Jersey is again the punchline of a joke in a Futurama episode. Fry and Bender decide to become roommates in “I, Roommate,” episode 3 of season 1 which originally aired in April of 1999.
It’s decided by the group that Fry has to move out since he’s being a slob and fouling up the business. They have no choice but to kick him out. After Fry moves into Bender’s apartment that’s as small as a closet, they set out on a search for a new apartment for the both of them.
During a montage of clips showing the duo’s quest for a new place to live, we see them go through all kinds of weird places including one apartment that turned out to be an MC Escher painting come to life.
But the moment Fry visits an apartment that looks suspiciously perfect, he’s in disbelief as the realtor shows them around.
FRY: “Well I give up…what’s the catch?”
REALTOR: “Oh, no catch, although we are technically in New Jersey.”
Immediately after seeing the New Jersey apartment he was convinced they exhausted all their options. Fry determines that he hasn’t looked at “one place even remotely livable.” Eventually, the odd pair are able to move into the apartment of one of Professor Farnsworth’s recently deceased colleagues.
Before cable TV shows made it fashionable to live in New Jersey, The Garden State was categorized right beside fart jokes on the humor scale. A New Jersey joke still never fails.
Why can’t we laugh at ourselves? There’s all this nonsense going around about “defending New Jersey,” and it’s totally lame. Since when are we New Jerseyans the type of people not to find humor in stereotypes? I know I’ve never been one to take it seriously when there’s a joke about us in a movie or a comedian starts ripping on Jersey because it’s all in the name of humor. Plus, a lot of the jokes are based on absolute truth. Have you ever heard someone making fun of how bad it reeks on the New Jersey Turnpike? Well, they aren’t exaggerating because it f*cking stinks to high heaven every time I’m driving on it! Stinks is putting it mildly because it usually gets to the point where I have to pull my t-shirt up over my nose and mouth. In the picture below you can see why.
Futurama’s depiction of New Jersey
So, yeah – that brings us to Season 1, Episode 8 of Futurama entitled “A Big Piece of Garbage” which originally aired on May 11, 1999. Parts of the episode parody the film Armageddon and as you can probably surmise, instead of an asteroid, earth is in danger of being hit by a humongous piece of garbage. During his demonstration of his new invention The Smelloscope, which allows its user to smell planets, Professor Farnsworth shows a historical video he found on the Internet called The Great Garbage Crisis of 2000 which explained what a dump New York City used to be and how it became that way. Here is the voice over from that video:
“…New York City. The year: 2000. The most wasteful society in the history of the galaxy,
and it was running out of places to bury its neverending output of garbage.
The landfills were full…New Jersey was full…”