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Broadcast season 9 episode
|Written by||Eric Rogers|
|Directed by||Frank Marino|
|Title caption||Cancel OK|
|First air date||11 July, 2012|
|Title reference||Zapf Dingbats, a common typeface which is composed almost entirely of symbols|
|Special guest(s)||George Takei|
"Zapp Dingbat" is the one hundred and nineteenth episode of Futurama, the fifth of the seventh production season and the fifth of the ninth broadcast season. It aired on 11 July, 2012, on Comedy Central. It guest-stars George Takei as himself. Leela is upset when her mother starts dating Zapp Brannigan.
Act I: "Leela, you never told me you had a mother."
Leela hosts a 40th anniversary party for her parents. However, during a video montage of their history together, they begin to argue about the direction their lives have taken: her mother, an exolinguist, wants to explore the universe now that they are no longer legally constrained to the sewers, while her father fears outer space and wants to surf the great sewer waves of the world. The conflicts lead to them getting a divorce, and Munda moving in with Leela.
When Leela (along with Fry and Bender) takes her mother out to a bar, they encounter Zapp Branigan in negotiation with shark-like aliens called Carcarons; he botches the negotiations with his poor command of their language, severely insulting them; however, Munda is able to salvage the situation by speaking the language properly. Zapp begins flirting with Munda, and the two begin dating.
Act II: "Sex with Zapp! Sex with Zapp! Sex with Zapp!"
Leela strongly disapproves of the relationship, convinced that he is attempting to get to her through her mother, but no one believes her, and Munda thinks that she is just jealous. Zapp then hires Munda as his personal translator so the two can spend more time together and she can explore the universe as she always wanted.
Meanwhile, Morris is not coping with divorce as well; Leela convinces him to take Fry and Bender on the surfing trip he had always dreamed of, which cheers him up greatly. Although both of her parents are now happy, Leela is still relentless in her attempts to break up her mother and Zapp. Ultimately Munda decides to move out of her daughter's apartment. Leela attempts to prove her theory that Zapp is really interested in her by inviting him over for dinner. She tries to seduce him when he arrives, but he refuses her, insisting that he loves Munda. Munda hears this, Zapp proposes to her, and she accepts.
Act III: "We're under attack and the wedding's off. Kif, return fire and the cake."
At the last minute, Fry convinces Leela to support her mother's decision and attend the wedding. He even wonders if maybe she would marry him and she replies that she might. In the middle of the ceremony, however, the Carcarons arrive to sign a peace treaty, and Zapp and Munda must meet with them. During the meeting, Zapp reveals that he is planning to trick the Carcarons into war; Munda is horrified by this, and calls off the wedding. She also tells the Carcarons of Zapp's plan, causing them to declare war anyway. Moreover, the Nimbus has been disabled, and can only be operated by an auxiliary control panel. Morris appears, determined to win back Munda, and uses his surfing skills to help the ship ride the energy wave attacks of the Carcarons. Once peace is achieved, Zapp remarries Munda and Morris.
In 2012, a few revelations concerning the episode were made. On 29 February, CGEF revealed the episode's title to be "Zapp Dingba [sic]" and its director to be Frank Marino. On 15 March, Eric Rogers announced the "1st color screening of [his] 1st episode as a full time hack [there] on the show" - probably referring to this episode - and revealed that he "[could not] wait to see what Rough Draft [had] done" and, later that day, that it had been "delightful", that he "could not be happier with how [it] turned" and that it was "gonna be a great episode". On 2 May, MSN TV revealed the episode's plot and air date.
