NIXON’S BACK, BABY!!!
It’s election season and the candidates for both parties are literally clones. However, Leela (Katey Sagal) forces the Planet Express crew to start being politically active. She takes Fry (Billy West) to register to vote, resulting in a humorous scene of all of the future parties being on display, including the two major parties, the Fingerlicans and the Tastycrats. Shortly after, a titanium mine collapses on Titan, which makes the titanium in Bender’s (John DiMaggio) body extremely valuable. Despite the logistic issues, Bender actually sells his body, making him now just a head. Living it up with his newfound wealth, Bender visits the Head Museum where he encounters the preserved heads of all of the presidents, including the bitter Richard Nixon (West). After hearing from them, Bender realizes he wants his body back. However, it turns out that Nixon has purchased it so that he can run for office again, pointing out that the 22nd Amendment bars any body from being president more than twice, and he now has a new body.
With Bender’s body, Nixon quickly takes the lead in the election, despite the fact that he’s objectively horrible. Fry, Leela, and Bender decide to steal Bender’s body back, so they break into Nixon’s hotel room, which happens to be the Watergate, and record Nixon admitting that he plans on selling children’s organs for meat and breaking into people’s houses. They trade him the tape for Bender’s body, but Nixon replaces it with a giant robot with heavy weapons. Election night comes and, completely due to the Robot vote, Nixon is elected. It’s revealed that he won by a single vote, because neither Fry nor Leela voted.
First, the 22nd Amendment says “person” not “body,” so Nixon would not be allowed to be president, assuming that the Earthican Constitution is just the US Constitution expanded. That was going to bug me if I didn’t correct it.
Second, I love Nixon. Not the real one so much, but I love that this is a Nixon that just gives no f*cks. He says it himself: He’s just bitter and crazy and thinks that most voters are too stupid to care. Unfortunately for Earth, he’s immediately proven right, although this is less because humans are just as dumb 1000 years in the future (he’s estimated to have 0 human votes), but because Robots love his willingness to go on a rampage. I’m glad they abandon the giant robot body after this episode, but he’s still such a bastard that he does more damage without it.
The political satire in this episode is, surprisingly, always pretty fresh. It wasn’t addressed at anything directly about the 2000 election, so instead it just took a shot at the American electoral system at large, attacking low voter turnouts, the tendency for both major parties to support donors over policy, the general insanity of third parties, and the fact that most people are completely apathetic towards the entire process. In the 16 years since, it’s hard to argue that any of that has changed, except that pretty much everyone is slightly more insane. Or much more insane, depending on your perspective.
There are a lot of sight gags in this episode, particularly at the Head Museum, where we’re treated to literal top row and bottom row ordering of celebrities. For example, the top row of B-movie stars includes John Turturro and Eric Stolz, while the bottom row is Martin Lawrence and Sarah Michelle Gellar. They even put Katey Sagal on the bottom row of TV stars which, let’s be honest, isn’t entirely inaccurate. However, they put Lucille Ball next to her, and that’s some bullsh*t. Oh, and Jesse “The Head” Ventura is a future president, apparently.
The opening to this episode includes the introduction of The Scary Door, a show within the show which is basically a condensed parody of The Twilight Zone. This episode’s version is a parody of “Time Enough at Last” but, in addition to breaking his glasses, the bibliophile played by Burgess Meredith also loses his eyeballs, hands, and tongue for seemingly no reason.
It’s got to be the future of the NRA, the National Ray-Gun Association. At the NRGA, they’re dedicated to removing the three-day waiting period on doomsday devices for mad scientists, something that Professor Farnsworth (West) apparently takes to heart. My favorite part is that the NRGA’s representative carries a canister of mutated Anthrax around, but claims it’s just for “duck hunting.”
This episode is perfectly timed here, because we have another election on Tuesday. GO VOTE!!!!
Well, that’s it for this week.
See you next week, meatbags.
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