mistaken for an alien. They then surreptitiously follow Leela from the sewers, and protect her from harm.|
|URL||John DiMaggio||Pronounced "Earl." A robot policeman, partner of Smitty, a human.||"Space Pilot 3000"|
|Warden Vogel||David Herman||Grade 135 Bureaucrat, warden of the Cookieville Minimum-Security Orphanarium where Leela grew up.||"The Cyber House Rules"|
|Dr. Ogden Wernstrom||Professor Farnsworth's former student and now fierce rival.||"A Big Piece of Garbage"|
|Inez Wong||Lauren Tom||Mother of Amy Wong, and wife of Leo Wong. Wealthy co owner of the Western Hemisphere of Mars. Wants Amy to get married and give her grandchildren.||"A Flight to Remember"|
|Leo Wong||Billy West||Father of Amy Wong, and husband of Inez Wong. Wealthy co-owner of the Western Hemisphere of Mars. Main antagonist of "Into the Wild Green Yonder"|
Philip J. Fry
Philip J. Fry, primarily known by his surname Fry, is the main protagonist of the series. He is a 20th century pizza delivery boy in New York City who, after getting dumped by his girlfriend and being stuck in a dead-end job, is cryogenically frozen on December 31, 1999, waking up 1000 years later just before the year 3000. After meeting Bender and Leela, the trio find employment at the Planet Express delivery company, owned by Fry's distant descendant Professor Farnsworth. Ironically, Fry becomes the delivery boy for Planet Express after rejecting his predetermined job of being a delivery boy upon waking up in the future. Fry is a goofy, dim-witted, slovenly but well-meaning individual. The series follows his transition from the 20th century to the 31st century. Fry is voiced by Billy West, who uses an impression of his own voice at age 25 to create Fry's voice.
Leela (full name Turanga Leela) is the female lead of the series. She is a one-eyed mutant who Fry meets after waking up 1000 years in the future. Originally working as a career assignment officer for cryo-preserved people waking up in the future, Leela quits her job after meeting Fry, joining him and Bender at Planet Express where she becomes the delivery ship's captain. She is one of the few characters in the cast to routinely display competence and the ability to command, and routinely saves the rest of the cast from disaster, but suffers extreme self-doubt because she has only one eye and grew up as a bullied orphan. She first believes herself an alien but later is revealed to be the least-mutated sewer mutant in the history of 31st-century Earth. Leela is also an environmentalist. The series also follows the relationship between Fry and Leela, as they start off as friends but later develop feelings for one another. Leela is voiced by Katey Sagal.
Bender Bending Rodríguez
Bender Bending Rodríguez (designated in-universe as Bending Unit 22, unit number 1,729, serial number 2716057) is a humanoid industrial robot who rounds out the main trio of characters. He fulfills a comic, antihero-type role in Futurama and is described by fellow character Leela as an "alcoholic, whore-mongering, chain-smoking gambler". Fry meets Bender at a suicide booth (which he mistakes for a telephone booth) after exploring the city following his escape from the cryogenics facility he was frozen at. After Fry gives Bender a reason to keep living, the two are caught by Leela, who joins them in going to Planet Express. Bender fulfills a variety of odd jobs at the company, including the head chef, and is also Fry's best friend and roommate. He is voiced by John DiMaggio.
|First appearance||"The Series Has Landed" (1999)|
|Last appearance||Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow (2017)|
|Created by||Matt Groening|
David X. Cohen
|Voiced by||Lauren Tom|
|Occupation||Physicist intern to Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth|
|Family||Leo Wong (father)|
Inez Wong (mother)
|Significant other||Kif Kroker (Fonfon Ru)|
Philip J. Fry (ex-boyfriend)
Bender Bending Rodriguez (ex-fiancé)
|Children||Kif's Offspring (adoptive children)|
Amy Wong works as an intern at Planet Express (supposedly kept around because she shares Professor Farnsworth's blood type, and doesn't notice the Professor's tendency to send his crews on suicide missions). She is the ditzy, spoiled daughter of wealthy agriculturalist-industrialist Han Chinese rancher parents who raise buggalo (a hybrid of "buffalo" and "bug") on their property on Mars, which takes up the entire western hemisphere of the planet. A graduate student for most of the series' run, in season six, she earns her Ph.D in Applied Physics from Mars University, earning her the title of Doctor. By the end of the series, she is the "Fonfon Ru" – the rough equivalent of a Common Law wife – of Kif Kroker, and the adoptive mother of his offspring. Amy's stereotypically Asian meddling mother and father frequently pressure her to get married and give them grandchildren, which she is not eager to do. They are often shown to be rather unkind to their daughter, including during an incident in which Amy's father repeatedly made fun of her for being fat as a child.
