Kif Kroker

Kif Kroker

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Encyclopedia
Lieutenant Kif Kroker is a character from the animated television series Futurama
Futurama
Futurama is an American animated science fiction sitcom created by Matt Groening and developed by Groening and David X. Cohen for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series follows the adventures of a late 20th-century New York City pizza delivery boy, Philip J...

. He is the long suffering assistant to Captain Zapp Brannigan
Zapp Brannigan
Captain Zapp Brannigan is a fictional character in the animated sitcom Futurama. He is voiced by Billy West, but was originally intended to be voiced by Phil Hartman, with West taking over the role after Hartman's death. Brannigan is a 25-Star General in the Democratic Order of Planets, and captain...

 and Fourth Lieutenant on the Democratic Order of Planets (D.O.O.P.) starship
Starship
A starship or interstellar spacecraft is a theoretical spacecraft designed for traveling between the stars, as opposed to a vehicle designed for orbital spaceflight or interplanetary travel....

 Nimbus. His frustration with Brannigan's arrogance and general incompetence in Season 1 leads him to be a disaffected, indifferent, sardonic lackey, although his personality differs greatly in later seasons. Zapp thinks Kif to be his best friend and loyal confidant, whereas Kif sees him as an incompetent jerk.

Physiology


Kif has three nipple
Nipple
In its most general form, a nipple is a structure from which a fluid emanates. More specifically, it is the projection on the breasts or udder of a mammal by which breast milk is delivered to a mother's young. In this sense, it is often called a teat, especially when referring to non-humans, and...

s, and is able to shed his skin
Skin
-Dermis:The dermis is the layer of skin beneath the epidermis that consists of connective tissue and cushions the body from stress and strain. The dermis is tightly connected to the epidermis by a basement membrane. It also harbors many Mechanoreceptors that provide the sense of touch and heat...

 when necessary. His skin can also change colors to blend in with his surroundings (though he has some difficulty controlling it in emotional situations, as shown in "Where the Buggalo Roam
Where the Buggalo Roam
"Where the Buggalo Roam" is the tenth episode in season three of the animated television series Futurama. It originally aired March 3, 2002. The title is a reference to the folk song "Home on the Range".- Plot :...

"), and is quite elastic. He can inflate his head to gargantuan size to frighten away predators, and resembles a bagpipe
Bagpipes
Bagpipes are a class of musical instrument, aerophones, using enclosed reeds fed from a constant reservoir of air in the form of a bag. Though the Scottish Great Highland Bagpipe and Irish uilleann pipes have the greatest international visibility, bagpipes of many different types come from...

 when deflated. His hands and feet are equipped with suction cup
Suction cup
A suction cup, also sometimes known as a sucker is an object that uses negative fluid pressure of air or water to adhere to nonporous surfaces. They exist both as artificially created devices, and as anatomical traits of some animals such as octopi and squid.The working face of the suction cup has...

s, allowing him to climb walls much like a gecko
Gecko
Geckos are lizards belonging to the infraorder Gekkota, found in warm climates throughout the world. They range from 1.6 cm to 60 cm....

. His species is related to the sea cucumber
Sea cucumber
Sea cucumbers are echinoderms from the class Holothuroidea.They are marine animals with a leathery skin and an elongated body containing a single, branched gonad. Sea cucumbers are found on the sea floor worldwide. There are a number of holothurian species and genera, many of which are targeted...

 except, as Amy points out, "not where it counts". Kif has no skeleton; his body has a system of fluid-filled bladders
Hydrostatic skeleton
A hydrostatic skeleton or hydroskeleton is a structure found in many cold-blooded organisms and soft-bodied animals consisting of a fluid-filled cavity, the coelom, surrounded by muscles. The pressure of the fluid and action of the surrounding circular and longitudinal muscles are used to change an...

 instead of bone
Bone
Bones are rigid organs that constitute part of the endoskeleton of vertebrates. They support, and protect the various organs of the body, produce red and white blood cells and store minerals. Bone tissue is a type of dense connective tissue...

s. Although Kif finds this aspect of his physiology fascinating, everyone else wanders away in boredom when he tries to tell them about it. Kif's species reproduces by absorbing DNA via diffusion through skin contact, after being rendered receptive to it as a reaction to strong feelings of love (explained in Kif Gets Knocked Up a Notch
Kif Gets Knocked Up a Notch
"Kif Gets Knocked Up a Notch" is the first episode in season four of Futurama. It first aired on January 12, 2003.-Plot:Amy is unhappy with her long-distance relationship with Kif and wants to see him in person again. When the crew is sent to deliver a giant pill to a planet near where Kif is...

