The Wild Futurama Theory That Explains Everything About Farnsworth
Professor Hubert Farnsworth has crammed a lot of living in his 160+ years of life. He invented the first robot that could qualify for a boat loan, sired an illegitimate son with Mom of Mom’s Friendly Robot Company, and traveled backwards and forwards in time. He even escaped the mandatory, “Matrix”-like retirement simulator that everyone on Earth is forced to enter at age 150. With all this in mind, it’s clear that in the world of “Futurama,” few have a backstory as complex and bizarre as Farnsworth.
Farnsworth is known for being volatile, senile, and more than a little insane (the insanity being something he admits to happening after visiting the Central Bureaucracy in “How Hermes Requisitioned His Groove Back”). He also somehow goes from being a scientist who objects to giant, laser-mounted toy cats to being someone known for breeding atomic monsters.
There’s even a late Fox-era episode that specifically calls out how crotchety the character has become. “Teenage Mutant Leela’s Hurdles” sees the Professor taken to a spa that can literally reverse a guest’s age, in the hopes that this would make him less cantankerous. And it’s this episode that holds the key to Farnsworth’s backstory, according to one Redditor.
Did Farnsworth make a pact with a literal demon?
Reddit user BBQlegs created an elaborate theory that explains how Farnsworth could live to the ripe age of 160, and why he went so cuckoo during that time. “I believe that Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth sacrificed his sanity and goodness to be saved from death and later to gain three wishes,” they wrote. BBQlegs believes that Pazuzu, Farnsworth’s gargoyle from “Teenage Mutant Leela’s Hurdles,” is actually the Dungeons and Dragons demon of the same name.
According to Wizards of the Coast’s official Demonomicon, Pazuzu is a demon that delights in corrupting innocent and honest mortals. He offers gifts that wind up having hefty spiritual price tags. BBQlegs believes that Pazuzu offered Farnsworth a long and scientifically prosperous life, in exchange for his morals and sanity. “He was clearly more of a good person in his young age, and seems to get crazier and more ‘evil’ as he ages,” they write. “I believe this to be from corruption from Pazuzu.” They cite when Pazuzu rescues the Professor at the end of the episode as an example of what sort of interventions the demon may have been making in the past.
Now, for this theory to make sense, we have to believe that Dungeons and Dragons monsters and demons are real in “Futurama.” Luckily, there’s evidence for that. A Beholder is shown to be working at the Central Bureaucracy, indicating that other entities from the game could exist in the universe.
For what it’s worth, the “Futurama” writers are clearly huge D&D heads. The game’s co-creator, Gary Gygax, appears in a non-canon “Anthology of Interest” episode.