Futurama’s The Scary Door Parodies An Apocalyptic Twilight Zone Episode


Of course, the writers of “Futurama” often just stuck with the spirit of “The Twilight Zone,” rather than spoofing it outright. There is a “Scary Door” episode, for instance — seen in “Lrrreconcilable Ndndifferences” (August 26, 2010) — wherein a vagrant is heckling a politician about the fact that aliens may already be among us. The politician yanks off the vagrant’s face, revealing that he was, in fact, the alien all along. This doesn’t synch up with any “Twilight Zone” story, but feels like something Rod Serling might have written.

In “Spanish Fry” (July 13, 2003), the episode must have been running long, as the “Scary Door” sequence was reserved for the episode’s credits sequence. Underneath the many names of Rough Draft’s animation team, viewers could see a mad scientist busily mixing the DNA of the most evil creatures on Earth; mostly predators and animals with pointy teeth. He dumps his DNA slurry into a cloning chamber, hoping to create the most evil animal in the universe. The chamber opens up and a naked white guy steps out. “It turns out it’s man,” he says flatly. 

While the “Spanish Fry” “Scary Door” episode isn’t referring to any one Serling script, it does show the bold efficiency of Serling’s storytelling. What “The Twilight Zone” needed to do in 30 minutes, “The Scary Door” did in 30 seconds. 

Naturally “The Scary Door” is a loving satire, poking fun at the way “The Twilight Zone” was written, but adding a gag to it; show creators David X. Cohen and Matt Groening aren’t trying to point out the weaknesses in what might be the most influential sci-fi series of all time. They’re just giving it a big hug. 

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