The Luck of the Fryrish
|"The Luck of the Fryrish"|
|Episode no.||Season three
|Directed by||Chris Louden|
|Written by||Ron Weiner|
|Original air date||March 11, 2001|
|Opening caption||"Broadcast Simultaneously One Year In The Future"|
|Opening cartoon||"Boom Boom" (1936)|
The episode opens in the mid-1970s, where a young Yancy Fry is jealous of his newborn brother Philip, and copies him in anything he can. In the year 3000, Fry is getting fed up with his bad luck in a horse rally. A flashback shows Fry discovering a seven-leaf clover, which grants him extraordinary luck and allows him to beat his brother in any contest, from basketball to breakdancing. Fry sets off, with Leela and Bender, to find his clover in the ruins of Old New York and makes his way to his old house.
Back in the 1980s, a teenage Fry hides the seven-leaf clover inside his Ronco record vault in his copy of The Breakfast Club soundtrack. In the year 3000, Fry remembers the combination, but when the safe is stuck, Bender opens it up for him. Unfortunately, Fry discovers that the clover is missing, concluding that Yancy must have stolen it. They happen across a statue of whom they believe to be Yancy, with the seven-leaf clover in his lapel. The inscription: "Philip J. Fry - The Original Martian" angers Fry because he believes Yancy stole his name and his dream.
Professor Farnsworth pulls up a biographical movie about "Philip J. Fry", where the crew learns that he was a millionaire, rock star, astronaut, and is now buried (with the seven-leaf clover) in Orbiting Meadows National Cemetery, a graveyard orbiting Earth. A furious Fry sets off to rob Philip J. Fry's grave and recover the clover. The story jumps back to the early 21st century, where an adult Yancy is rummaging through his missing brother's music to find something to play at his wedding. Yancy discovers the seven-leaf clover and takes it.
Fry, Leela and Bender reach the grave site, and start digging, but Fry knocks loose some moss that is covering part of an inscription on Yancy's tombstone, and begins to read. The story jumps back to Yancy, who is discussing naming his newborn son with his wife. Yancy did not keep Fry's clover for himself; instead, he gave it to his newborn son and named him Philip J. Fry. The inscription on the tomb reads "Here Lies Philip J. Fry, named for his uncle, to carry on his spirit." Bender finds the clover, and he offers to mess up the corpse, but Fry (now emotionally touched) instead returns the clover to his nephew's grave as "Don't You (Forget About Me)" by Simple Minds (from the Breakfast Club soundtrack) is heard before the end credits.
According to executive producer David X. Cohen, the storyboards for this particular episode were color-coded to indicate which scenes were based in the 31st century and which in the 20th century. Cohen also notes that the concept of simultaneously telling two stories set in different times was inspired by The Godfather Part II.
The quantum finish at the race track is a reference to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. Additionally, Fry's line, "It's clovering time", is a reference to the catchphrase of the Marvel Comics superhero, the Thing ("It's clobbering time!").
Broadcast and reception
Ron Weiner won an Annie Award for "Outstanding individual achievement for writing in an animated television production" for this episode in 2001. In 2006, IGN.com ranked this episode as number eleven in their list of the top 25 Futurama episodes due to the surprising ending and emotional nature of the plot. Christopher Bird of Torontoist called the episode "one of the greatest, saddest and most profound" episodes of Futurama, noted that it explores themes of loneliness and isolation, and "that it does this without ever becoming maudlin is a triumph." In 2013, it was ranked number 3 "as voted on by fans" for Comedy Central's Futurama Fanarama marathon.
In its original airing, this episode had a 4.9 rating/9 share and was in 73rd place for the week.
- Cohen, David X (2003). Futurama season 3 DVD commentary for the episode "The Luck of the Fryrish" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
- Cook, Lucius (April 26, 2004). Hey Sexy Mama, Wanna Kill All Humans?: Looking Backwards at Futurama, The Greatest SF Show You've Never Seen. Locus Online. Retrieved on July 2, 2007.
- "29th Annual Annie Award Nominees and Winners". International Animated Film Society. 2001. Retrieved 2007-06-28.
- "Top 25 Futurama Episodes". Retrieved 2007-06-28.
- Bird, Christopher (2009-03-02). "Televisualist: Model, Waves, and Gotham Raves". Torontoist. Archived from the original on 2009-03-05. Retrieved 2009-03-02.
- "Futurama Fanarama marthon". 2013-08-25. Retrieved 2013-08-31.
- "U.S. Primetime TV Ratings For The Week Of March 5 - 11, 2001". 2001-03-13. Retrieved 2007-07-04.
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