"Twice Told Tales of Interest"
Writer: Ian Boothby
Artists: James Lloyd(p), Andrew Pepoy(i), Colorbot 3000(c)
"You've read it! You can't unread it!"
Bender's poker game at Planetary express leads to the jury-rigging of the Professor's What If Machine. The Machine becomes under Bender's jiggery-pokery a robot programmed to be surly yet still fulfill its original function--display the contingencies arising from simple questions.
Fry asks the question "What if it was Xmas Every Day?" The What If Machine against its will unfolds the tale of woe. Xmas is not to be celebrated in Futurama, for Xmas leads to a visit from the deadly robot Santa Claus. Santa Claus decreed long ago that everybody is naughty, and they must be punished, by forfeiting their lives.
Fry's what if dream allows Boothby to scribble a story that rivals the series' Xmas tales. President Nixon declares Fry's wish, and Santa Claus presides over a slave camp which forces the Planetary Express crew to forge weapons of mass destruction.
Boothby remembers that Futurama isn't just about the jokes. The cast has distinctive personalities and characterization. They interact in a specific way with each other. Boothby sees the story evolving a moment of tenderness between Leela and Fry, and it perfectly represents the relationship shared by duo. Lloyd brilliantly provides the understated smile and the expressive monocular look from Leela. It leaves a smile on your face and makes you feel upbeat, as so many Futurama episodes have done.
The bonus What If piece sends up sitcoms in a big way. I Dream of Jeannie serves as the centerpiece for artist Mike Kazeleh's hilarious depiction of an angry, fed-up Leela whom Fry discovers in a bottle. The short just gets loopier. Dr. Zoidberg becomes the wacky neighbor. Amy becomes Sam from Bewitched, and Boothby attempts to answer that age-old question who is more powerful Sam or Jeannie.
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