The first episode of Futurama was directed by Rich Moore and Greg Vanzo. It was written by Matt Groening and David X. Cohen.
It’s the 31st of December 1999, Philip J. Fry is playing a video game which has a spaceship being attacked by a gorilla. The music sounds a lot like Star Trek’s. The kid watching him play calls him a looser.
Fry works as a pizza delivery boy. His boss asks him to deliver a pizza on new year’s eve. He grabs the box and heads for the given address on his bicycle. Along the way he spots his girlfriend sitting in a taxi cab with another guy. She’s just dumped him.
He parks his bicycle and locks it, next to the delivery address. It still gets stolen. The place is an applied cryogenics lab. When he knocks on the door nobody answers. He just lets himself in. There in nobody there. He checks the slip, it says ‘I.C. Wiener’. It’s a prank!
He is extremely disappointed with the situation and his life in general. He sits down and helps himself to a drink. Everybody else is celebrating new years. He is having a lousy day.
Suddenly his chair slips and he falls into a cryonics tube. He gets frozen for a thousand years. He in unfrozen on the 31st of December 2999. Meanwhile civilizations come and go.
When he is unfrozen he looks out the window and sees the future New New York. He thinks that he wont be able to see his coworkers, his parents and his girlfriend ever again. Instead of being sad he is excited!
The Futurama theme song rolls along with the opening credits. Fry is greeted by geeky looking lab technicians who welcome him to the world of tomorrow. They take him to Turanga Leela, who is a ‘Fate Assignment Officer’. She is a cyclops whose job is to insert fate chips into people.
Leela puts Fry on the probulator for a physical exam. She checks his DNA on the computer. She finds that he has a living relative named Professor Hubert Farnsworth.
Leela tells Fry’s that his permanent career assignment is being a delivery boy. He says no not again! She tries to insert the chip, but he runs off. On his way out he gets slammed by the door for the umpteenth time.
As soon as he steps on to the street, he gets confused by the future. He sees flying cars, futuristic billboards and giant tubes carrying people. He gets into one of the tubes. He says cross town express to the tube; he is sucked up into it. It feels like a roller coaster ride to him. The tube takes him over the statue of liberty and underwater to another part of town.
He sees something that looks like a phone booth. He gets in line to use it, to call his relative. He sees the robot Bender, get in line behind him. He thinks that Bender is cool.
It’s actually a Suicide Booth! Fry steps in without realizing it. He presses the red button several times but it doesn’t work because he has not paid the fee of 25 cents. Bender steps in besides him saying that he’s in a hurry. He pulls out a coin tied to his finger. He puts it in the slot and pulls it out immediately!
The booth starts working. It asks them the mode of death quick and painless or slow and horrible. Fry accidentally chooses the slow mode. Some how they survive the knives and stuff that try to kill them. The booth completes the stabbing and jabbing routine and says ‘you are now dead, thank you for choosing stop and drop, America’s favorite suicide booth since 2008’.
They step outside and decide to get drunk. Meanwhile, Leela is told by her superior to find Fry and implant the career chip, whether she likes it or not. She goes out in search of Fry.
Fry and Bender are in a pub getting drunk. They become friends. Bender tells him about him being very good at bending girders. He also tells him that he couldn’t go on living once he found out that the girders were for suicide booths.
Leela finds Fry and calls for backup. As soon as he sees her, he flees with Bender. She chases them into a museum which is full of famous people’s heads stored in jars full of some sort of liquid. Fry is greeted by Leonard Nimoy. They try to hide but Leela finds them. She tries to install the career chip. Fry accidentally knocks down Richard Nixon’s head.
The ex-president puts Fry on his famous list. He bites Fry and doesn’t let go. The cops show up and start beating Fry with lightsabers. Leela tells them to stop using the Force because Fry is just a poor kid from the stupid ages. They don’t listen, instead they call her names. She gets angry and beats them up!
Fry and Bender run into the hall of criminals. They lock themselves in. The only way out is through a window with steel bars. Fry persuades Bender to bend the window bars. They escape to the ruins of New York that lie underneath New New York.
Fry gets emotional after seeing his home in ruins. Leela finds them again. Fry feels very lonely. Leela says that she knows what its like to be lonely because she is the only one-eyed alien on earth.
Leela takes out her own chip and quits her job. All three of them become friends. They go in search of Farnsworth. They barge in on him. Fry tells him about their relationship. He checks their DNA. It’s a match. He seems excited. He shows them around. Fry spots the intergalactic Planet Express ship.
President Nixon’s head shows up at the door with cops. They want the job deserters to come out. Fry and his friends think of escaping on the ship. Leela knows how to fly. The cops are waiting outside with big laser guns. As soon as they take off, new year’s fireworks go off. This confuses the cops and they miss hitting the ship.
They fly away from earth. Fry thinks that they have become fugitives. The Professor tells them about his cargo delivery business which he runs for funding his research. He also tells them that he needs a new crew. He doesn’t tell them what happened to the old crew.
Fry is really excited about being on the crew of an intergalactic spaceship, even if he has to be a delivery boy!
Leela says that they don’t have the proper career chips. The Professor gives them the career chips from the last crew. He has them stored in an envelope that says contents from the space wasp’s stomach!