Futurama and The P.J.s

Futurama (1999-2003, 2010-2013)
The P.J.s (1999-2001)
Type: Minor Mention
Group 14

   This one just makes me smile if just for the fact that these are two really unique shows doing a nice wink wink, nudge nudge to each other.

   Futurama was the second show created by Matt Groening for the Fox Network, the first being the ultimate animated series EVER, The Simpsons. For his second effort Matt went after sci-fi. It was basically Buck Rogers if Buck Rogers was a wee bit dumber. Philip Frye was an average current day Joe working a job as a pizza delivery guy. A prank pizza delivery order on New Years Eve for a "I.C. Weiner" took Frye to a cryogenic freeze lab. In disgust, Frye sat down to have a slice of Pizza. Leaning back on his chair he accidentally (or was it accidental?) fell backwards into one of the cryo-tubes. He was finally unthawed in the year 3000 to a world RULED BY APES!!!

   Yeah right. He wished! He actually woke up to a world full of strange aliens and robots but that, sadly, was still kinda crappy in many of the same ways. He wakes up in the future only to be put to work again as a delivery boy. A high tech future delivery boy but still...

   Futurama was very good at layering in layers of jokes. Pop culture references everyone would get, science fiction reference of varying degrees of obscurity that the sci-fi freaks would get and then science and computer jokes that, like, one guy at M.I.T. got.

   One of those jokes was a tip of the hat to a fellow animated Fox series The P.J.s. The P.J.s was a stop motion animated show following the adventures of Thurgood Stubbs and his family. Thurgood was the superintendent of a minority housing project who was always getting into one misadventure or another. The show had a very unique look to it. It wasn't claymation or regular doll puppet animation. The P.J. characters were all made of a foam style substance that looked different than anything else I've ever seen. Another thing that made the show unique was that it was created by Eddie Murphy who also provided the voice for Thurgood.

   Back to Futurama. The Futurama episode "I Second That Emotion" had Frye and his friends climbing into the sewer system to look for their "pet" Nibbler, a strange little alien who was flushed down a toilet by Bender, an alcoholic robot who was jealous of all the attention Nibbler was getting. If you don't know the show you might want to reread that last sentence again just to wrap your mind around it. To get into the sewers Leela, Frye's female Cyclops friend, pulls up a manhole cover. On the manhole cover was a picture of The P.J.s as well at the show's title. The opening title sequence to The P.J.s always ended on the image of the same manhole cover. Now that's a good reference joke but not what I would fully count as a crossover or legit show connection. But it is cool and leads to the real connection.

   So Futurama throws out this wink to their fellow animated show. In response, about a year later, The P.J.s returned the favor. Considering how long it takes to do an episode of an animated show, I think that's a pretty quick response too. Towards the start of an episode of The P.J.s titled "Cliffhangin' With Mr. Super" there is a shot of a milk carton with one of those "missing persons" alerts on the side. The missing person? Philip Frye, who by that time was cooling his heels in cryo-freeze. The manhole cover was a reference joke. Frye shown as a missing person on a milk carton? Hello! We have a full fledged crossover connection!

   It's cool for one show to give a shout out to another show. But for the other show to then shout back? Nice.

Other Futurama Crossover Links
Futurama and The Simpsons

Other Simpsons Crossover Links
The Simpsons and Cheers
The Simpsons and The Critic
The Simpsons and The Flintstones
The Simpsons and King Of The Hill
The Simpsons and The Tracey Ullman Show
The Simpsons and The X-Files

Links To Simpson Web Sites
New Springfield: It's a helluva town!
The Simpsons Emporium

Click here to return to main Crossover List

Buy these shows on Amazon.com and support this site at the same time! Check out Futurama on DVD!

Poobala.com Main Page/ Email Me