|Navigation in production order
|Navigation in broadcast order
|Season 3 episode
|Patric M. Verrone
|Deciphered From Crop Circles
|First air date
|25 February, 2001
|Box Car Blues
"That's Lobstertainment!" is the fortieth episode of Futurama, the eighth of the third production season and the eighth of the third broadcast season. It aired on 25 February, 2001, on Fox. It guest-stars Hank Azaria as Harold Zoid. Dr. Zoidberg's famous uncle Harold Zoid wants to be back on the big screen, and talks Zoidberg into financing his new film.
Act I: "So these three parasitic worms bore into a human's head..."
Zoidberg is miserable, because his uncle Zoid was a comedian, and he wants to follow in his footsteps. The Professor, being a Harold Zoid fan, pulls out an old 78 Million RPM HoloDisk to show the crew. The HoloDisk shows a silent film from 2922, in which Harold Zoid portrays a barber who ends up beheading his customer. Zoidberg decides to write a letter to his uncle to ask for help on his comedy routine. He writes the letter using ink collected from his ink pouch.
In the Final Curtain: Old Actors' Home, Harold Zoid reads the letter. Another resident of the home asks Harold Zoid what the scribble-di-gook is. Harold Zoid explains that Zoidberg may be his ticket out of the home, and then writes a letter to Zoidberg asking for money and telling Zoidberg to come to Hollywood, which Zoidberg reads to the crew.
Act II: "Welcome to Hollywood!"
They set off for Hollywood. The crew then goes on a tour bus. 30th Century Fox studios is the first stop. Bender jumps off the bus when it passes Calculon's house, and impersonates a hot-water heater to gain entry. Zoidberg then leaves the tour to meet Uncle Zoid for lunch. Uncle Zoid tells Zoidberg that he's unfunny, and tells him he should go into drama. Conveniently, Uncle Zoid has a script for a drama, but needs a million dollars to get it produced, and Zoidberg agrees.
Act III: "The legendary Harold Zoid!"
Zoidberg is upset about lying to his uncle, but Bender comes in and offers to ask Calculon for the money. The crew goes to the studio, and Bender presents the script to Calculon. Bender entices him by guaranteeing Calculon the Oscar. Initially, Calculon declines on the basis that he doesn't like the font. However, once he spots the legendary Harold Zoid's name, he agrees to star in the film.
The film, The Magnificent Three, is about a son, the vice-president, who doesn't wish to follow in his father's footsteps (the president).
Harold Zoid turns out to be a horrible director, and gives ridiculous instructions to the actors and extras. While looking for a parking spot for the premiere, Leela lands the ship in the La Brea Tar Pit, and the ship sinks, trapping her and Fry. Not surprisingly, the film's premiere is a terrible failure. Calculon threatens to kill Bender, Zoidberg, and Uncle Zoid, if they don't get him the Oscar.
Act IV: "How 'bout we rig the awards?"
After reading in Daily Variety that the Oscar nominations were announced, and realising that The Magnificent Three was snubbed, Calculon is infuriated, and Uncle Zoid offers to rig the awards. Leela is unable to start the ship to escape the tar, and Fry spots a caveman skeleton outside the window, which he misidentifies as Sylvester Stallone. Back at the home, Uncle Zoid despairs. Zoidberg, however, sets off to save their lives. At the 1074th Academy Awards, Bender sneaks Zoidberg inside disguised as food. Harold Zoid enters and tells Joan Rivers' head that he's only there to fill space.
Billy Crystal's head, the host, begins giving out the awards. The Planet Express Ship hits the bottom of the tar pit, and Leela detects the L.A. subway system below them.
Bender and Zoidberg take over and Zoidberg announces Calculon as a nominee for Best Actor. Zoidberg sees Uncle Zoid's depression, and announces him the winner instead. Harold Zoid makes an acceptance speech, and then takes Zoidberg and Bender to the afterparty. Calculon storms in and demands the oscar, but gives it back. Then the ground begins to shake, and the Planet Express Ship explodes from the subway system. Fry and Leela are allowed into the party because the caveman's skeleton has stuck to Fry's pant leg, and the doorman assumes it's Sylvester Stallone.
- Zoidberg's showname Bobcat Zoidberg references Bobcat Goldthwait, but his comedy style is similar to Yakov Smirnoff.
- The commentaries actually mention gotfuturama.com when they mention that this episode was considered one of the worst during the show's original run on FOX.
- Some of the main characters are riding a tour bus in Hollywood with the name Star Tours (a real-life Star Wars-themed Disney theme park attraction). Under the bus logo, a disclaimer reads "Note: Bus Does Not Leave Earth."
- The head in a jar of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace character Jar Jar Binks is in the audience of the Oscars.
- This may be a joke on Jar Jar's name.
- Michelle and Pauly Shore can also be seen in the audience of the Oscars.
- The title could be a reference to the 1974 film That's Entertainment!.
