Bite my shiny metal ass

Bender Should Not Be Allowed on TV

"Bender Should Not Be Allowed on TV" (also known as "Bender Should Not Be Allowed on Television", and in program records as "BSNBAOTV") is the sixth episode of the fourth production season of Futurama. It originally aired in North America on August 3, 2003.

Plot summary

After a robot actor on All My Circuits malfunctions, an open casting call is held for a replacement actor. Bender applies (even though the part is that of a childbot). He boos all the other childbots until his turn, fooling Calculon into thinking that none of them will be received well. During his audition, Bender turns the script into total rubbish with his "authentic" Spanish accent. Although Calculon is horrified, ("That was so bad I think you gave me cancer!"), the cheers of Fry and Leela from the other room convince him that the audience will like Bender, and win him the part.

On the set, the writers have written a part for Bender appropriate to his acting ability: an "irreversible, permanent... coma". Not liking the decision, Bender starts singing, dancing, drinking and smoking while the show is filming; he even utters this line: "Bite my shiny metal ass." Bender is almost fired, but the network executives reveal that Bender's reckless behavior boosted the show's ratings. The show is turned into a vehicle for Bender; and kids, such as Dwight, Cubert, The Cookieville Orphans and Tinny Tim, begin to follow his corrupt example.

Professor Farnsworth and Hermes, disgusted by this, start the protest group Fathers Against Rude Television (F.A.R.T.). Meanwhile, the three kids decide to rob Bender, imitating his robberies on TV, not knowing that the safe marked "BENDER'S LOOT" was where Bender was sleeping. The kids throw a party at the Planet Express office, until it is stopped by Hermes and Farnsworth.

Bender finally wakes up and emerges from his safe to find himself at Planet Express, where he faces the ire of Farnsworth and Hermes for inspiring their children to steal. At first Bender is indifferent, until he realizes that the things they stole belonged to him. Annoyed that he inspired the robbery of himself, Bender decides to lead the F.A.R.T. in a crusade to get himself off TV. Invading the set, Bender is held at gunpoint by both F.A.R.T. and the network executives to quit the show and shoot the scene, respectively. Bender manages to distract the network president and Farnsworth and grab both of the guns from them. He then makes a statement about how the parents are responsible for how their children act after they watch TV shows, and that they should not only take it less seriously, but to turn the TV off from time to time. He makes his point by telling the parents, "Have you ever tried simply turning off the TV, sitting down with your children, and hitting them?"

At Planet Express, Farnsworth realizes that sometimes you just need to turn off the TV once in a while. However, after browsing three channels and finding nothing good on, they continue to watch (though not by choice) when they stop on Everybody Loves Hypnotoad.


Cultural references

  • One of the mothers is upset that their child has wires hanging in his compartment. She screams at him "I told you, no more hanging wires!" while beating him, a reference to the 1981 film Mommie Dearest.
  • A robot named Macaulay Culcon has his hands bolted onto his head, looking like Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone. Leela comments that he hasn't been cute since he had puberty installed, referencing Culkin's loss in appeal after he reached puberty.
  • The name of Calculon's fourth evil septuplet, Sleazy Martinez, is similar to the name of the GWAR character, Sleazy P. Martini.
  • Everybody Loves Hypnotoad is a reference to Everybody Loves Raymond.
  • Gamma Bot (the robot TV executive programmed to underestimate audiences in middle America) says "It will play in Peoria". Peoria, Illinois is often used as a test market for America at large in the entertainment industry.
  • "F.A.R.T." is possibly a reference to "Americans for Responsible Television" (see Terry Rakolta). "F.A.R.T." could also be based on the Parents Television Council, which is a social conservative group lead by L. Brent Bozell III. The PTC is known for constantly protesting the FCC to remove content that they find inappropriate.
  • There is a reference to a device called a "cool-ometer" that measures coolness, which is measured in Megafonzies, a reference to the character Fonzie from the sitcom Happy Days. Although no such device exists in the real world, in physics a device which measures electrical charge is called a coulometer.
  • This episode shows multiple issues of "Playbot" magazine, a robot version of Playboy.
  • When the Execubots arrive, the Red Alert sound from Star Trek: The Original Series is played.
  • One of the magazines shown with Bender's picture on it is called "TV Week Monthly" and features a logo similar to that of TV Guide.
  • The song playing during Bender's montage and over the credits (with the cast singing) is "TV Party" by Black Flag.
  • One of the movie posters in the waiting room is for "Galaxy Wars", a reference to Star Wars (which Leela comments as a documentary).
  • The scene with all the soap opera scenes references the frequent use of amnesia in soap operas.
  • When Bender's mob breaks on-set, Calculon gasps "Great Shatner's ghost!", which is a reference to the Superman character Perry White who often says "Great Caesar's ghost!" when angry, exasperated or surprised. A similar reference was also made in Leela's Homeworld.

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