On the show, Amy is known for being somewhat shallow, kind, and ditzy. When Doctor Zoidberg had lost his mind due to hormones and was forced to be tied up, she was fooled multiple times into untying him, despite the dangers. As she said herself, "Fool me seven times, shame on you, fool me eight or more times, shame on me." She uses Martian slang, which is simply American slang with altered consonants, such as "Guh" (duh) or "Shman" (man). Amy tends to wear rather provocative outfits. Her standard outfit is a midriff baring pink sweatshirt, matching sweatpants and brown boots, with other outfits consisting of anything that reveals her belly button. She confesses to Fry that she dresses that way to rebel against her parents; in the movie Into the Wild Green Yonder, she tells her father that she wears the sweatsuit because she knew he always wanted a son. When angered, Amy occasionally starts cursing in poorly spoken Cantonese, such as "Aiya, da sei nei", which roughly translates to "Oh my God, I'll beat you to death". She has also been known to sing in Cantonese, though the exact lyrics have yet to be translated.
According to her, because of her supreme cuteness, Amy had cuteness reduction surgery on her cheek and nose when she was a teenager.
Amy has dated few men, but she expresses a sexually adventurous attitude. In Bender's Game she portrayed bisexual characteristics. In "Proposition Infinity", she had a robosexual relationship with Bender; She also has a thing for 'bad boys'. She dated Fry for a time in "Put Your Head on My Shoulders", but the relationship was brief as Fry quickly got sick of her. However, during their relationship, he was involved in an accident, which caused her to have his head grafted onto her shoulder to save his life. She still carries a disfiguring scar from the incident. She has been dating Kif Kroker since 3001. Although she is not ready for total commitment, Amy is sure that one day she will be. In "Kif Gets Knocked Up A Notch", she became the "Smizmar" of Kif's children; that is, she inspired the feelings of love that caused Kif to be receptive to procreation. Although Leela is the biological mother because she grabbed Kif's ungloved hand to keep him from being sucked out of his spaceship, not knowing that, in his receptive state, this would impregnate him (some of the children even have only one eye like Leela), the Smizmar is considered to be the true mother in Kif's culture. Amy's love for Kif is undeniable, and she has been seen crying when Kif goes on dangerous missions, fearing for his well-being.
When creating Amy's character, Matt Groening and David X. Cohen decided that she would be something of a klutz. Groening was interested in exploring the idea of using slapstick comedy and physical humor with a female character, since most of this humor was done by male characters in his previous work, The Simpsons.
Amy's personality was initially different; her voice actress Lauren Tom has stated that she was originally supposed to be "a car mechanic, really tough lesbian sort of character". She was changed in order to provide a better contrast between her and Leela.
In the season four episode "Kif Gets Knocked Up a Notch", in which Amy's boyfriend Kif becomes pregnant, there was some disagreement among the writers as to whether Amy should be the real mother of his children. It was eventually decided that having Amy be the mother and reject the children would make her too unlikeable.
|First appearance||"The Series Has Landed" (1999)|
|Last appearance||Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow (2017)|
|Created by||Ken Keeler|
|Voiced by||Phil LaMarr|
|Occupation||Bureaucrat Grade 35 and accountant of the Planet Express delivery company.|
|Spouse||LaBarbara Conrad (wife)|
|Children||Dwight Conrad (son)|
Elena Fry (daughter-in-law; in comics only[in the future])
Hermes Conrad is a workaholic bureaucrat and the accountant at the Planet Express from Jamaica with a heavy Jamaican accent, known for his 31st-century Jamaican exclamations - for instance, "Sweet manatee of Galilee!". He manages the Planet Express delivery business with responsibilities that include paying bills, giving out legal waivers, and notifying next of kin. Hermes is very enthusiastic about the Limbo and was once an Olympic limbo athlete. However, an accident in the 2980 Olympic Games in which a fan broke his back trying to emulate Hermes left him traumatized, and he could not bring himself to limbo again until decades later when it was needed. The series also alludes to Hermes using marijuana, though he is never seen actually using it, partially due to prime-time television censorship standards at the time of the original run for Futurama.
