Transcript:Commentary:Hell Is Other Robots

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Transcript of commentary for
"Hell Is Other Robots"
Transcribed bySvip
Commentary participants
  • Note: One question mark in bold (?) means that the speaker was not identified by the transcriber.
  • Note: Three question marks (???) means that the word in proximity to the question marks is a suggested word, but not necessarily correctly identified, or if there is no word near the question mark (a space away is not near), then no suggested word was provided.

Matt Groening: Hi, this is Matt Groening.

Eric Kaplan: Eric Kaplan, writer.

Gregg Vanzo: Gregg Vanzo, supervising director.

John DiMaggio: John DiMaggio, voice of Bender and other characters.

David X. Cohen: David Cohen, executive producer.

Rich Moore: And Rich Moore, I directed this episode.

DXC: Yeah, Rich, way to go.

JD: And there's Betty Boob.

DXC: What'd she do for this episode? Not much.

JD: Zoom in on Madison Cube Garden with the Beastie Boys.

DXC: I'm a huge Beastie Boys fan, so this is a big thrill for me to have them on the show. Although, interestingly, there are only two actual boys in the episode, since we were never able to record Adam Yauch. I went to New York City with Ken Keeler, a writer on the show, and we waited three days by our cell phones, we were in theatres, restaurants, killing time. We'd had to stick on the very edge of the building, so we would have cell phone reception, 'cause they could call us at any moment, telling us they were willing to record, but– they never were. So we went to New York for three days and flew back to L.A., not having done it. At other times, we managed to get the recordings of Mike D and Adam Horovitz down, however. They were very nice once we got them in the studio.

MG: But you got the story, so the trip would have paid for itself.

JD: Yeah. And Adam Horovitz played Adam Yauch, correct?

DXC: That's right, he did both Adams.

?: [singing along] "You know it's on".

JD: Oh yeah.

?: I like the fighting scenes.

MG: ??? they'd do more a cappella. I don't understand.

?: Scruffy again.

EK: Can we tell the story about "Fight for the Right to Party"?

DXC: What's the story?

EK: They don't wanna– didn't wanna do it.

DXC: Oh, that's right.

JD: Ah, there you go. That's a good one.

JD: Fender and Bender talking to each other, me talking to me. Hurrah.

?: That was a music stand.

JD: Now this, who– I wanna know how the robots– who thoughts of the robots getting off on electricity?

DXC: Probably Eric Kaplan here. "Jacking on".

JD: "Jacking on in there".

JD: The electricity sound that I do with voice is just [electrical voice] me robbing my finger up against my Adam's apple, so it sounds like this. So there it is, yeah, everybody's in pain right now in the room. I'm looking at it– aw.

JD: This is the coolest animation ever. The sitar stuff and everything. Tablas.

JD: That's one of my favourite noises ever. [nam sound]

EK: This could really be the whole episode.

DXC: This is the first episode that's really centred on Bender, right? Am I serious, is that true? No, well, there's the robot planet.

?: That Rich is, ???

DXC: Bum??? it up more.

JD: Yeah, the punks ??? this, funny.

JD: Sparky's Den.

DXC: This is a good example of things we can get away with robots, that we couldn't have our characters do if they were humans. Drug related stuff, narrowly disguised.

EK: At this point, there was a controversy where the government was giving money to networks for running– anti-drug propaganda, and a guy from Ed??? called me up, investigating it, ultimately I had to mention that we had written it nine months before this policy was in effect.

JD: Wow.

JD: Another beautiful 3D animation shot of the Planet Express building.

[Hermes attacks Zoidberg verbally.]

JD: Is this the beginning of the feud between them?

?: They– those two guys hate each other.

RM: I remember first reading this script and wondering "why is Hermes so mean to Zoidberg all of the sudden?" Now I understand why.

GV: Wasn't it originally a planet that was inhabited by horse people, that they were going to?

EK: ??? horse people who were also the Roman Empire, at the time and the Emperor??? guitarist??? took a ??? from early on.

JD: Fry's hand.

?: Yeah.

JD: [together with Bender] "A what kind of disturbance?"

DXC: That's a real nebula, by the way, the Colsak??? Nebula.

JD: Really?

DXC: We don't make stuff up for this show, this is factual stuff.

