6. Be adaptable - it could save your job!
Lauren Tom: Amy's voice is actually close to my natural voice. She actually started out much different than she ended up. She was supposed to be a car mechanic, really tough lesbian sort of character.
I came in and that's so... not... my natural essence, but Matt liked my laugh, so he said, 'we'll just cast you and we'll figure out what to do later - we have to get that laugh in there somewhere."
We tried to make it gruff at first, but Leela (Katey Segal) is so tough that it was a good juxtaposition to have something different. So I don't have to work too hard at Amy, not like Maurice, who does eight voices or so.
Maurice LaMarche: Yes, I am that stupid... er... inspired.
7. Sci-Fi can be funny if you treat it properly.
Matt Groening: I didn't realise quite how difficult it is to do science fiction that's funny. Most so-called "humorous" science fiction is really wacky and not funny.
Our first lesson was, you can't have a rocket ship that's a visual pun, which looks like something else, or it works against you. It might be funny for a quarter of a second.
David Cohen: We learned to take the sci-fi aspect completely seriously and to make a story that, even if you take the jokes away, still works as a good science fiction story, and a dramatic one.
So when there's a big battle or even just an argument, we try to play it seriously. The characters are delivering the jokes and it's about their personalities, their petty gripes and problems.
It helps the comedy because it sucks people in to the drama and the jokes act as a release. They work fine together - we like tugging at the heartstrings from time to time. You don't always have to have a goofy battle with rubber toys.
Matt Groening: We did do that, though...