Hermes frequently admonishes the staff for not working hard enough, and strongly dislikes Dr. Zoidberg, often treating him as a "thing" and not a person, and normally punishes Zoidberg first even when obviously innocent. Zoidberg is generally oblivious to this, considering Hermes his friend, but upon learning the truth in "The Six Million Dollar Mon", he callously calls out Hermes for his treatment of him. Later episodes show them building an uneasy rapport, with Hermes slowly softening to Zoidberg. He is also known to dislike labor unions, once referring to Labor Day as created by "fat-cat union gangsters", though seconds later he exclaims "Hot damn, a day off!" upon learning that it was that very day ("When Aliens Attack"), and consulting Glurmo about firing the entire crew and replacing them with Grunka-Lunkas for half the pay ("Fry and the Slurm Factory"). It is also a recurring gag that Hermes wants to kill some or all of the members of the Planet Express crew; in "The Farnsworth Parabox", he suggested that Leela shoot the rest of the crew and pondered ejecting the entire crew of both universes except him in Universe 1 into the sun.
Despite his disdain and attitude towards most of his coworkers, he has more recently been portrayed as one of the most compassionate characters in the series, and seems to have a soft spot for Bender. In the Season 6 episode "Lethal Inspection," it is revealed that Hermes used to work for Mom's Robot Factory in Tijuana, Mexico as Inspector #5, checking robots for defects as they came off the production line. Bender was built here without a backup module, but Hermes' compassion for the baby robot led him to override Bender's "defective" assessment and give him a chance at life. He turned in his resignation immediately afterward, and later destroyed all evidence of his employment there in order to prevent Bender from learning the truth, almost being killed in the process. As the episode ends, he smiles quietly at his burning personnel file and nods, showing him to be proud of his choice. In the earlier episode "How Hermes Requisitioned His Groove Back", he risked his bureaucratic license to rescue Bender, sorting the entire Master IN pile in under four minutes to recover the disc containing Bender's downloaded brain.
Hermes is married to LaBarbara Conrad, with whom he has a son Dwight. However, LaBarbara was formerly married to Hermes' former Limbo rival Barbados Slim, and got back with Barbados twice when Hermes was temporarily decapitated in Bender's Big Score. Hermes is also overweight, caused by over three decades of overeating including LaBarbara's goat curry, which has made his skin too spicy and acidic for consumption by others.
He is voiced by Phil LaMarr, who states that Hermes, originally named "Dexter", did not have a Jamaican accent at first and was more uptight. Series creator Matt Groening walked up to LaMarr after an early table read and said "Hey Phil, can you do a Jamaican accent?" This resulted in making the character more workable and less bland, according to Groening.
Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth is Fry's great (×30) nephew and great (×31) grandson because of time reef paradox. A mad scientist and the proprietor of Planet Express, he alternates between intelligence and amoral senility due to his greatly advanced age, stated to be at least 150 years old on multiple occasions during the course of the series (160 years old as of "A Clone of My Own"). He demonstrates a mastery of any field of science necessary for the series' plots and is suggested to be one of the most brilliant inventors on Earth. However, he falls asleep constantly, and he is implied to have routinely sent his former crews on suicide missions. He wears very thick glasses and has a gift for creating doomsday devices and atomic supermen. He has put at least one parallel universe in peril with his inventions and visited dozens more (see "The Farnsworth Parabox").
The Professor teaches at Mars University and has worked for Momcorp on several occasions but spends most of his time inventing ridiculous devices and sending the Planet Express delivery crew on suicide missions. What he is a professor of is never explicitly stated. In the episode "Mars University", when asked what he is teaching, he responds: "The same thing I teach every semester, the mathematics of quantum neutrino fields. I made up the title so no student would dare take it"; however, this declaration has not precluded the professor from demonstrating mastery of whatever field of science is convenient for a given episode's plot, as shown in Bender's Big Score when he proclaims, "I can wire anything directly into anything! I am the Professor!", proceeding to link Hermes' disembodied head to the ship's computer. Approximately 100 years before the series' timeline, he taught a young (not yet Professor) Wernstrom, whom Farnsworth regarded as a prized student. After he returned a pop quiz to Wernstrom with a grade of A-minus (for poor penmanship), the two became bitter rivals (established in "A Big Piece of Garbage").
Many episodes' major plot points are introduced by Farnsworth announcing, "Good news, everyone!"—either to unveil his latest invention or describe the company's latest delivery assignment, which is usually a suicide mission; he acknowledges this in The Beast with a Billion Backs. On the very few occasions he has actual good news, he often opens with "Bad news, everyone!" After Fry resigns from his job in "Law & Oracle", he states that he only says these phrases to make Fry "feel better about his pointless job." Another is his exclamation, "Sweet zombie Jesus!" He often says "Eh Wha?" when unaware of the situation, or when someone questions a statement he has just made. The Professor often makes mutually contradictory statements just moments apart; this happens especially often when briefing his employees, with the prevailing second statement canceling a much more reassuring first sentence.
