Futurama Season 11’s Actor Tribute Explained

Warning: Contains SPOILERS for Futurama season 11, episode 6


  • Futurama season 11, episode 6 pays tribute to the late rapper Coolio, who voiced the character of Kwanzaa-Bot, in a moving dedication.
  • The episode «I Know What You Did Next Xmas» returns to the Robot Santa-centric storytelling of earlier seasons, providing a major role for Kwanzaa-Bot and leading to a poignant in-memoriam message at the end.
  • Coolio, known for his distinctive voice and hits like «Gangsta’s Paradise,» appeared in three episodes of Futurama and had a successful acting career in movies and TV shows outside of the show.

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After a fun festive adventure, Futurama season 11, episode 6 ended with a moving dedication to the late rapper Coolio. Futurama’s season 11 revival has largely kept the show’s tone relatively light. A few of the season’s episodes tugged at the heartstrings of viewers, but none of them were outright devastating. Futurama’s season 11 revival has not yet featured an episode like season 3, episode 10, “The Luck of the Fryrish,” or season 4, episode 7, “Jurassic Bark.” However, Futurama season 11, episode 6, “I Know What You Did Next Xmas,” came close thanks to unfortunate real-life events concerning the outing’s guest star.

“I Know What You Did Next Xmas” fixed one controversial Futurama revival story mistake with a holiday special that wasn’t split into shorter stories. While season 7, episode 13, “The Futurama Holiday Spectacular” wasn’t particularly well-received, this was largely due to its anthology format. In contrast, “I Know What You Did Next Xmas” returned to the Robot Santa-centric storytelling of season 2, episode 8, “Xmas Story”, and season 4, episode 2, “A Tale of Two Santas.” This provided a major role for Kwanzaa-Bot, leading to a poignant in-memoriam message at the end of the episode.

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Futurama’s Kwanzaa-Bot Actor Died In September 2022

Coolio Gangstas Paradise

“I Know What You Did Next Xmas” ended with a message stating that the episode was “In Memory of Coolio.” The rapper passed away in September 2022 after recording his last appearance as Kwanzaa-Bot. While earlier episodes of Futurama season 11 hinted at Fry and Leela’s potential children and fleshed out Nibbler’s relationship with Leela, this simple tribute to a real-life superstar proved the most moving moment of the series revival so far. Best known for the singles “C U When U Get There,” “Fantastic Voyage,” and “Gangsta’s Paradise,” Coolio was a larger-than-life rapper and actor who released eight albums during his celebrated career.

Coolio’s distinctive voice led him to screen stardom as well as musical success, with the rapper appearing in various TV shows and movies. As Kwanzaa-Bot, Coolio appeared in three episodes of Futurama and one of the show’s feature-length spinoff movies, Bender’s Big Score. Kwanzaa-Bot was a conflicted character who was both unable to explain his eponymous holiday and frustrated that it wasn’t more widely celebrated. Futurama’s meta-jokes about Christmas specials saw Kwanzaa-Bot crop up alongside the villainous Robot Santa and the Chanukah Zombie. Coolio voiced the character until his death last year, rapping in his final appearance.

Coolio’s Acting Career Explained

The Kwanzaabot with his arms in a sack in an episode of Futurama. 

Even though he was mostly known as a rapper, Coolio appeared in plenty of movies and shows outside of his numerous Futurama cameos. Most notably, he had roles in the movies Get Over It, Batman and Robin, Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the 13th, Leprechaun in the Hood, and Daredevil, as well as TV appearances in Charmed, Kenan and Kel, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and Gravity Falls. A gregarious and self-effacing presence on screen and record, Coolio often mocked his rap persona in his screen roles. The Futurama guest star was 59 years old when he passed away. He is survived by his 10 children.

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