). They begin life as tadpole-like larvae, in which state they remain for twenty years before finally emerging from the water to begin life as children. The final stage of the amphibiosan life cycle is as a swarm of flying hookworm
Hookworm
The hookworm is a parasitic nematode that lives in the small intestine of its host, which may be a mammal such as a dog, cat, or human. Two species of hookworms commonly infect humans, Ancylostoma duodenale and Necator americanus. A. duodenale predominates in the Middle East, North Africa, India...

s.

Role


In Season 3, Kif begins dating Planet Express employee Amy Wong
Amy Wong
Amy Wong, voiced by Lauren Tom, is a fictional character, one of the main characters from the Fox and Comedy Central television animated series Futurama. She works as an intern at Planet Express...

, whom he met aboard the starship Titanic in "A Flight to Remember
A Flight to Remember
"A Flight to Remember" is episode ten in the first production season of Futurama. It originally aired in North America on September 26, 1999 as the first episode in the second season. This episode was written by Eric Horsted and directed by Peter Avanzino. Dawnn Lewis guest stars in this episode...

". While dating Amy, Kif's character is fleshed out a great deal; it is revealed that he is actually an extremely sensitive, shy and timid creature. It took him months to work up the courage to ask Amy out for a date, and even then it was only through Zapp that a date was finally arranged. His non-confrontational personality makes it difficult to stand up to Zapp, and so he complains about him to Leela (much to her annoyance) and anyone else who will listen. When actually in command of a subordinate, however, he will become quite a martinet, once telling Philip J. Fry
Philip J. Fry
Philip J. Fry, known simply as Fry, is a fictional character, the main protagonist of the animated science fiction sitcom Futurama. He is voiced by Billy West using a version of his own voice as he sounded when he was 25.-Character overview:...

 "Mix those mixed nuts! I see two almonds touching!"

He is also revealed to be a very romantic man, if somewhat lacking in self-confidence, and it is shown that he and Amy truly do love each other. Amy's parents treat him with disdain and often refer to him as "squishy alien". Ironically, it was Amy's parents who introduced them and, in contrast, they actually showed approval of Kif, possibly because he was currently a captain at the time. While many times Kif does not seem masculine, in "Three Hundred Big Boys
Three Hundred Big Boys
"Three Hundred Big Boys" is the sixteenth episode of season four of Futurama, which aired June 15, 2003.-Plot:Zapp Brannigan leads an attack on Tarantulon VI, claiming silken artworks. Earth President Richard Nixon gives the riches to the citizens of Earth as a $300 tax rebate. Leela plans to swim...

" Kif fights off 2 Spidarian soldiers until Zapp runs over him in a jeep-like craft, showing that he has some proficiency in armed combat. Nevertheless, it seems that Kif is unsuccessful in gaining the approval of Amy Wong's parents, as they want their daughter to marry their ranch hand, a buff, macho cowboy, along with every other male they happen to come across, even a "strong man like Zapp Brannigan". However, when Kif gets pregnant in "Kif Gets Knocked Up a Notch", they do not seem bothered by the peculiarity of Amy and Kif becoming parents, because they are more concerned about getting grandchildren. Kif is quite intelligent and sees the idiocy of Zapp's plans where few other people can.

The males of Kif's species can carry and bear young, as Kif did in "Kif Gets Knocked Up a Notch
Kif Gets Knocked Up a Notch
"Kif Gets Knocked Up a Notch" is the first episode in season four of Futurama. It first aired on January 12, 2003.-Plot:Amy is unhappy with her long-distance relationship with Kif and wants to see him in person again. When the crew is sent to deliver a giant pill to a planet near where Kif is...

". Kif explains that his species can exchange genetic information even through simple touch. This occurs during a "receptive state", which happens when a member of his species is deeply in love. It is unclear whether this is their only form of reproduction, or just an ancillary method. In "Amazon Women in the Mood
Amazon Women in the Mood
"Amazon Women in the Mood" is the first episode in season three of Futurama. It originally aired in North America on February 4, 2001.-Plot:...

", he ran away from one of the women he was assigned to sleep with (as a means of execution), and in "Where the Buggalo Roam
Where the Buggalo Roam
"Where the Buggalo Roam" is the tenth episode in season three of the animated television series Futurama. It originally aired March 3, 2002. The title is a reference to the folk song "Home on the Range".- Plot :...