In May, Countdown to Futurama began releasing promotional material for the episode. It has so far released eight items: A design of a new character, the Carcaron admiral, which revealed the episode's actual title on 25 May, a promotional picture showing Leela - in lingerie - and Zapp Brannigan in Leela's apartment and a character design of Leela in lingerie on 26 May, a character design of Bender in a Carmen Miranda-style dress with a headdress made of rotting fruit and a design of another new character, the mouth monster, on 28 May, part of the storyboard showing Leela's father, Fry and Bender be chased by three leprechauns, a video clip featuring Zapp Brannigan and Kif negotiate a peace treaty with the Carcaron admiral and a similar creature - which revealed the Carcaron admiral to be named "Admiral Chew" - and the fourth Futurama podcast - which revealed "Carcaron" to be the name of Admiral Chew's species - on 29 May and the fifth Futurama podcast - which stated that the episode was "the world's first TV episode ever named after a font" - on 6 June.
Comedy Central's website released two other promotional pictures, the first showing George Takei's head watching a stripper and the second showing Zapp holding out a ring. By 10 July, Comedy Central had aired an advertisment for the seventh season of Futurama which featured a new clip from the episode.
- The title "Blue Munda", which was registered on the US Copyright Catalog on 8 September 2011, was possibly a working title for this episode.
- Fry and Bender rarely appear in the episode. In addition, Professor Farnsworth and Hermes both appear multiple times, but have no speaking roles. This is most likely due to the fact that this episode has no B-plot centered on another character, a rare occurrence.
- The name "Carcaron" stems from the genus name "Carcharodon" for the great white shark.
- When Leela spies on Zapp and Munda onboard the Nimbus, she goes incognito wearing the same disguise she wore in "War Is the H-Word" as Lee Lemon.
- Leela wears a pair of one-eared bunny slippers while waiting for her mother to return from a date with Zapp, a reference to Bongo from Matt Groening's earlier work Life in Hell.
- In the cantina, one of the billiard balls is number e.
- Click here to see cultural mentions made in this episode.
- The episode's title is a reference to Zapf Dingbats, a common typeface which is composed almost entirely of symbols.
- The headdress worn by Bender is a reference to the headdress worn by the late Portuguese-born Brazilian performer Carmen Miranda in the 1943 film The Gang's All Here.
- Supernova Scotia's name is a reference to the Canadian province of Nova Scotia.
- The Mos Def Cantina is a parody of the famous Mos Eisley Cantina from Star Wars: A New Hope. Its name also refers to the rapper Mos Def.
- Lightsabers from Star Wars were used to play pool.
- The scene with the dancing hologram in the club is a parody of the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special.
- Zapp asking Kif to get out on the wing and pretend to be a gremlin is a reference to The Twilight Zone episode Nightmare at 20,000 Feet. William Shatner, an inspirational source for Zapp's character, starred in the episode.
- Leela says "I don't wanna put a rat in your face-cage," to her father; this is a reference to the Room 101 scene in Nineteen Eighty-Four.
- Leela has a potted Truffula tree in her apartment. It makes sense, given Leela's strong environmentalism.
- The fact that mutants are free to be on the surface has been reestablished, although it turns out few of the mutants want to live on the surface anyway.
- Turanga Munda's studies in exolinguistics (the study of alien languages) has been reestablished since the episode "Leela's Homeworld".
- The nameplate on Al Gore's head jar says "Lance Starman". When Gore last appeared, he said that he would return as Captain Lance Starman.
- "A Clone of My Own" (2ACV10)
- The universal translator was last seen.
- "Where the Buggalo Roam" (3ACV10)
- Zapp Brannigan explains to Kif, "The quickest way into a girl's bed, is through her parents, have sex with them and you're in." Which possibly could mean that Zapp was still making an effort to seduce Leela despite his feelings for Turanga Munda.
- The Beast with a Billion Backs
- The last time Zapp was punched in the stomach.
- Into the Wild Green Yonder
- Leprechauns were last seen.
- "In-A-Gadda-Da-Leela" (6ACV02)
- The relationship between Zapp Brannigan and Leela was last used.
- "Lethal Inspection" (6ACV06)
- The word "Mexican" was last used.
- "The Mutants Are Revolting" (6ACV12)
- Brown University is seen again (on film).
- "All the Presidents' Heads" (6ACV23)
- Peru was last mentioned.
