One of Zapp Brannigan’s signature Futurama moves came from Matt Groening’s son



Zapp’s farewell came after an inappropriate flirtation with Leela (Katey Sagal). He proposed mating before a dangerous military maneuver “in case one of us doesn’t return.” Leela suggests they wait until later, in case neither of them comes back. Not really hearing her, Zapp responds suggestively with a “Let’s hope” and then does his “heart, head and go” salute before blowing a kiss. Groening suggested Zapp’s gesture after speaking with Will.

The ones that follow The comic “Life in Hell” by Matt Groening you’ve probably seen the cartoonist’s strips about his sons, Will and Abe, and their adorable precociousness. Will, the eldest, was often described as violently imaginative, inventing monsters with names like Ghoul Dieclops, while Abe, kinder, invented monsters called Tina. In the mid-1990s, Groening interviewed three-year-old Abe about his vampire cape, and Abe gleefully explained that all vampires “suck hello!” It’s pretty cute. From these strips you can see that Will and Abe were raised well.

Will contributed the Zapp Brannigan salute as seen in “When Aliens Attack”. As Groening said in the commentary track:

“Oh! That was my son, Will. I said, ‘How are they going to salute in the future?’ And he did it: head, heart and go.”

The greeting appears to be a reference to an old sci-fi movie or TV series, and it’s possible that Will extrapolated the greeting from something he saw on late-night TV, but I couldn’t find a similar greeting cited elsewhere.

At the end of “When Aliens Attack” Leela, Fry (West) and the rest of the Planet Express crew must “Swede” the final episode of “Single Female Lawyer” to quench Lrrr’s bloodlust. In the end everything works. Heart, head and away. Although that joke about Lrrr and Ndnd is still waiting in the wings.



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