|Episode no. Season 2
Written by J. Stewart Burns
Original air date December 12, 1999
|Directed by Bret Haaland|
Production code 2ACV03
"A Head in the Polls" is the third episode in the second production season of Futurama. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on December 12, 1999 as episode seven in the second broadcast season. The episode was written by J. Stewart Burns and directed by Bret Haaland. Claudia Schiffer makes a guest appearance as herself. The title is a pun on the common phrase "Ahead in the polls".
The election race for President of Earth is in full swing, with two identical clones as candidates. Leela, appalled by the apathy of the Planet Express crew, exhorts them to register to vote. Meanwhile, a mining disaster sends the price of titanium through the roof, and Bender seizes the opportunity to make a quick buck by pawning his 40% titanium body.
As a head with a pile of cash, Bender begins enjoying his new lifestyle. During a trip to the Hall of Presidents in the New New York Head Museum, Richard Nixon's head ruins Bender's illusions about the glamour of a life without a body. The next day Bender heads off to the pawn shop to retrieve his body, but it has been sold. Later, Nixon's head announces its candidacy for President of Earth, using Bender's body to escape a constitutional provision that "nobody can be elected more than twice".
Fry, Leela, and Bender take off to Washington, D.C. to stop Nixon and recover Bender's body. Directly confronting Nixon fails to recover Bender's body, so the crew infiltrates Nixon's room at the Watergate Hotel. Leela successfully separates the sleeping head from the robot body, but Fry accidentally wakes Nixon. Confronting the intruders, Nixon begins ranting about his future plans for Earth. However, Bender records the conversation and knowing that the tape would ruin his election chances if released, Nixon trades the body for the tape.
On election day, Nixon wins by a single vote. He regained the robot vote by replacing Bender's body with a giant war robot while Leela and Fry forgot to vote against him. The episode ends with Nixon on a rampage through Washington D.C., escorted by Secret Service agents into the White House.
Nixon's head would continue to be president throughout the series and into the four direct-to-video feature films. However, he does not use the supersuit he had at the end of the episode ever again. The episode features the first appearance of the recurring Brain Slugs.
Appearances in other media
A sample from this episode was used in the Devin Townsend song "Bend It Like Bender!" from his album, Addicted. It features Bender saying "Game's over losers, I have all the money".