- 3 musicians play Holophonor in the cantina, yet "Parasites Lost" said only a few people in the whole universe can play it.
Zapp: [speaking into something] Now, regarding this peace treaty, Admiral Chew—
Kif: That's a napkin dispenser, sir. This is the universal translator.
[Kif places a universal translator from "A Clone of My Own" on the table and then one of its two microphones on each side.]
[Zapp drops the napkin dispenser - but Kif catches it.]
Bender: I'm bored. Let's drink!
Zapp: Very well, Morris, Munda. I now pronounce you man and wife. May I kiss the bride?
[Morris punches Zapp in the stomach.]
[Zapp falls to the ground in pain and Morris and Munda go back to holding hands/tentacles while looking into each other's eye.]
- Kif states the weapons are out, but during Morris' surfing stance, the Nimbus is seen firing.
- Well, Morris uses the auxiliary controls. Perhaps these can use the deactivated weapons, too?
- When Morris is using the board on the Nimbus, his helmet changes colors.
- Debut: Admiral Chew
- Al Gore's head as Captain Lance Starman
- The Alien Overlord & Taylor Clerk
- Borax Kid
- C-3PO look-alike (cameo, unknown moment)
- Colonel (mutant)
- George Takei's head
- Headless Clone of Agnew
- Leela's grandmother
- Debut: The mouth mutant
- The Promiscuous Ladybot
- Robot 1-X (cameo, 3:07)
- Debut: Scruffy's goldfish
- Zapp Brannigan
- ^ a b c Matt Tobey (29 May 2012). Countdown to Futurama: The Treaty of Table 7. (Comedy Centrl [sic].) Retrieved on 29 May 2012.
- ^ Eric Rogers (16 November 2011). Kitchelfilms. (Twitter.) Retrieved on 17 November 2011.
- ^ Episode Guide: 7 ACV. (CGEF.) 29 February 2012. Retrieved on 29 February 2012.
- ^ "Just Fan" (29 February 2012). "Futurama: Futurama News (pre-season 7)". (PEEL.) Retrieved on 29 February 2012.
- ^ Eric Rogers (15 March 2012). ERogTweets2Much. (Twitter.) Retrieved on 15 March 2012.
- ^ Eric Rogers (15 March 2012). ERogTweets2Much. (Twitter.) Retrieved on 16 March 2012.
- ^ Futurama - Episode Guide. (MSN TV.) Retrieved on 02 May 2012.
- ^ Matt Tobey (25 May 2012). Countdown to Futurama: Carcaron Admiral. (Comedy Centrl.) Retrieved on 25 May 2012.
- ^ Matt Tobey (26 May 2012). Countdown to Futurama: Leela in Lingerie. (Comedy Centrl.) Retrieved on 26 May 2012.
- ^ Matt Tobey (28 May 2012). Countdown to Futurama: Carmen Miranda Bender and Mouth Monster. (Comedy Centrl.) Retrieved on 28 May 2012.
- ^ Matt Tobey (29 May 2012). Countdown to Futurama: Leprechauns Storyboard. (Comedy Centrl.) Retrieved on 29 May 2012.
- ^ a b Comedy Central (29 May 2012). iTunes - Podcasts - Futurama: Countdown to Futurama by Comedy Central. (iTunes Store.) Retrieved on 30 May 2012.
- ^ Comedy Central (05 June 2012). iTunes - Podcasts - Futurama: Countdown to Futurama by Comedy Central. (iTunes Store.) Retrieved on 06 June 2012.
- ^ Michelle Rosenblatt. Comedy Central Press | Futurama. (Comedy Central.) Retrieved on 12 July 2012.
- ^ punkyacturbo (10 July 2012). New Futurama Ad 2012 (Video). (YouTube.) Retrieved on 12 July 2012.
- ^ WebVoyage Record View 1. (US Copyright Catalog.) 08 September 2011. Retrieved on 29 February 2012.