Zapp Brannigan speaking in Futurama
Movies - TV
A Simpsons Legend Was Supposed To Play Futurama’s Zapp Brannigan
Voice actor Billy West has brought to life several notable characters on “Futurama,” including Zapp Brannigan. However, this role was actually meant for someone else.
Creators Matt Groening and David X. Cohen wanted longtime “Simpsons” veteran Phil Hartman, who played Lionel Hutz, to play the part, but he passed away before recording.
On the “Futurama” DVD commentary track for the 1999 episode “Love’s Labours Lost In Space,” Groening shared how he and Cohen already knew they wanted him for the part.
After the beloved voice actor’s passing, West would take on the role and put his own spin on it rather than trying to impersonate Hartman.