JD: [voice] Factual stuff!

MG: It's a nearby nebula, it's not why it's in?

EK: In an early draft—

DXC: That I don't know.

EK: In an early draft, this was gonna happen on top of the Empire State Building; he would crash it in there, while–

JD: Beautiful 3D shot, you just saw there.

GV: From a 2D Bender to a 3D Bender.

JD: Sick.

DXC: How did you get that extra D in?

JD: One of my favourite moments.

DXC: That's a classic moment.

JD: Yes. A lot of throat rubbing here.

DXC: That crate there– that's the crate his new legs came in, I believe. Case– in case anybody was wondering why he was fixed.

JD: I didn't know that.

MG: It wasn't just cartoon logic?

JD: That's the best. That's the greatest; Fry with an afro. Can somebody do that for an entire episode? A hair bit for 22 minutes.

?: You give us a ??? bit, we'll give you the world.

DXC: This is am important episode in the series, 'cause you could really care about Bender's emotions for the first time.

JD: Ah, the Temple of Robotology, anybody? Anybody?

MG: Well, I did get a call.

JD: You did get call?

MG: Yeah, I did get a call from Scientologists, whom had somehow gotten hold of the script and– and I said, "why it's not the Church of Robotology, it's the Temple of Robotology, that's a little different" and anyway, and they said– I said "get your own show, you can do whatever you want", you know. Go make a movie–

?: Go make a movie which will be so great.

?: I love the ???, I'd like to see him get his own show. That missionentire??? guy in the background.

?: "Straight to Hell".

JD: That was– that was me.

DXC: Phil LaMarr is the robot preacher here.

JD: ??? a jerk. And it was in Canada, so no further comment.

MG: You can't go back to Canada?

JD: I can go back, I can go back. I just have to have a Mountie with me, that's all, at all times

JD: Oh. No throat rubbing there, by the way. This is a very musical Bender episode, isn't it?

?: So what's the idea with his pupils?

GV: Well, they were going to be bigger. Even bigger than they are here when he had found religion. He was going to have gigantic beatific pupils, but we felt it was a little– it would last a little too long.

DXC: Computer programming joke in the background. Their logo is a resister, also. Anyone who knows electronics.

JD: Oh yeah.

MG: I don't know if anyone notices this, but humans have round pupils in our show, and robots have—

?: Squares.

MG: Yes.

JD: Bonus.

DXC: It's cool in the episode– several seasons later, where Lucy Liu is on, in her real life appearance she has circular pupils, 'cause her head– she plays her own head, but she also plays a robot version of herself, that has square pupils. Points out the difference there.

JD: Cool.

JD: Elzar!

JD: There was– you know, there was a lot of cleaning up of Bender's voice in this– as far as– this section of the episode is concerned, making sound pretty proper.

JD: [along with Hermes] "Greensnake..."

RM: At Rough Draft, we call that costume, that Fry is wearing, his Charlton Heston outfit. So whenever they go to church or do anything formal, we always put him in the Charlton Heston outfit.

?: It's so disgusting. I remember hearing that track and– "that's perverse".

JD: If you take Bender's little like none word comments– ough, they're foul!

JD: The panting - I said it before - the panting [pants]. Out of context, man, it's sounds horrible, but...

MG: But on audio commentary- it sounds great.

JD: It sounds really horrible!

?: Voodoo.

JD: Bringing 'em back to Jersey, baby, oo–.

DXC: John DiMaggio and I both from New Jersey.

EK: Dave called you up and said "hey, I got a show, stop ??? bared???, would come on out".

RM: We actually had a religious person at the studio, who refused to work on this episode. 'cause she didn't– she didn't like its content.

JD: Did she get canned?

RM: Fired!

MG: Well, my son's soccer team couldn't be called "The Red Devils", because one of the other parents, you know, didn't like the satanic connotation!

JD: Robots in water. Hey!

DXC: They like electricity. Sure it's circular.

EK: Those robots are naked, what are doing on TV?

DXC: This we actually had a lot of discussion about, how naked could robots be and did anyone care or what?

?: And we decided–

MG: I like that's his naked, except when he gets out of the bath.

?: Hey, direct good.

