Futurama: Forty Percent Leadbelly

Recap: Futurama “Forty Percent Leadbelly”

Reprinted with permission from www.survivingcollege.com

The Planet Express arrives at 11-Worth Variable-Security Prison to transfer a prisoner. Leela does her best to get hooted at by the prisoners while Bender and Fry spot Silicon Red, the greatest folk singer in the galaxy, being released from prison.

Since Bender suddenly has a lifelong dream of becoming a folk singer, he asks for Silicon Red’s autograph…and everything he knows about folk singing. But Silicon Red is no dummy and stops Bender from stealing his guitar. Bender, however, is also sometimes not a dummy and takes a photo of the guitar, stores it in his hard drive (which also contains 100 terabytes of porn), and has an exact replica made from a 3D printer.

Bender names his new guitar Bender Mae, because Bender may be the greatest folk singer of all time. While Bender was having his guitar made, Fry got himself frozen in carbonite. Bender doesn’t notice because he’s too busy thinking about his big break in folk singing, which must involve original songs since all existing folk songs are all public domain and therefore of no monetary value.

Futurama Fry In Carbonite Forty Percent Leadbelly

In order to maximize his profits, Bender writes his own folk songs using a time-tested formula of 36% working on a railroad and being named Big Something, 75% bad hearted women, and “somebody kill somebody blah blah blah.” Using that simple formula and Silicon Red’s ability to generate an audience, Bender plans his career as Rambling Rodriguez, the new greatest folk singer ever.

Unfortunately, Bender gets booed off of the stage because his song is insincere, and Silicon Red tells him not to come back until he’s lived a life worth singing about.Bender wonders, “How can I be so bad at everything I try, and still be so great?” Leela explains that he can’t write a song about experiences he hasn’t had. Fry suggests writing about the heartless robot and his best friend, and Zoidberg suggests living on the railroad. Guess which one Bender chooses?

Futurama Forty Percent Leadbelly Bender Playing Guitar

At a railroad bar, Robot finds a down home Robot named Big Caboose with a big ol’ hammer and bad grammar who has never been to the slammer or Alabamer. Bender finds a home at Railroad Camp, directing the work. Fry and Leela deliver explosives to the Railroad Camp and check in on Bender. Since Fry is still hostile after Bender abandoned him at the jail, Bender writes Fry into his latest folk song as the friend who turned his back on him. Then, Bender meets Big Caboose’s girlfriend, Jezebel, a female robot who is both lonely and easy. Yadda yadda yadda, Big Caboose comes after Bender for stealing his girlfriend. Leela and Fry notice that this follows the plot of Bender’s folk song a little too closely, and decide that reality is infringing Bender’s copyright.

Big Caboose chases Bender into the Robot Arms Apartments, where Fry lives. Bender begs Fry to hide him, but Fry wants to teach Bender a less on and turns him away. So Bender turns to Leela who explain that everything from Bender’s “brain” is being 3D printed.

To test it out this theory, Bender thinks about a giant octopus. Well, a lot of giant octopuses. Then, Leela has an idea—all Bender has to do is write his way out of the mess he’s created. So Bender thinks up a great ending for his folk-song-turned-real-life, which involves Bender being flattened by a train. But first, he copies himself, and the Big Caboose “killed the duplicate instead of meeeee!” Bender and Silicon Red then take their new sell-out rap act on the road, where they are met by sell-out crowds.

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