Futurama: People: Zapp Brannigan

Captain. Hero. Lover. Gifted. Handsome. Extraordinary Lover. That’s the way Zapp Brannigan would describe himself to most people. Those people wouldn’t be so charitable. In fact, those people would describe the captain of the Nimbus as an insensitive, ignorant, pompous jerk.

If you ran into Zapp at a bar, he’d be coming on to every female in the room, and possibly a few sexually-ambiguous men as well. He’d also get the sh*t slapped out of him by every single one of them. Kif would probably have to escort him home and put him to bed crying, like a four-year-old.

Zapp seems to have a great military reputation, but it’s built on the ruins of many a pacifist civilization he’s decimated. His only true triumphs can be credited to Kif, when Zapp bothers to listen.

He’s left behind the wreckage of the star cruise ship Titanic, the Palm D’Orbit restaurant and DOOP headquarters, just to name a few, as monuments to his incompetence. He’s traveled the galaxy, destroying peaceful sentient worlds at his leisure.

His love life is equally as successful as his career. In other words, it sucks. His only close encounters are a pity-screw from Leela and near death by snu-snu on planet Amazonia. In other words, his sheets generally stay clean and dry.

If ego counted as companionship, Zapp would never be alone. How his ego can be that big when it’s obvious from the cut of his uniform that nothing else is, I don’t know. No one can squat and gyrate in a uniform that short and not show off his willie, if he’s got enough to show.

He continues to carry a torch for Leela and makes it evident with a cheap proposition every time they meet. Which tends to be pretty often, as he and Kif “guest star” quite frequently.

According to the creators, they intended the character of Zapp Brannigan to play a much larger role in the first season than he did. Unfortunately, the death of Phil Hartman, original voice of Zapp, curbed those plans until they gauged how the new voice worked out.

Billy West stepped in and did a damn fine job, not only with mimicking Phil Hartman’s style, but with making the character his own.

This Futurama character review is © 2004 Ryan Bechtel.
Not for reproduction without the authors express permission

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