Stars (voices): Billy West, Katey Sagal, John Di Maggio, Tress MacNeille, Maurice LaMarche, Phil LaMarr, Lauren Tom, Dave Herman
Writer: Dan Vebber
Director: Edmund Fong
Network: Comedy Central, Wednesday nights
Airdate: July 4, 2012
After getting political with last week’s very funny satire on politics in “Decision 3012”, FUTURAMA gets back to just being silly with its latest Season 7 episode “The Thief of Baghead.”
When Bender decides he’s a pretty good photographer and one that uses film instead of digital cameras (he has the only remaining darkroom in his chest), he takes up the paparazzo profession working for the Hollywood based tabloid magazine US PEOPLE.
This is a perfect fit for Bender, who decides to go after the most sought after photo of all time – that of master actor Langdon Cobb. Revered and showered with award and critical accolades, what distinguishes him is he does all of his performances with a paper bag over his head, so no one has ever seen his face.
However, Bender gets the picture and there’s a reason why he doesn’t show his face – Langdon’s face has the ability to steal a person’s life force if you look straight at it. Where does it go? Well, to Langdon’s ego of course – a weird creature living in a doghouse at his residence.
“The Thief of Baghead” has many great jokes and sight gags. I loved the THEY LIVE lens Bender uses at the beginning of the episode for his camera, and it’s always a blast when robot actor Calculon shows up. Of course (AND THIS IS SPOILER TIME), Calculon, trying to win an acting contest opposite Langdon, actually kills himself for his performance of ROMEO AND JULIET. What this means for Calculon in the future, is a mystery. Let’s hope this isn’t the last of Calculon.
The writing by Dan Vebber is very crisp with this episode, throwing in some great pop culture references and even alluding to THE GONG SHOW’s Unknown Comic with the naming of Langdon. The Unknown Comic performed comedy with a bag on his head on that seminal 1970s show and the actor who played him was Murray Langston. A cool nod to that unsung comedy hero.
Bender seems to be getting a lot of play the last couple of episodes – and “The Thief of Baghead” gives him a ton to do – including saving the day which rarely happens. Once again FUTURAMA tackles a modern day subject (paparazzi) and sends it up in its wholly original and futuristic way. Very funny stuff, and we’re only in four episodes of the season so far.
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Article: TV Review of FUTURAMA – Season 7 – “The Thief of Baghead”