A Tale of Two Santas
"A Tale of Two Santas" is the third episode in season three of Futurama
Futurama is an American animated science fiction sitcom created by Matt Groening and developed by Groening and David X. Cohen for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series follows the adventures of a late 20th-century New York City pizza delivery boy, Philip J...

. It originally aired in North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

 on December 16, 2001.


It is Xmas again and everyone is locking down for the arrival of Robot Santa. The Professor
Professor Hubert Farnsworth
Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth, or simply The Professor, is a fictional character in the American animated television series Futurama. He is voiced by Billy West using a combination of impressions of Burgess Meredith and Frank Morgan. Farnsworth is the proprietor of the Planet Express delivery...

 sends the crew to deliver children's letters directly to Santa at his fortress on Neptune
Neptune is the eighth and farthest planet from the Sun in the Solar System. Named for the Roman god of the sea, it is the fourth-largest planet by diameter and the third largest by mass. Neptune is 17 times the mass of Earth and is slightly more massive than its near-twin Uranus, which is 15 times...

. After reading some of the letters, begging Santa not to wreak havoc on the writers, Fry decides it's time to bring Christmas back to the way it was in the past. They land at Jolly Junction, Neptune and enlist the aid of a pair of Neptunians in sneaking into the fortress.

The crew confronts Santa, and Leela presents him with what she (falsely) believes to be a logical paradox
Similar to Circular reasoning, A paradox is a seemingly true statement or group of statements that lead to a contradiction or a situation which seems to defy logic or intuition...

 (though, in reality, it is actually a syllogism
A syllogism is a kind of logical argument in which one proposition is inferred from two or more others of a certain form...

 since it leads to a single conclusion, not two contradictory conclusions) intended to destroy him. Unfortunately, Santa proves immune to paradoxes; and he takes off after them with a missile launcher. The crew escapes the fortress, and are about to leave in the ship; but Santa grabs the engine and prevents the ship from taking off. The heat from the engine melts the ice under Santa's feet, and he sinks in; it refreezes around him.

With Santa frozen in ice, Bender takes over and toy-making resumes in Jolly Junction. Bender heads to New New York where he gets a less than welcome reception from citizens expecting a blood-thirsty killer. While taking a beer break, Bender is arrested and put on trial for Santa's crimes. Bender is found guilty and sentenced to execution by magnetic dismemberment.

Philip J. Fry
Philip J. Fry, known simply as Fry, is a fictional character, the main protagonist of the animated science fiction sitcom Futurama. He is voiced by Billy West using a version of his own voice as he sounded when he was 25.-Character overview:...

 and Leela rush back to Neptune to bring in the real Santa to prove Bender's innocence. They carve Santa out in a large block of ice; but the ice melts due to pollution from the toy factory, and Santa is freed. Fry and Leela escape in the ship, but Santa has hitched a ride back to Earth. The Planet Express crew tries one last attempt to save Bender, with all of them pretending to be Santa and Zoidberg pretending to be "his friend, Jesus". Their effort fails, and the execution device is activated.

Moments later, the real Robot Santa bursts through the wall. He rescues Bender and the two go on a proper Xmas rampage. As the Planet Express crew huddle in fear of their lives, Fry concludes he has somewhat succeeded in bringing back the old spirit of Christmas, even if it is fear that is bringing people together instead of love. At the end of the spree of destruction, Santa tells Bender that if he tries a stunt like that again, he will kill him, and pushes Bender off the sleigh amid the burning buildings.


John Goodman
John Goodman
John Stephen Goodman is an American film, television, and stage actor. He is best known for his role as Dan Conner on the television series Roseanne for which he won a Best Actor Golden Globe Award in 1993, and for appearances in the films of the Coen brothers, with prominent roles in Raising...

, who voiced Robot Santa in the previous episode "Xmas Story
Xmas Story
"Xmas Story" is the fourth episode in the second production season of Futurama. It originally aired as the eighth episode in the second broadcast season in North America on December 19, 1999. The episode was written by David X. Cohen and directed by Peter Avanzino. John Goodman guest stars in this...

" was unavailable to reprise his voice role for this episode; the voice was provided by John DiMaggio
John DiMaggio
John William DiMaggio is an American voice actor. A native of North Plainfield, New Jersey, he is known for his gruff, deep voice and New Jersey accent, which he uses to voice mainly villains and anti-heroes.-Filmography:...

. Dan Castellaneta
Dan Castellaneta
Daniel Louis "Dan" Castellaneta is an American actor, voice actor, comedian, singer and screenwriter. Noted for his long-running role as Homer Simpson on the animated television series The Simpsons, he voices many other characters on The Simpsons, including Abraham "Grampa" Simpson, Barney Gumble,...

, who voiced the Robot Devil in "Hell is Other Robots
Hell Is Other Robots
"Hell Is Other Robots" is the ninth episode of Futurama. It originally aired in North America on May 18, 1999, as the season finale of the first season. The episode was written by Eric Kaplan and directed by Rich Moore. Guest stars in this episode include the Beastie Boys as themselves and Dan...

" and "The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings
The Devil's Hands are Idle Playthings
"The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings" is the eighteenth episode in the fourth production season of the animated television series Futurama, and was aired for the first time in the United States on August 10, 2003 as the sixteenth episode of the fifth broadcast season...

", was busy with The Simpsons
The Simpsons
The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical parody of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by its family of the same name, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie...

; his voice was provided by Maurice LaMarche
Maurice LaMarche
Maurice LaMarche is an Emmy Award winning Canadian-American voice actor and former stand up comedian. He is best known for his voicework in Futurama as Kif Kroker, as Egon Spengler in The Real Ghostbusters, Verminous Skumm and Duke Nukem in Captain Planet and the Planeteers, Big Bob Pataki in Hey...


Broadcast and reception

Futurama executive producer David X. Cohen referred to this episode as Futuramas lost episode due to the delays in its initial broadcast. Fox Network decided the episode was not appropriate for its 7 p.m. time slot (due to the one use of strong language and scenes of violence, though, according to the DVD commentary, the only extreme violence in this episode is the scenes of destruction when Bender and Robot Santa are terrorizing New New York) and the episode was delayed for a year before being scheduled to air in a later time slot on December 23, 2001.

In its initial airing, the episode received a Nielsen rating of 4.1, placing it 77th among primetime shows for the week of December 10–16, 2001.

External links

  • A Tale of Two Santas at The Infosphere.
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