The Old Bait And Switch

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I’ve got a really simple solution for anyone upset that Fox may bring Futurama back without Billy West, Katey Segal, John DiMaggio, Tres MacNeille, Phil LaMarr, Maurice LeMarche, Lauren Tom and David Herman.

Just don’t watch it.

Fuck it. Pretend the show was never renewed and go back to however you felt a few months ago before they announced Futurama’s 2nd resurrection. Fox is a tricky nemesis. They lull you into a false sense of confidence by renewing Dollhouse, then BAM! They’ve smashed you in the nuts with a 40 lb. paving stone and fired all the Futurama voice actors.

There’s no point in my enumerating all the ways in which this decision reaches heretofore unknown depths of douchebaggedness and cockery. It’s obvious that this unFuturama will be an utter abortion of entertainment without the original voice cast. Can you imagine how embarrassing the show will be when Fry or Bender open their mouths to deliver a line and the sound of some pathetic imposter comes out?

Wait a second. This worked before, didn’t it? When John K. was fired from Ren and Stimpy! They found a voice actor to take over the part of Ren and the difference was hardly noticeable. Some would say the replacement was better than the original. Who was that? Can they get him? OH RIGHT! It was Billy West. Well eff that plan, I guess. The real problem is that Futurama had the uncanny fortune of featuring ALL OF THE BEST VOICE ACTORS IN HOLLWOOD. They are truly irreplaceable. Futurama is still quite canceled, dead and buried as far as I’m concerned. [unless this is all a publicity stunt]

UPDATE:

UPDATE 2:

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36 Comments

  1. I have a feeling there may be one or two questions about this at the Futurama panel at Comic-Con. Not a chance in hell I'm missing this panel!

  2. Get the hell rid of the travesty that is American Dad and use that money for something wortwhile, like bringing these people back.

      • American Dad at its best is 10 times as good as Family Guy. It gets shafted by the viewing public for some reason, but most nights it has the strongest storytelling of the "comic onslaught".

  3. This is so disappointing because I was thoroughly excited for some new Futurama, but without the voices of Billy West, John DiMaggio, etc. it will just not be the same. It won't even be like watching the french version of the Simpsons and laughing at how weird Homer sounds, it will just be bad.

  4. Priestess, so… female? That is an old tranny.
    I love how Evil Fox Exec (EFE?) has happy moments at the end of this and the dollhouse/t:scc comics.

    EFE looks a bit straubish lately

  5. I seem to recall (from reading a Wikipedia article the other day after hearing about this) that they tried the same stunt with the Simpsons in 1998 when the cast asked for more money. Fox started looking for sound alikes – and in the end, wound up bringing the original cast back for a 300% raise. If this turns into a big payday for those talented VAs, then I'm in favour. If they hire cheap soundalikes (which I'm convinced they do when Futurama shows on Canadian TV, because it sure doesn't sound like my DVDs), someone needs to fire those asinine morons at the network.

    • You didn't know, they have a separate cast in there to re-insert the letter "u" where it belongs in words like colour (screw you spell check, it's right), so it's in real English and we understand what's being said.

  6. Great comic. Like my favorite line from Family Guy: "Jim Henson had a 'wait and see attitude' and now we have wrong-sounding muppets."

    Oh, well. As you say, the simple answer is just not to watch Fakerama.

    How's that working out with Smallville, btw?? 🙂

  7. I… I don't know. That's pretty much the opposite of what I'm thinking. Billy West and everybody were great, yeah, but to say they're the best voice actors for the characters implies knowledge of every voice actor out there, which I'm not going to claim I have. And it's not like Futurama is a gleaming standard of perfection like it was in the old days – the movies were good, but they were far from the Futurama I was expecting. So this development won't mean anything to me until I see some episodes (that might just be because I'm ignorant of the evil that Fox does, though, since I only watch TV for Jon Stewart and His Friend Colbert).

    And maybe I'm wrong, but the way I heard it was that the actors didn't like Fox's proposed pay, which… isn't entirely Fox's fault? Well, it sort of is, but what I mean is that either side could accept the other's terms. Both are somewhat at fault if this happens.

    I'm rambling. Summary: This hasn't even happened yet, so calm down! Things may turn out alright yet. ^^"

    • As far as I'm concerned, those voices ARE Futurama. They've vocally created those characters. Anyone else would be doing an impersonation of them, simple as that. Simple as that.

    • But Futurama has made a lot of money for 20th30th Century Fox, so it does stand to reason that based on past performance of the brand, that the most visible aspects of the show should see some sort of raise. Would you work at a job for 10 years and never ask for raise?

    • But Futurama has made a lot of money for 20th30th Century Fox, so it does stand to reason that based on past performance of the brand, that the most visible aspects of the show should see some sort of raise. Would you work at a job for 10 years and never ask for raise? Especially if you had proven that you were able to generate years of good returns?