", he misunderstood what the term "making love" was.

Professor Farnsworth's
Professor Hubert Farnsworth
Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth, or simply The Professor, is a fictional character in the American animated television series Futurama. He is voiced by Billy West using a combination of impressions of Burgess Meredith and Frank Morgan. Farnsworth is the proprietor of the Planet Express delivery...

 inter-species DNA maternity testing machine ("even I laughed at me when I built [it]" he explains) reveals the "mother" of Kif's young to be Leela, though Kif explains that the true parent is the one who inspired the original feelings of love, regardless of the DNA donor. The word used for this "true parent" is smizmar, a pun on the well-known Vulcan phrase "diftor heh smusma" ("live long and prosper"). At the baby shower held for Kif, Amy leaves him suddenly, finding herself unable to make the sacrifice of her lifestyle for parenthood, only to change her mind in the end and return to him in time for the ancient birthing rite on Kif's homeworld, Amphibios 9. He gives birth to a spoor of tadpoles and explains to Amy that the babies will return in twenty years, and Amy decides that by that time she will be ready for parenting. At the end of the episode, a one eyed tadpole swims around, the result of Leela's DNA.

In the course of the second Futurama DVD movie, Beast with a Billion Backs
Futurama: The Beast with a Billion Backs
Futurama: The Beast with a Billion Backs is an animated science-fiction comedy film, the second of the four Futurama straight-to-DVD films. The film was released in the United States and Canada on June 24, 2008, followed by a UK release on June 30, 2008 and an Australian release on August 6, 2008....

, he essentially marries Amy after asking her to be his "Fonfon Ru", with Zapp Brannigan as the best man. Due to Zapp's impatience, Kif is crushed by a Universe-to-Universe Missile (UUM) in a space battle shortly after. He is later resurrected and learns that Zapp persuaded Amy into sleeping with him in her grief. As a result, Kif finally has the nerve to punch Zapp in the gut, though it put a temporary strain on his relationship with Amy, as Kif cites that "Fonfon Ru" literally translates to "One who doesn't sleep with my superior officer." At the end of Into the Wild Green Yonder
Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder
Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder is the last of a series of four straight-to-DVD Futurama movies. The movie was written by Ken Keeler, based on a story by Keeler and David X. Cohen, and directed by Peter Avanzino. Guest stars include Phil Hendrie, Penn Jillette , Snoop Dogg and Seth...

, he defies and abandons Zapp entirely and gets back together with Amy, joining the Planet Express crew as they travel through a wormhole to parts unknown.

Production notes


In an early interview, show creator Matt Groening
Matt Groening
Matthew Abram "Matt" Groening is an American cartoonist, screenwriter, and producer. He is the creator of the comic strip Life in Hell as well as two successful television series, The Simpsons and Futurama....

 claimed that the inspiration for Kif partly came from Star Trek
Star Trek
Star Trek is an American science fiction entertainment franchise created by Gene Roddenberry. The core of Star Trek is its six television series: The Original Series, The Animated Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise...

s Mr. Spock
Spock
Spock is a fictional character in the Star Trek media franchise. First portrayed by Leonard Nimoy in the original Star Trek series, Spock also appears in the animated Star Trek series, two episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, seven of the Star Trek feature films, and numerous Star Trek...

, with the important difference that this version of Spock would detest his captain.
Voice actor Maurice LaMarche said that Kif's voice was inspired by mixing the snarkiness of Jon Lovitz
Jon Lovitz
Jonathan "Jon" Lovitz is an American comedian, actor, and singer. He is best known as a cast member of the NBC sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live from 1985 to 1990.-Early life:...

 with the weakness of Truman Capote
Truman Capote
Truman Streckfus Persons , known as Truman Capote , was an American author, many of whose short stories, novels, plays, and nonfiction are recognized literary classics, including the novella Breakfast at Tiffany's and the true crime novel In Cold Blood , which he labeled a "nonfiction novel." At...

.

Name



Mel Keefer drew the Bash Brannigan cartoons for the movie How to Murder Your Wife
How to Murder Your Wife
How to Murder Your Wife is a 1965 American comedy film starring Jack Lemmon and Virna Lisi. It was directed by Richard Quine, who also directed Lemmon in My Sister Eileen, It Happened to Jane, Operation Mad Ball and Bell, Book and Candle....

.