All glory to the Hypnotoad!
What are you doing on Friday? If the answer isn’t watching a Hypnotoad marathon on SyFy, you should rethink your plans.
We all know what April 20 has come to signify: the special date (4/20, in case you’re too stoned to remember) is an opportunity for people around the world to, shall we say, relax. Take it easy. Chill out.
I love that SyFy’s thought, when presented with an opportunity to appeal directly to the stoner crowd that might be inclined to tune in, has been to reach for the Hynotoad, a bit character in “Futurama” that’s gained notoriety for its trippy superpowers.
Personally, I’d also have accepted a marathon of freaky classic “Star Trek” or “Doctor Who” episodes from the ‘60s, but a series of “Futurama” episodes that feature the beloved mind-bending amphibian will do just fine.
The episode scheduling for the evening is as follows, according to ComicBook.com:
“8/7c – Bender’s Big Score Part 1: Earth is taken over by email-scamming aliens while Hermes loses his head and Leela falls in love.
8:30/7:30c – Bender’s Big Score Part 2: While Lars and Leela’s romance takes off, Bender helps aliens pillage history for its treasures.
9/8c – Bender’s Big Score Part 3: Leela and Lars prepare to get married, and we learn what happened to Fry when he returned to the 21st Century.
9:30/10:30c – Bender’s Big Score Part 4: Lars reveals his secret as the humans fight back against the aliens.
10/9c – The Day The Earth Stood Stupid: Only Fry can save Earth when evil brains from another world plot to make everyone stupid.
10:30/9:30c – Three Hundred Big Boys: When each Earthican receives a $300 government refund, the Planet Express crew members pursue their respective dreams and desires.
11/10c – The Sting: A killer bee sting sends Leela on a long, strange trip.
11:30/10:30c – Bender Should Not Be Allowed on Television: Bender becomes a television star, as well as a terrible role model for children.
12am/11c – Rebirth: After a devastating spaceship crash, the Professor attempts to resuscitate the crew with his birth machine.
12:32am/11:32c – Mobius Dick: Leela becomes obsessed with hunting down a mysterious, four-dimensional space whale.
1:01am/12:01c – Reincarnation: FUTURAMA is reconceived in three alternate animation styles: classic black-and-white, old-school video game and Japanese anime.
1:31am/12:31c – Decision 3012: Leela becomes campaign manager for a presidential candidate whose birth certificate is mysteriously missing.”
Alas, this lineup is not every appearance of the Hypnotoad in the show in order, but the marathon does at the very least feature some of the trippiest, headache-inducing episodes of the show.
All Glory to the Hypnotoad
My personal favorite among this lineup is “The Day the Earth Stood Stupid”, in which giant floating brains steal the planet’s intelligence, and Fry and Leela must leap through a series of stories from classic literature in an attempt to fight them.
(Mr Brainly in the reimagined “Pride and Prejudice” is possibly my favorite moment from the entire run of the show.)
Then there’s “The Sting”, an episode that I love to hate because it’s just one fever dream after another, stacked together in an endless loop. This episode is difficult enough to parse while sober, so it should make for some fascinating viewing on 4/20.
I feel like a lot of the more wacky episodes from “Futurama” history are sadly missing. But hey, I guess I can always put on one of my DVD boxsets instead.
For anyone who’s not quite as obsessed with this show as I am, make sure you tune in tomorrow, sit back, chill out, and let the absurdist comedy of this sci-fi cartoon wash over you.