The Professor rarely worries about the safety of the crew, viewing them as a means to an end, as evidenced in the first episode. After remarking that he was looking for a new crew for his intergalactic space ship, he was asked "What happened to your old crew?" His response was "Oh, those poor sons of... — but that's not important! What is important is that I need a new crew!" Farnsworth's employees later discover that their predecessors died while gathering not-ordinary honey from Space Bees ("The Sting"). The Professor issues his new crew the previous crew's career chips from a manila envelope labeled "Contents Of Space Wasp's Stomach" ("Space Pilot 3000").
It is established in the episode "Mother's Day" that the Professor was once Mom's lover and employee. However, they could not maintain their relationship due to Mom's lust for power, including when she decided to weaponize his "Q.T. McWhiskers" toy, prompting them to break up (this reportedly happened three times). When Mom takes control of all the world's robots to cause an uprising, her sons Walt, Larry, and Igner attempt to get the Professor to seduce Mom and retrieve the remote for the robots. They get back together briefly, but break up once more when Mom learns the Professor had been initially using her. It is revealed in Bender's Game that the Professor is the biological father of Mom's youngest son Igner — the one whom Mom despises the most.
Many references to the pulp science fiction magazine Weird Tales indicate the Professor may be named in honour of its editor Farnsworth Wright. Another possibility is that he is named after the American inventor and television pioneer Philo Farnsworth who appeared in the Futurama episode "All The Presidents' Heads" as an ancestor of the Professor and Philip J. Fry.
As a relative of Fry, Professor Farnsworth is also voiced by Billy West, using a combination of impressions of Burgess Meredith and Frank Morgan. However, in the "Action Delivery Force" segment of "Reincarnation", the Professor is voiced by David Herman.
John A. Zoidberg, "M." D., commonly known by his surname Zoidberg, is the staff doctor for Planet Express, despite his poor understanding of human physiology and allusions to his questionable credentials. He is a Decapodian, a crustacean-like species of alien. His character parodies the supposed wealth and automatic respect of modern doctors—for example, his incompetence at human medicine makes him extremely poor despite his profession, and he is implied to be frequently homeless when not at work. The Decapod (named after the actual Decapoda order of ten-footed crustaceans) are an extended parody on Yiddish culture—the bigger joke being that shellfish are not kosher. The writing riffs on the marine theme in a playfully absurd way, with just about any marine Arthropoda or Mollusca being implied to be akin to Zoidberg. Zoidberg is voiced by Billy West, who performs the character with a Yiddish-inflected accent inspired by actors George Jessel and Lou Jacobi.
The crew are often disgusted by his foul habits, such as squirting ink or eating from trash cans, though he is mostly oblivious to their true feelings about him, having referred to Hermes Conrad and Bender as friends. Hermes seems to have the most intense dislike of Zoidberg, seeing him as even more expendable than the rest of the crew. However, when Fry reads Hermes' mind in Into the Wild Green Yonder, it is revealed that Hermes sees him as "pathetic but lovable". In "The Six Million Dollar Mon", after Hermes quits Planet Express and trades his own body parts for robot parts, a depressed Zoidberg recovers the discarded parts and sews them together to create a full-fledged ventriloquist dummy of Hermes, which he later uses to transplant Hermes' brain out of his robot body and back into his original body. After Hermes thanks him and admits that they had never been friends, Zoidberg callously calls out Hermes for his treatment of him, leaving Hermes impressed with this confrontation. Zoidberg briefly becomes a hero when he saves Earth from enslavement to his own kind in "A Taste of Freedom". Fry and Professor Farnsworth are usually the only ones to refer to Zoidberg as a friend, and in Bender's Big Score, Zoidberg says of Fry, "He was the only one of you who never struck me!" during the latter's memorial. Zoidberg has ambitions to be a stand-up comedian, but he is entirely unsuccessful at this endeavor. In “That's Lobstertainment!”, his uncle, the silent hologram star Harold Zoid (a parody of Harold Lloyd), advises him to give up on comedy and finance a film whose script Zoid is writing.
Zoidberg is named after an Apple II game that series writer David X. Cohen created in high school called Zoid, similar to the game Qix. The game was rejected by Brøderbund. One of Cohen's inspirations for the character of Dr. Zoidberg was the fact that Star Trek character Leonard McCoy, the ship's doctor, frequently administered medical treatment to aliens such as Spock, so Cohen wished human characters in Futurama to be in the uneasy situation of being treated by an alien doctor.