  8. Sure it is. Fox is run about as well as the LA Clippers. It doesn't surprise me a bit that they would potentially bumble a no brainer by hiring different voice actors for a beloved, established cartoon.

    I wonder how much input Groening has into this. Could he pull the plug, or is it out of his hands?

  9. If they are really going to recast the voices they might as well just flush all the money they were going to spend right down the crapper.

  10. I dunno…it kind of sounds like 20th Century Fox made them a reasonable offer (what they were making before, and more) and the actors all turned them down. So with them already planning to make new episodes, they had to find another way to do so if the voice cast wouldn't return.

    God knows fox isn't my favorite company, and they've killed a lot of shows that I love, but I don't think this is a deliberate act of malice or stupidity on their part. More like part a backup plan, part a negotiating tactic.

  11. It's sad, the Evil Fox Executive is my favorite reoccurring character on HE, but I only get to see him when Fox does something evil to one of my favorite shows….

    Also, hearing the phrase "Let me consult the bones." instantly reminded me of Willow. I half-expected the HDPoNRSD to reply with "The bones tell me nothing! Tell me Evil Fox Executive, do you have hate for this show?" after he casted them.

  12. All I have to say is that if the actors are holding out for more money that's well within their rights to do so. When you produce something that's quality and is in demand you should expect to be rewarded. Also if Fox had signed them to a long deal years ago they probably wouldn't be needing to negotiate now.

  13. Judging by the article Joel posted, it sounds like it's the cast that's the problem. They're apparently demanding more money than they're worth. Now, of course, one could argue that Fox has deep enough pockets to pay them whatever they're asking. I'm not really sure who's the bad guy, here.

    • They're experienced actors/voice actors who, from the sounds of it (take the pun if you want it) are good at what they do, and have beefed up their IMDB profiles SUBSTANTIALLY since the original series.

      (Besides, given Fox's track record, I'd say evidence points to douchery on their part; I doubt anyone's trying to "Terrance Howard" this situation.)

  14. off topic but I’m sorry, american dad is friggin excellent, much much better than family guy, and usually better than KOTH and simpsons these days.

    futurama without the originals is like ice milk vs. ice cream… sure it’s the same idea but no one in their right mind wants ice milk if they have ever had ice cream.

  15. I'm going to look at it this way: the "soundalikes" will more than likely be Hollywood hopefuls that are the kind of people to pull off a voice-perfect random Futurama scene at a party or something…and then, on the high of being the hit of the party, crawl out of their mattress in a low-rent LA apartment at five in the morning to shuffle off to their job at McDonald's. I'm not going to watch the show because I think it'll be good, but because the Internet's going to hate these poor, underpaid bastards solely because they got their "big break" replacing a much-loved voice cast.

  16. Just so we're clear….is anyone dropping their 2 cents in on this know what they're offering the voice actors in pay? Does anyone know what a voice actor generally makes on a hit tv show? I would like to know why people assume just because the voice actors are asking for more money than they were offered they're somehow greedy.

  17. I just kinda hate the idea of sound-alikes. Not from the standpoint that "it won't be real or true." More from the standpoint of… what's the point of paying a voice actor who ISN'T Billy West to pretend to be Billy West? Any voice actor who can pretend to be Billy West is probably capable of some truly great things… and all he'll get credit for is pretending to be Billy West. (And he may not pretend to be Billy West that well.)
    This stems from Aladdin 2 – Dan Castellanata did, in my opinion, a fantastic job of pretending to be Robin Williams… but I know from the Simpsons that Dan Castellanata makes a better Dan Castellanata than a Robin Williams. And it's a shame so many people hated that movie simply because Dan Catellanata ISN'T Robin Williams.

  18. It wouldn't be beneath Fox to do a reality show about the search for new voice actors for the new unFuturama. So it could be worse, a little.

  19. I'd love to bash Fox on this but does anyone know what's a reasonable amount for a high profile voice actor these days? The Variety article mentions a rumor that they're asking for $75,000 per episode. Maybe it's just because I don't make that in a year but it seems like an awful lot of money to pay during a time when everyone (even a major network) is trying to curb spending. I'd love to see Futurama back in it's original form but even with new actors I'll still check it out. It has to be better than most of the other stuff on network TV these days. Besides, I never though I'd enjoy an original series Star Trek without Shatner and Nimoy.

  20. It's weird, but I started writing a similar story a while back, soon after the dollhouse renewal, about evil network executives and a 'build them to break them down' plan.
    and about futurama, I'm not surprised, it was too much to hope for Futurama to bring it back in its original state.

  21. Good news…. as of yesterday, Maurice LaMarche, Katey Sagal and Tress MacNeille are all on board. We're just going to have to wait for DiMaggio and Billy West, but this is a very good sign.

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