JD: The voice of Dan—

MG: Castellaneta.

JD: Castellaneta.

MG: Homer Simpson.

JD: Frank Welker. Frank Welker was the voice of Freddie on Scooby Doo and is the voice of Nibbler on Futurama.

EK: This is awesome.

JD: Yeah.

EK: This is just totally awesome.

DXC: It feels like you're watching a video game in the ??? sense of the word.

GV: That's a 3D tunnel, —

?: Instead??? of robots.

JD: Was that a nuclear power plant that they just ran by?

RM: Err– sure.

MG: I love those little Nibbler sounds.

DXC: What is that?

GV: Done at the last second. The 3D guys really appreciated. "Guys, I have a great idea for a scene".

RM: This is the first big musical number that Bender does, right?

DXC: That anyone does. Big musical. This song was written by Eric Kaplan and Ken Keeler. Incidentally, Ken Keeler has won two Emmy awards for Best Song for songs, he wrote for The Simpsons. And the music was written by Ken and our composer Christopher Tyng. Excellent performance by both John DiMaggio and especially Dan Castellaneta starring here as the Robot Devil.

MG: He's a little Hans Conried, isn't he?

JD: [singing along] "I. O. U.s" ... "Lady Luck decide"

DXC: Is it hard to sing this song, it's pretty fast song.

JD: You know, it's pretty fast and also I'm singing at the lower harmony, so it makes a little more difficult.

JD: [singing along] "My crimes were merely boyish pranks". That's low, you know. [singing along] ".. blame my upbringing".

DXC: There actually was another long verse of this. Eric, do you remember what else was in the verse that got cut?

EK: Seduction by a nun machine– seduction of a nun machine. I don't remember.

DXC: Yeah.

EK: There was a whole extra plot at this, where Leela is studying the theremin and is being taught by the Beastie Boys. But the trouble with that was it made the episode an hour and ten minutes long.

DXC: The trouble or the good thing about it?

EK: Could have been a 3-parter.

DXC: Katey Sagal is a good singer.

JD: Yeah, really good singer. And Billy West's a good guitar player. And a good singer as well.

DXC: I remember describing this episode to somebody when we were working on it and in the middle of it, I just stop myself as I am "wait, they are in Robot Hell and the Beastie Boys are there?" Just like, "what happened in nine episodes we got to this point?" But—

JD: The big Aerosmith rock extravagance closing. That was awesome.

DXC: Eric, would you say we kinda loosen up in writing right around the time this episode was written?

EK: Yeah, I would say so.

DXC: It feels much more like the later ones. It's a little more comfortable in turns of we allowed ourselves to do crazy things that were fun.

GV: I was always afraid that the Robot Devil's face wouldn't be very expressive and difficult to match the acting and the voice track. Feel like it came out pretty good.

MG: You know, really gets me is sticking to the role with the robots and not making them too expressive. I think it really helps to make it believable.

EK: In an early conception, down in Hell there is Robot God, and it– Robot God gives you electricity to jack on with.

MG: There is no Robot God.

JD: I just love the– Charlie Daniel's band tribute. This is great.

DXC: That's actually a piece of classical music, isn't it? Anyone know what that is?

MG: There was a "devil" in the title.

?: "A??? fisker??? welsh???".

DXC: That sounds right.

JD: The girlie screams. Always a fan. Everybody loves the girlie screams.

GV: That army of little demons is actually just six animated figures that we duplicated over and over again for this scene.

DXC: You cheated.

GV: Yes.

DXC: Just like Leela did.

EK: Where did the butterflies come from, David? Was that a hallucination of yours?

DXC: I– I remember when we were discussing this, I just thought it would look neat, some metal butterflies.

MG: Iron butterflies.

DXC: Iron butterflies, of course.

JD: More girlie screams.

EK: Now, the biggest question this episode raises is why did Bender get rid of the wings at the end of it?

DXC: Hey yeah.

JD: Did he just fly up the coast of Jersey, that's what I wanna know.

EK: We don't find out how Nibbler came back from this trip for two seasons more.

JD: Hurrah.

DXC: That's a great episode.

JD: This is the remix, that Christopher Tyng did.

JD: Fry with the hair.

JD: Hoe, hoe, hoe, hoe, big shout out!