Best One-Off ‘Futurama’ Characters

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Best One-Off ‘Futurama’ Characters

Futurama is known for its memorable characters, like the one with the orange hair, the one whos like Homer Simpson if he was a mean robot, the one whos like Homer Simpson if he was a dumb crab and so many others. But even outside of the protagonists and the galaxy-sized supporting cast, Futuramas future is populated by hilarious characters who we only got to see, like, once... 

The Neutrals

 

Are the Neutral People the most neglected alien race in the Futurama universe? Thats a solid maybe. Despite spawning a pretty useful meme format, the Neutral President and his non-beloved but non-hated populace only played a significant role in a single episode before being relegated to background character status for the rest of the series.

What happened? Maybe Zapp Brannigan went ahead with his plans to attack them, and they were too indifferent to fight back until he eradicated the whole race. If so, at least they left behind a lasting legacy: That YouTube video still has roughly the same number of likes and dislikes even though YouTube removed the dislike counter last year. Thats kind of impressive (but not TOO impressive).

Candidates Jack Johnson and John Jackson

 

Another famous gag that never got any follow-ups is the heated debate between clone presidential candidates Jack Johnson and John Jackson, who get into a passionate argument about whether their identical three-cent titanium tax goes too far or doesnt go far enough. Other memorable quotes include Unthinkable!" and "I wouldn't think of it! and… that's about all they ever said.

At the end of the episode, they lose the election by a single vote because Fry and Leela were too busy fighting Richard Nixon's head in real life to fight it in the polls. The clones didn't come back for the next election, perhaps because the spot-on satire about the two-party system was a little too spot-on and circled back around to being depressing.

Leelas Fiancé, Alcazar

 

In Alcazars one and only episode, Leela is thrilled to meet another cyclops for the first time in her life and eagerly agrees to marry him so they can get to work on preserving their race. Of course, as soon as theyve had sex, the gallant Alcazar turns into an unpleasant, misogynistic and strangely familiar-looking slob who insists on being called Al. At this point, it becomes clear that the writers put together this entire episode just to get Leelas voice actress, Katey Sagal, to do her Peggy Bundy voice again for a Married... with Children gag. Were almost glad they didnt get Ed ONeill to voice the character since that would have spoiled the joke.

In the end, Alcazar turns out to be a shape-shifting little freak who had conned four other lonely weirdos like Leela into marrying him on the same day (so he could save on tux rental costs), only to be exposed and humiliated in a pretty Al Bundy-like manner. He never appeared again outside of a single crowd shot — unless he was secretly every other jerk Leela dated throughout the series? Like... 

Chaz, the Mayors Aide

 

Chaz is an excellent reminder that 1) Leela has terrible taste in men; and 2) Bob Odenkirk has more than his Saul Goodman voice. (No, youre not the only one who had no idea that was him upon first watching this episode.) Oh, and 3) you can get away with... well, not anything, but a decent number of things if youre the mayors aide, like getting a table for two at a mostly empty restaurant without a reservation or scoring free bread from the chef.

Leela was initially dazzled by these impressive displays of power and influence, but she became disillusioned with Chaz when he was a dick to some orphans. Chaz had a handful (in Futurama terms, that means four) of cameos but never spoke again for the rest of the series, presumably because Odenkirk has been pretty busy since the mid-2000s. If they could get him back, wed watch a spin-off called Better Call Chaz, the Mayors Aide, If You Want Free Tickets for a Free Book Fair or Something

The Polygamist Lawyer (and His Family)

 

One of Futuramas most underrated ongoing storylines is the tragic tale of the Waterfall family, whose members keep dying in ironic ways, usually in their first episode. Theres Free Waterfall Jr. (eaten by an alien after protesting not eating aliens), Free Waterfall Sr. (pecked to death by the penguins he was protecting/hunting) and so on.

Luckily, there are always plenty more Waterfalls around to avenge each others deaths (or swear to do it and then just dont) because the patriarch, Old Man Waterfall, is an avid collector of wives. We discover this when Old Man Waterfall defends Zoidberg in court in his single starring episode and uses the opportunity to try to defend the concept of polygamy while at it. Hes later crushed, both in body and spirit, by Zoidbergs people when they decide to invade the Earth.

Melllvar, Seer of the Tapes, Knower of the Episodes

 

Melllvar with three Ls (not to be confused with any of those other Mellvars with two Ls) is a big energy cloud and an even bigger dork who kidnaps the preserved heads of the original Star Trek cast, and gives them new bodies, forcing them to put on a convention for him. They almost survived the experience, but we tragically lost Welshy, the replacement Scotty, to Melllvars awesome power and poor temper.

Its a shame that we never saw Melllvar again after the Planet Express crew rescued the Enterprise one. His nerdom and unlimited powers could have been used as an excuse to hold a similar episode themed after Star Wars or, to be more realistic, some other sci-fi franchise with a more affordable cast, like Firefly or Sliders. You can have that one for free, Hulu.

Follow Maxwell Yezpitelok's heroic effort to read and comment on every '90s Superman comic at Superman86to99.tumblr.com. 

Thumbnail: 20th Television 

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