- The in-episode film A Close Shaving is based on the silent films of Buster Keaton, of whom writer Patric M. Verrone is a fan. The title is based on the 1995 Wallace and Gromit cartoon A Close Shave.
- Star Trek: The Pepsi Generation (named in reference to the T.V. series Star Trek: The Next Generation and Pepsi-Cola's "the Pepsi Generation") is an actual short movie released in 1988.
- One of the guys backstage at the Academy Awards says, "Just play along like we did with Marisa Tomei," a reference to to the myth that Rex Reed created that during the 1993 Academy Awards, Jack Palance read the wrong name for the winner of Best Supporting Actress. This is, of course, untrue.
- The 78 Million RPM HoloDisk is a parody of 78 RPM gramophone records, which was the common gramophone format until c. 1950.
- The HoloDisk itself looks like an exaggerated LaserDisc, but the way it operates may be a reference to any of the gramophone-based video disc formats that preceded it, from Phonovision to CED/Videodisc/SelectaVision.
Zoidberg: This letter has to be very personal, so I'm writing it in my own ink. [He puts a jar under his armpit and fills it with black ink. He dips a quill pen in and starts writing.] [thinking] Dear Uncle Zoid, greetings from your long-lost nephew. Norm and Sam and Sadie's boy, remember?
Calculon: Are you my new hot water heater?
Bender: No, I'm Bender. We met once, remember?
Calculon: Absolutely not.
Bender: Come on, don't you remember how much I was bugging you, don't you? 'Cause it was a lot, you remember, right?
Calculon: [He pushes him away.] Look, I'm programmed to be very busy. Unless you can heat water to 212 degrees, I'm not interested. [He closes the door and Bender immediately rings the bell. Calculon opens the door again.] Have you got an extra GOTO 10 line? I said I don't need a bender.
Bender: Bender? That was the other guy. My name's Boiler.
Boxy Robot: [beep]
Harold Zoid: Eating real food in a restaurant, as we both often do. So, you want to be a comedian, is it?
Zoidberg: It's my lifelong dream.
Harold Zoid: [shouting] Well that dream dies now. [He bangs his claw on the table.] You're unfunny and untalented. That's why you're perfect for drama.
Zoidberg: Hmm. Serious drama. Perhaps it is time to give up comedy.
Bender: That plot makes perfect sense, wink wink.
Zoidberg: Bender, you said wink wink out loud.
Bender: No I didn't, raise middle finger.
- In "Bender Should Not Be Allowed on Television", Calculon claims he never does two takes. Here he does as many as 95 takes at least.
- The large amount of respect he has for Zoid may explain his willingness to do multiple takes for him.
- The 78 Million RPM HoloDisk may be spelled wrong. General usage implies that optical media should be spelled "disc" while magnetic media is spelled "disk". The holodisk appears to be an optical disc (a spoof on a large laserdisc, actually), but it's unclear whether the phonograph needle used to play the holodisk is an optical or magnetic reader.
- The fact that a convention invented by the optical disc industry survived for over a decade does not mean it will survive for over a millennium. Even during the 90s and 00s: vinyl discs and Kodak disc film weren't optical; solid-state USB disks weren't magnetic; CD-ROMs were optical discs used for disk storage; Sony's MiniDisc and MODisk were the exact same (magneto-optical) technology; etc.
- Although anything having to do with Star Trek has been banned, Star Trek: The Pepsi Generation is nominated for best soft-drink product placement. The commentaries cover by claiming they actually said "Start Wreck".
- When Leela and Fry go into the Hollywood party, Leela walks through a post.
- In this episode, Leela and Fry discovered Sylvester Stallone's bones but we can see him in the Head Museum in "A Head in the Polls".
- In actuality, this may not be Sylvester Stallone's skeleton, but instead the skeleton of a caveman (which the doorman mistakes for Sylvester Stallone).
- At one point during Zoidberg's comedy routine, part of his claw goes through the microphone.
- Although in "The Cryonic Woman" Los Angeles was seen as a polluted, primitive dystopia, this episode shows it as a clean and modern city.
- It could have cleaned itself up between "The Cryonic Woman" and this episode, or the polluted, primitive dystopia could be what Los Angeles looks like on its outskirts.
- In "A Fishful of Dollars", a clothing company is called Calvin Clone, but in this episode it's called Calvin Klone.
- This may not be a goof so much as an avoidance of copyright infringement.
- The company could have changed its name.
- Bender Bending Rodriguez
- Debut: Billy Crystal's head
- Boxy Robot
- Humorbot 5.0
- Debut: Harold Zoid
- Debut: Jack Nicholson
- Debut: Jar Jar Binks' head (cameo, unknown moment)
- Debut: Joan Rivers' head
- Michelle (cameo, unknown moment)
- Pauly Shore (cameo, unknown moment)
- Soda Machine Robot
- Zapp Brannigan
- Dr. John Zoidberg
- Human Friend