Futurama, Season Seven, Episode Nine, “Fry Am The Egg Man”

Written by: Michael Rowe
Directed by: Dwayne Carey-Hill
DN’s Ranking: Bad / NONESSENTIAL / Essential

“You’re not my breakfast friends!”

This is a fairly slight but fun episode. One of Matt Groening’s rules for The Simpsons was that animals should act like animals; like most rules, it’s not as hard and fast as that, but ignoring that was part of the increased sloppiness of the show as it exited its Golden era, and it’s something I’ve always respected on principle. People anthropomorphising animals really Chupacabras my goat; they’re already interesting enough, you don’t have to project human emotions onto them (for crying out loud, dogs are incapable of feeling guilt) and at its worst it can lead to outright animal abuse as people assume they’re actively spiteful rather than, you know, incapable of reasoning to a level human beings are. The episode threads the needle pretty well with Mr Peppy here – Fry is clearly a fool who is projecting his motivations and feelings onto a wild animal, but aside from a gag about it catching a ball, it mostly acts realistically to how a wild animal would treat someone who cared for it. I do enjoy how consistently Fry projects his capacity for love onto anyone and anything he loves; it’s what makes him sweet as well as foolish.

This is also a solid comedy episode. As Amy points out at the end, it’s basically a goofy Scooby Doo riff – I was extremely wrong about this show abandoning parody as a structural element, though I do believe this is one of the subtler expressions of that idea. It’s less of a parody and more of a real – if absurd – Scooby Doo episode when you get right down to it, right down to not knowing the monster is actually an old guy in a costume until the end. If anything, the fact that this is a comedy hides the mystery more effectively than an actual mystery setup would, although now I’m taking it more seriously than the writers did. It also has some classic Futurama zigging-over-zagging jokes; my favourite is when Leela shows Fry the outfit she’s planning to wear to meet MacZongo, and Fry, seeing the same tank top she always wears, remarks “Looks nice.”

Title Card: The one bright spot in your life!
Cartoon Billboard: N/A

“Kill it before someone names it!”

This episode also contains a bit of a misfire for Fry and Leela being off-again. I feel like it should have dived in a bit further to them being off than using it for a romance plot that didn’t even go anywhere. One thing I enjoy about the CC seasons is how the crew wear uniforms more often. The brand “Aunt Snu-Snu” implies some weird shit going on in this universe. This episode also contains jokes about Leela’s habit of projecting as well, with her romanticising of farmers; the episode also contains a rare moment of me recognising the laziness of the show, given that washing one’s fresh vegetables is, like, a basic part of food prep. I enjoy the eight varieties of fake Scottish accent we get this episode. ‘Bonus Vampirus’ literally translates to ‘good vampire’; a more accurate scientific name might be ‘Exosso Succo’, ‘Os Lamia’ (or bone demon), or ‘Os Vampirus’ (bone vampire). 

“Should we turn on the TV?”
“Nah.”

The title is a reference to “I Am The Walrus” by The Beatles. The plot, as I said, largely riffs on Scooby Doo. The song that plays over the montage of Fry keeping the egg warm is “Eggman” by Eli Wolfe. Fry drops a reference to the Eggo Waffles commercial. The Medieval Monster Manual is a riff on one of the core Dungeons & Dragons rulebooks, and titles Gygaxicon in reference to Gary Gygax, co-creator of D&D. Dr Zoiberg incorporates the Macerna dance moves into the traditional sign of the cross. Doohan 6 is a reference to Star Trek actor James Doohan. 

MacZongo’s name is a reference to Zongo Comics, Matt Groening’s comic book company. Fry’s ‘would not, could not’ speech is a riff on the style of Dr Seuss. Fry compares Mr Peppy to Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, dropping a reference to his movie The Tooth Fairy. The sheep farmer uses both Harry Potter words and the names of Akira Kurosawa movies as curses for some reason. The first Angus drops references to the names of the main characters in The Banana Splits Adventure Hour. 

Iconic Moments: The frame of Fry describing himself as ‘scar-oused’ tends to be used from this episode.
Biggest Laugh: I’ve not mentioned it once, but Bender’s inability to say “me” without following it up by clarifying his name isn’t just hilarious, it’s inspirational.

Next Week: “All The Presidents’ Heads”. “The yeas have it. Our nation’s official joke state shall be New Jersey.”