Sweet manatee of Galilee! Futurama may not be as dead and buried as we previously thought. During a recent phone interview with SYFY WIRE about Hulu's Animaniacs reboot, veteran voice performer Maurice LaMarche — who voiced a roster of characters on Futurama — talked about a potential return of Matt Groening's animated sci-fi series.
"Sure, we all talk about it," said LaMarche when asked if there's ever been discussion of bringing back the show. "If Fox was to come up with the right offer, but I know Matt would love to do it again. David Cohen, I think, might be into it. I think semi-retirement is finally wearing on him [laughs]. He had to get back to writing on The Simpsons just to keep busy."
LaMarche was a regular cast member on Futurama, where he voiced a slew of well-known recurring characters like Kif Kroker, Hedonismbot, Morbo, Dr. Perceptron, Lrrr (leader of the planet Omicron Persei 8!), and the Rod Serling-inspired narrator of the future's version of The Twilight Zone: The Scary Door. If he gets the chance, he'll happily voice them all again without a moment of hesitation.
"I have to leave it up to the Powers That Be, but I know everybody’s into it, including the cast," he added of a potential reboot. "It would be great to do it before Billy West [voice of Fry, Dr. Zoidberg, and Professor Farnsworth] turns 80. So hopefully someday there’ll be a Futurama reboot, but we’re well-practiced at the reboot thing. We got rebooted twice, so there might be less of a huzzah about it, but it’d be nice to do that again."
The project, which Groening developed alongside David X. Cohen, ran for nearly 200 episodes between its herky-jerky run. After it was canceled by Fox in 2003, Futurama's first four seasons found new life via syndicated re-runs on Adult Swim. A slew of direct-to-video features, which eventually constituted Season 6, started to roll out in 2007 before the series was brought back via Comedy Central in 2010 for an additional four seasons. Futurama aired its poignant series finale (titled "Meanwhile") in 2013, but also enjoyed a crossover with The Simpsons a year later.
In addition to LaMarche and West, the show's voice cast also included Katey Sagal, John DiMaggio, Tress MacNeille, Phil LaMarr, Lauren Tom, David Herman, and Frank Welker.
The series' story — about a put-upon delivery boy who is accidentally frozen and wakes up in the year 3000 — was (and continues to be) a shining example of comedy deeply rooted in the world of science fiction and fan culture. More importantly, episodes such as "The Luck of the Fryish" and "Jurassic Bark" perfectly deepened the overall lore, character growth, and emotional investment. While Futurama brought much professional success to LaMarche, he still cites the Animaniacs' Brain (whom he describes as 70% Orson Welles and 30% Vincent Price) as his all-time favorite voice-over role.
"I’ve played a lot of characters in my career. I’ve done some fantastic shows and this is not meant as any disparagement. I’ve worked on all three of Matt Groening’s shows — two of them as a regular. I pop up on The Simpsons and just last week, I recorded a nice part for next year’s 'Treehouse of Horror,'" LaMarche said. "I’m so grateful to Matt, and Futurama brought me two voice-over Emmys, but Brain is my child. That’s the only way I can put it. I love Lrrr, I love Kiff, and Morbo and all the characters I play on Futurama, and all the ones I play on Disenchantment. But Brain’s my kid."
If you don't like it, you can bite his shiny metal ass, although Hedonismbot would probably get a lot of pleasure out of that. Djambi, fetch the chocolate icing!