“Hell Is Other Robots” is the ninth episode of Futurama. It originally aired in North America on May 18, 1999. The episode was written by Eric Kaplan and directed by Rich Moore. Guest stars in this episode include the Beastie Boys as themselves and Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson) voicing the Robot Devil.
The episode introduces the Robot Devil, Reverend Lionel Preacherbot and the religion of the Temple of Robotology, a spoof on the Church of Scientology. The episode received positive reviews, and was one of four featured on the DVD boxed set of Matt Groening’s favorite episodes: “Monster Robot Maniac Fun Collection”.
This episode contains a large amount of religious parody. The title is itself a pun of the famous line “Hell is other people” from Jean-Paul Sartre’s one act play No Exit.
The punishments in Robot Hell are similar to the levels and rationale which are portrayed in Dante’s The Divine Comedy, specifically the Inferno.
The “Fairness in Hell Act,” where the damned may engage in a fiddle battle to save his soul and win a solid gold fiddle, is taken directly from The Charlie Daniels Band song The Devil Went Down to Georgia.
The inclusion of an upbeat song in a version of Hell also allows Bender to take swipes at inappropriate musical numbers in popular entertainment.
After a Beastie Boys concert, Bender attends a party with his old friend, Fender, a giant guitar amp. At the party Bender and the other robots abuse electricity by “jacking on,” and Bender develops an addiction.
After receiving a near-lethal dose from an electrical storm, Bender realizes he has a problem and searches for help. He joins the Temple of Robotology, accepting the doctrine of eternal damnation in Robot Hell should he sin. After baptizing him in oil, the Reverend Lionel Preacherbot welds the symbol of Robotology to Bender’s case.
As Bender begins to annoy his co-workers with his new religion, Fry and Leela decide they want the “old Bender” back. They fake a delivery to Atlantic City and tempt Bender with alcohol, prostitutes and easy targets for theft.
He eventually succumbs, rips off the Robotology symbol and throws it away, causing it to beep ominously. While seducing three female robots, Bender is interrupted by a knock at his hotel room door. He opens the door and is knocked unconscious. He awakens to see the Robot Devil and finds himself in Robot Hell.
The Robot Devil reminds Bender that he agreed to be punished for sinning when he joined Robotology. After discovering Bender is missing, Fry and Leela track him down using Nibbler’s sense of smell. Eventually, they arrive at an abandoned New Jersey amusement park where they find the entrance to Robot Hell…