Comic-Con 2010: Futurama

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The Panel: Introduced by Matt Groening, the panel included the usual suspects—David X. Cohen and the entire voice cast—plus director Crystal Chesney and some writers. Seriously, it was ginormous.

What We Saw: The episode they decided to go with? Why, a Comic-Con-themed episode, of course, so Fry could try and sell his new comic. The Planet Express guys attended a panel where Groening and Cohen's heads introduced Futurella (set in the year 4000), and meta-comedy ensued. It was pretty funny, though, with lots of jokes packed into a tight space.

What They Talked About: There was a table read (of an episode where Bender splits himself into three parts, great fun for John Di Maggio), followed by a Q&A; during which Groening awarded prizes like action figures to people who asked good questions. Mostly this became an excuse to divulge a few behind-the-scenes tidbits, like how Billy West, when bored in the recording room, fakes feedback into his microphone and drives the audio engineers crazy. They also mentioned how Comedy Central has only given them one note about content, in an episode where a super computer bleeps out offensive words. They simply wanted to know what word they were going to use, because there was a chance it would have actually been fine for Comedy Central.

Most Valuable Panelist: David X. Cohen almost by default, since he answered almost every question and did the lion's share of the talking. He was very straightforward with his answers, though, so bully to him.

Best Question from the Audience: A little girl got up and stammered her way through asking Groening where he got the idea for the show. The entire panel awwed, and demanded she win every one of Groening's prizes on the spot.

Missing In Action: Patton Oswalt, whom Cohen says is going to be doing a guest voice in a forthcoming episode.

But Wait, There's More! Whenever a question came up about a specific character, the actors would respond in character. Hermes, the Professor, Bender, and Fry all made appearances.

The Bottom Line: A smaller, more streamlined panel would have served this creatively rebooted series much better—literally half the people didn't speak. But it was still fun for the future footage alone.

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