Coolio recorded dialogue and raps as Kwanzaa-bot for the Futurama reboot on Hulu before his death, according to showrunner David X. Cohen.
Futurama Showrunner David X. Cohen revealed that Coolio, an American rapper who achieved mainstream success in the 90s, made voice recordings for the Futurama reboot before his death. Coolio appeared in three episodes of FuturamaThe seven-season original series, which ended in 2013, as Kwanzaa-bot, one of the holiday-themed robots that took over the holidays in the future. Futurama had issues with cancellations and network ownership throughout its run from 1999, with the show running for 4 seasons on Fox before moving to direct-to-video movies and eventually Comedy Central, but found its home to Hulu where it is expected to begin releasing 20 new episodes as early as spring 2023.
Bringing a series back after nearly a decade may risk a disappointing and unnecessary sequel, but Futurama prepared for a reboot with the series finale “Meanwhile.” The episode essentially reset the character’s timeline by having Professor Farnsworth use his time machine to bring Fry and Leela back to the present after living a full life, and left the series on a successful note in as Comedy Central’s fifth most-watched episode. Futurama will continue his outrageous adventures with the full crew of Planet Express returning to reprise their roles, though John DiMaggio had contract disputes before deciding to return as fan-favorite drunken robot Bender.
Cohen says he was shocked by Coolio’s death on Sept. 28 after recording dialogue and raps for the Futurama rebirth only a few weeks before. As TMZ reports, Cohen said Coolio was as great as ever as a guest star when he returned to cover Kwanzaa-bot, and even rapped on the fly while taping the episode. The episode in which Kwanzaa-bot is featured will be dedicated to Coolio and will feature his rap during the closing credits.
The return of Kwanzaa-bot and other beloved Futurama characters
It is now confirmed that Kwanzaa-bot will return with the rest of the Planet Express gang for the Futurama reboot, which likely means the return of his Santa Claus Robot and Chanukah Zombie counterparts. The return of the Santa Claus robot is not surprising since the Futurama Season 8 episode titles revealed “I Know What You Did Last Christmas” will likely mean another Christmas episode featuring the killer robot, this time parodying the I know what you did last summer franchise. The episode titles also hint at the return of supporting characters like Cubert and the continuation of the show’s trend of incorporating current events, with the reboot seeking to poke fun at cancel culture and the pandemic.
While the creators almost couldn’t get the full Futurama Put back together, it’s exciting to hear that not only is the entire main cast returning, but also hilarious supporting characters like the holiday robots and hopefully others like Lrrr and President Nixon’s boss. Of course, Coolio’s death is unfortunate, but there’s a silver lining in that he’s able to voice Kwanzaa-bot one last time and is apparently having fun doing it. While fans may mourn Coolio, more of his work is yet to come in the Futurama reboot where he will be cemented in the series’ history.
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