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Episode Recap: Bender Should Not Be Allowed On TV
Bender becomes a television star as well as a terrible role model for children.
As Fry, Bender, Leela, Cubert and Dwight watch “All My Circuits,” the two kids begin imitating the on-screen television drama. When the soap’s central character, Calculon, announces he’s going to have a birthday party, Cubert plans a party exactly like Calculon’s. Suddenly, Calculon’s on-screen robot son, Antonio, mechanically breaks down in the middle of a scene. The next week, Cubert and Dwight are disappointed when the cool kids shun their party, and the only guest is Tinny Tim. The party is interrupted by the news that “All My Circuits” is holding an open casting call for child robots to replace Antonio. Bender decides he’s perfect for the role, and attends the audition. As the other child robots audition, Bender, Fry, and Leela boo them, and scream out cheers demanding Bender get the job. Influenced by the cheers, the casting team gives Bender the part despite hating his audition.
When Bender learns his character is now in a permanent coma, he ad-libs by jumping out of bed, lighting a cigar and telling a bewildered Calculon to bite his shiny metal ass. Calculon refuses to reshoot the scene, so Bender’s performance makes it to air. Unbeknownst to anyone else, the director adds in hidden camera footage of Bender stealing things from Calculon’s dressing room. While watching an episode in the control room, the cast and crew are joined by three robot network executives. The director says he’s going to fire Bender, but the executives insist Bender remain since the ratings indicate he’s a huge success. As time passes, Bender not only becomes a superstar, but also becomes a negative role model for young viewers, including Cubert and Dwight, who take up many of Bender’s bad habits. Disgusted to see their sons emulating Bender, the Professor and Hermes form a group, “Fathers Against Rude Television” (FART) to protest Bender’s influence on kids. Determined to be as cool as Bender, the boys decide to commit a robbery, and choose Bender as their target.
The boys rob Bender’s apartment, and later throw a party to celebrate. This time the party is a success, attended by lots of cool kids, who entertain themselves with Bender’s belongings. Noticing all the stuff strewn about, Hermes and the Professor get the kids to admit to having stolen the items. Bender arrives at the party and defends his on-screen behavior. When he realizes the stolen goods are his, Bender suddenly agrees that he shouldn’t be allowed on television. The next day, an angry mob of fathers, led by Bender, takes the Planet Express ship to Hollywood, where they head to the “All My Circuits” stage. The men interrupt shooting to state on camera that Bender must be stopped. When an executive says “no,” Bender quits, but is reminded of his unbreakable contract. Bender reluctantly joins the scene being shot, but the Professor pulls a gun and threatens to kill him. The executive also pulls a gun on Bender, insisting he continue, but Bender is able to disarm the two men. Turning to the camera, Bender denounces his influence on children, but also accuses parents of being unwilling to turn off the television when necessary. Cowed, the fathers realize they’ve been neglectful in raising their children. Back home, Hermes and the Professor tell the others about the lesson they learned, but despite their new awareness, they’re still unable to turn off the television.