- List of recurring Futurama characters for a detailed entry on each recurring character.
- "Billy West: The Many (Cartoon) Voices In His Head". Fresh Air. National Public Radio. July 15, 2010. Archived from the original on January 27, 2011. Retrieved 2010-09-05.
'His voice is basically what I sounded like when I was 25. Kinda plain vanilla. I had nothing special about my voice, really. And I just thought, 'Well, I know that character so well.' ... [T]o try to do someone else's real voice is kind of tough.'
- 1,729 is the smallest number that can be represented as the sum of two cubes in two ways, 1³ + 12³ = 9³ + 10³, serial number 2716057 = (952³ - 951³) Why is the number 1,729 hidden in Futurama episodes?, Simon Singh, BBC News, 15 October 2013 Archived 30 March 2019 at the Wayback Machine
- Ehasz, Aaron (November 10, 2002). "Crimes of the Hot". Futurama. Season 4. Episode 8. Fox.
- "Teenage Mutant Leela's Hurdles". Futurama. Season 4. Episode 9. March 30, 2003. Fox.
- "Amazon Women in the Mood". Futurama. Season 3. Episode 1. February 4, 2001. Fox.
- Futurama season 3 episode 9 "The Cyber House Rules" (DVD). 20th Century Fox. 2001.
- Cohen, David X (2003). Futurama season 2 DVD commentary for the episode "Xmas Story" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
- "9 Odd Things We Now Know About Futurama". Total Film. 2009-02-20. Archived from the original on 2009-05-03. Retrieved 2009-06-29.
- Odenkirk, Bill (2003). Futurama season 4 DVD commentary for the episode "Kif gets Knocked Up a Notch" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
- "Phil LaMarr Comedy Central Interview". Archived from the original on 2011-11-07. Retrieved 2019-09-24.
- "A Flight to Remember". Futurama. Season 1. Episode 10. September 26, 1999. Fox.
- Harris, Will (2012-06-12). "Phil LaMarr on Futurama and getting shot in the face for Pulp Fiction". TV Club. Retrieved 2019-09-30.
- "Fry and the Slurm Factory". Futurama. Season 1. Episode 13. November 14, 1999. Fox.
- "The Farnsworth Parabox". Futurama. Season 4. Episode 13. June 8, 2003. Fox.
- "Lethal Inspection". Futurama. Season 6. Episode 6. July 22, 2010. Comedy Central.
- "How Hermes Requisitioned His Groove Back". Futurama. Season 2. Episode 11. April 2, 2000. Fox.
- "Bend Her". Futurama. Season 4. Episode 13. July 20, 2003. Fox.
- Carey-Hill, Dwayne (Director) (November 27, 2007). Futurama: Bender's Big Score (Motion picture). Los Angeles, California: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.
- "The Six Million Dollar Mon". Futurama. Season 7. Episode 7. July 25, 2012. Comedy Central.
- "Billy West: The Many (Cartoon) Voices In His Head". Fresh Air. National Public Radio. July 15, 2010. Archived from the original on August 29, 2010. Retrieved September 5, 2010.
'He sort of fades in and out. ... He's doddering, and he's a combination of lots of different wizards and Burgess Meredith and [ The Wizard of Oz's] Frank Morgan and all those kinds of things all rolled up into one.'
- Verrone, Patric. "Futurama Writer/Co-Executive Producer Patric Verrone". theStream.tv. Archived from the original on 5 January 2012. Retrieved 29 December 2011.
Patric Verrone: Normally the voice of Professor Farnsworth, the leader of the Action Defense Team there, is played by Billy West. This was actually David Herman- who did the voice.
- "Billy West: The Many (Cartoon) Voices In His Head". Fresh Air. National Public Radio. July 15, 2010. Archived from the original on August 29, 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-05.
'That voice is a combination of a couple of people in show business that I always found really funny and interesting. ... One was from vaudeville ... named George Jessel, and he was the 'Toastmaster General of the United States,' and he would always have appropriate toasts for every occasion. And he had a kind of a marble mouth. ... And the other guy was an actor by the name of Lou Jacobi. He was in the movie Arthur.'
- Baker, Chris (December 17, 2007). "Videogames & Futurama, Part 2: How Zoidberg Got His Name From a Game". Wired. Archived from the original on March 25, 2008. Retrieved March 28, 2008.
- Cohen, David X (2002). Futurama season 1 DVD commentary for the episode "The Series Has Landed" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
- Cohen, David X (2003). Futurama season 3 DVD commentary for the episode "A Taste of Freedom" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.