That's Lobstertainment!

Infobox Futurama episode
episode_name = That's Lobstertainment!
episode_no = 40
prod_code = 3ACV08
airdate = February 25, 2001
country = USA
writer = Patric M. Verrone
director = Bret Haaland
opening_subtitle = Deciphered From Crop Circles
opening_cartoon = Box Car Blues
guest_star = Hank Azaria as Harold Zoid


caption = Zoidberg stands up!
season = three

"That's Lobstertainment!" is the eighth episode in season three of "Futurama". It originally aired February 25, 2001.

Plot

After a disastrous attempt at stand-up comedy, Dr. Zoidberg informs the crew that his uncle, Harold Zoid, was a star in the silent hologram era. Zoidberg writes to his uncle, asking for help with his comedy act. The washed-up Harold Zoid sees this as an opportunity to restart his career. The crew sets off for Hollywood.

While taking a bus tour of movie stars' homes, Bender leaves the tour, and scams his way into employment as Calculon's water heater. Shortly afterward, Zoidberg meets his uncle in a fancy restaurant. Harold Zoid tells him to give up comedy, and that he needs Zoidberg to finance a drama to the tune of a million dollars. Always a source of bright ideas, Bender tells Calculon that he can star in the movie if he provides the production money. Calculon initially refuses; but after learning Harold Zoid wrote the script, and getting a guarantee from Bender that he will win an Oscar, he accepts.

The film, "The Magnificent Three", is a story about a son (the Vice-President of Earth) not wanting to follow in his father's (the President of Earth) footsteps. Unfortunately, the movie is terrible; and at the premiere, the entire audience walks out. A furious Calculon threatens to kill Bender, Zoidberg, and Harold Zoid if they can't find some way to get him an Oscar.

Zoidberg and Bender set off to rig the awards; meanwhile, Leela and Fry are busy attempting to free their ship from the La Brea Tar Pits. When the awards reach the Best Actor award, Dr. Zoidberg tosses presenter Billy Crystal off the stage, and takes his place. In place of the fifth nominee, he substitutes Calculon. But when he sees his uncle's depression at being a has-been, Zoidberg announces him as the winner. Calculon, somewhat chastened by Harold Zoid's acceptance speech, decides not to kill him or the others. Fry and Leela eventually escape from the tar pits and are allowed to enter the awards ceremony when the caveman's skeleton they are dragging is mistaken for that of Sylvester Stallone.

Continuity

* The announcer at the stand up comedy show and a guest at the Oscars are the same water-based alien race as is featured in "My Three Suns".

* In this episode, Zoidberg's parents are revealed to be named Norm, Sam, and Sadie, providing clues as to the reproductive cycle of Decapodians. This idea is previously explored in the episode "Why Must I Be a Crustacean in Love?.

* Zoidberg's poor luck on the New New York comedy circuit is also alluded to in "Anthology of Interest I".

* While Los Angeles is depicted as in ruins in the episode The Cryonic Woman, the city seems to be in excellent shape in this episode. In The Cryonic Woman the Hollywood sign is partly torn down and reads 'Hood'. This is not the case in this episode.

Production

Hank Azaria, one of the principal voice actors on Matt Groening's other cartoon "The Simpsons" (voicing such "Simpsons" characters as Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Duffman, Disco Stu, The Sarcastic Middle-Aged Clerk, and Superintendent Chalmers), guest stars as Harold Zoid in the episode.

Broadcast and reception

In the DVD commentary, the producers mention that this is considered by fans to be the worst episode of the series. In its original airing the episode was ranked 79th for the week with a 4.8 rating/8 share.cite web| url=http://news.awn.com/index.php?ltype=top&newsitem_no=4388| title=U.S. Primetime TV Ratings For The Week Of February 19 – 25, 2001| date=2001-02-27| access date=2007-07-05]

Cultural references

* The title references the 1974 documentary film "That's Entertainment!".
* Zoidberg's comedy routine has a very strong resemblance to the 1980s comedian Yakov Smirnoff.
* Harold Zoid bears a striking resemblance to silent film star Harold Lloyd, right down to the straw hat and glasses, but his films are more like those of Buster Keaton and other silent film stars. Zoid says he flopped after they invented "Smell-O-Vision", referencing most of the silent movie stars becoming unemployed when talkies premiered.
* Harold Zoid's customer resembles actor Bud Jamison, who regularly played hot-tempered comic foils for silent film actor Harold Lloyd.
* Harold Zoid's movie, "A Close Shaving" ends by saying "Buy Moxie".
* In the future, Mel Gibson's head has starred in the film "Bravehead", a parody of the film "Braveheart".
* Leela uses a tool like The Club to lock up the Planet Express ship.
* The film made by Harold Zoid is titled "The Magnificent Three", a parody of "The Magnificent Seven".
* The film ' is nominated for an Oscar; this is a reference to the Star Trek fan film, '. The nomination of this film clashes with the plot of "Where No Fan Has Gone Before" which states that in the 31st century Star Trek has been banned and even saying the title is forbidden.
* "They Call Me Mister Pibb" is a reference to the famous line of dialogue from the film "In the Heat of the Night", which was also used as the title of its sequel: "They Call Me MISTER Tibbs!"
* "Snow White and the 7 Ups" is a reference to the film "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" and the soft drink 7-Up.
* Dr. Zoidberg presents the award for Best Actor. Two of the movies nominated are "The Merchant of Venus" (a parody of the "The Merchant of Venice") and "How Beige Was My Jacket" (a parody of "How Green Was My Valley".)
* The tour bus seen in the episode is called "Star Tours", and has a disclaimer reading "NOTE: BUS DOES "not" LEAVE EARTH." This is a reference to the Disney attraction Star Tours.
* When Fry and Leela crash into the Tar Pits, they see a caveman skeleton who Fry identifies as Sylvester Stallone.
* Calculon asks Bender, "Do you have an extra goto ten line?"; this is a reference to BASIC.
* "The Magnificent Three" premieres at Grauman's Chinese Theatre, which has remained unchanged over 1000 years.
* When Zoidberg reads the wrong name, one of the Oscar officials shushes the officer, saying that it was how Marisa Tomei won the Oscar, referencing Tomei's highly unlikely Best Supporting Actress win for "My Cousin Vinny" at the 65th Academy Awards.
* Calculon screams that the Golden Globe is the Emmy of movie awards.
* Billy Crystal hosts the Oscars, which he did for five years. The Jack Nicholson gorilla being fond of his jokes is a reference to the real Nicholson being a fan of Crystal's humour.
* The Daily Variety headline "Fox Exex Bax Sex Pix, Flix Lax Crux Bux, Stox Sinx, Ax Prex" is a reference to an old Variety headline from the 1930s which read "Sticks Nix Hick Pix".
* When Bender asks Fry and Leela what's wrong with Zoidberg, he calls Zoidberg Monstro, the whale from Disney's Pinocchio.
*Star Wars character Jar Jar Binks appears in the audience of the Oscars.

References


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