Futurama: Coolio Recorded KwanzaaBot Dialogue, Rap for Hulu Revival

With Hulu's 20-episode Billy West, Katey Sagal, Tress MacNeille, Maurice LaMarche, Lauren Tom, Phil LaMarr, David Herman & John DiMaggio-starring Futurama revival expected to roll out in 2023, we have an unfortunate update to offer on the returning season. Late rapper/actor Coolio, who passed away on Wednesday, had recorded his dialogue & a closing-credits rap in his reprisal of KwanzaaBot for one episode of David X. Cohen & Matt Groening's series. "All of us at 'Futurama' send our sincere condolences to Coolio's family, friends, and fans. He was one of our favorite guests, always upbeat and enthusiastic," Cohen wrote in an email to EW, confirming that the episode will be dedicated to Coolio. "This news was especially shocking since he looked and sounded great when we saw him in the studio just a few weeks ago for what was an especially fun session. I thanked him for returning to do the part once again, and he said, 'Everybody loves KwanzaaBot.' It was an honor to have gotten the chance to work with him."

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Image: Futurama Screencap

At the end of August, ten episode titles were confirmed by Hulu and included a mix of timely references and nods to familiar characters: "The Impossible Stream," "Rage Against The Vaccine," "Zapp Gets Cancelled," "The Prince And The Product," "Related To Items You've Viewed," "Children Of A Lesser Bog," "How The West Was 1010001," "I Know What You Did Last Xmas," "Parasites Regained," and "All The Way Down." And thanks to /Film, we learned more about DiMaggio's Futurama deal directly from the source during a panel at Phoenix Fan Fusion- here are some of the highlights:

DiMaggio Didn't Return Thanks to a Huge Raise- Because There Wasn't One: "People are like, 'I'm so glad you got more money!' I didn't get more money. But what I did get was a lot of respect, and a lot of head nods from people who are like, 'Yo bro, I see you and thank you.'" Though he found the fight for better pay & professional respect "quite rewarding," DiMaggio found that in the end, "trying to get money out of Disney is like trying to get blood from a stone – you ain't gonna get it!"

Hulu Had a Plan If DiMaggio Didn't Return: Reports at the time were that Hulu was willing to move forward without DiMaggio, with the voice actor confirming that the streamer was "planning on using guest stars, [and] they were going to replace Bender's voice each episode."

In the End, DiMaggio Knew Who He Wanted to "Spend Thanksgiving" With: Sharing with the audience how he and his agent discussed if "we want to be in the house having a nice Thanksgiving dinner, or… standing across the street in the freezing rain watching everybody eat stuffing," DiMaggio would eventually make the decision to return. But while he may not have gotten that raise everyone thinks he got, DiMaggio was able to derive a different satisfaction from the entire ordeal. "But listen, this was the best thing about that fight: I had Disney, Hulu, I was holding on to their collective testicles so hard that they couldn't, ya know, there was nowhere for them to go. But there was also nowhere for me to go, and who wants to hold on to those for that long," he explained.

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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