Hermes Conrad (born July 15, 2959), the hexagonist of Futurama, is a Grade 34 Jamaican bureaucrat and the accountant at Planet Express. He is afraid to make mistakes, as this may demote him to a lower grade.
Before working for Planet Express, Hermes represented Jamaica at the Olympics as, "a world-class limboer," (as his wife, LaBarbara, describes Hermes' early career as an athlete). His main rival, in limbo competitions, as well as in wooing LaBarbara, was Barbados Slim, the Olympic representative of Barbados. Slim is said to be, "the only man to win Gold Medals in both limbo, and sex," (a casual, humourous suggestion, that in the 3000s CE, "sex," is included among official Olympic sports). Hermes stopped limboing, for what is implied to be many years, after a young boy spectator at the Olympics, was inspired by Hermes' physics-defying limbo skills, to be "just like Hermes." Shown through a flashback in Hermes' memory, the child jumped into the competition area and sprinted toward an extremely low-set limbo bar, as Hermes protested,
- "No, child! Your back bone can't take it!"
The young boy broke his back (and presumably died) trying to limbo under a tiny gap and Hermes was long haunted by guilt and a sense of personal responsibility for the boy's fate, despite not being at fault.
Hermes' wife and his Planet Express coworkers expressed doubt and confusion, as to why Jamaica had called upon Hermes to compete in the Men's Limbo Olympic event. Research assistant Amy Wong stereotyped Jamaicans, implying that limbo was,
- "...basically, all that Jamaicans do..."
an assumption to which Hermes evidently took offense, prompting Hermes to exclaim,
- "Jamaicans have other hobbies!" Hermes then lowers his voice and continues, quickly mumbling, "...which... is why the Jamaican team got detained at the airport,"
suggesting that Team Jamaica was halted by U.S. Customs under suspicion of marijuana possession.
Team Jamaica'a detention at an unspecified U.S. airport provides explanation for why Jamaica requested the former Team Jamaica Olympic athlete and current U.S. resident, Hermes Conrad, to compete for Jamaica, in lieu of the absent Jamaican Olympic Team.
As Hermes seized the opportuny to limbo for his home country in the Olympics once again, Professor Farnsworth utilized the opportunity to test an invention which might be of help to the out-of-shape, middle-aged Hermes Conrad. Hermes donned the Professor's invention, named the Flabo Dynamic Suit, which redistributed Hermes body fat and shifted Hermes' weight (and thus, his center of gravity) towards his knees.
Just before the competition, Hermes was addressed on the competition track by Barbados Slim:
- "Hermes Conrad, is that you in there, old mon?"
- "Barbados Slim!" Hermes exclaimed, expressing cartoonish surprise to see his long-term rival. "Last time I heard, you were in Barbados!"
- "An' I'll be goin' back there, with a Gold Medal draped around my elegant, Caribbean shoulders," Barbados Slim drew attention to his extremely fit, masculine physique, juxtaposed with Hermes' overweight, slightly short (though much shorter than Barbados Slim's towering frame) "bean-bag body."
- "You may have beaten me every time in the past, Barbados," Hermes spoke, firmly, "but this time, I feel lucky."
- The blue & red, elastic, full-body suit Hermes wore to compete, prompted Barbados Slim to respond, "I see you're still able to limbo under the bar of fashion sense!"
During the competition, the suit initially assisted Hermes, but ripped before the end of the Men's Limbo Race. Hermes consequently knocked a limbo bar off its pegs, resulting in his automatic disqualification. Despite being out of shape, Hermes proved to be the only limboer who could truly contend with Barbados Slim. Only after Hermes was disqualified near the end of the Men's Limbo Race, was Barbados Slim able to win, by a very wide margin, what had otherwise been a very close competition.
Hermes Conrad competed in the next Olympics and won the Gold Medal for the Men's Limbo event.
As a young man, Hermes was employed as a robot inspector at a robot factory in Tijuana, Mexico. Several years before the start of the series he chose to mark a newly built Bender as fully functional, despite the newborn robot lacking a wireless backup module. He then resigned from Mom's Robot Company and moved to New New York, where he joined the Central Bureaucracy, eventually being assigned to Planet Express.
Hermes started as a Grade 36 bureaucrat when his grade was first revealed. He is the accountant for Planet Express and a long time friend of Professor Farnsworth. He is proud to be a bureaucrat and has even organized Spa 5, a forced labor camp, to be worked on by one Australian Man. He sorted out the Master In-Pile in less than 4 minutes, but he was demoted to grade 38 for being two seconds early. He was then promoted to grade 37 for pointing out that Morgan Proctor had only stamped a form 4 times, not 5. According to Hermes in "Bender's Big Score" he is now a bureaucrat grade 34 though in "Lethal Inspection", he is shown to be back at grade 36 for unknown reasons. It is also shown in this episode he was once a robot inspector for one of Mom's robot factories in Tijuana as inspector 5. He is also the inspector who approved Bender as he came off the assembly line even though Bender had a defect in which he had no backup unit installed. Bender's cuteness won over Hermes sense of duty and he approved him. He then resigned from the factory a short time after.
Hermes has a wife, LaBarbara Conrad, and a son, Dwight Conrad. His wife left him a couple of times, twice for Barbados Slim when Hermes lost his body. He stopped his son from smoking one of his cigars, which was probably marijuana and has also set up an organization, Fathers Against Rude Television to protect his son from Bender's bad habits on All My Circuits. Hermes mentioned his grandmother is deceased in "The Farnsworth Parabox". Later on he mentions his mother is deceased in "Time Keeps on Slippin'" causing Professor Farnsworth to comment on her being promiscuous. In "The Beast with a Billion Backs", Hermes stated his mother and father told him how he would never get attacked by a tentacle monster.
Hermes is a hardworking man who deeply cares about his job at Planet Express. He's friendly to most characters, but consistently picks on Doctor Zoidberg (cutting paychecks, attempting to fire him, etc.). He can occasionally be sensitive however, such as when he saved a young Bender. Hermes has a dream of winning the Olympic Gold medal for limbo and his archrival is Barbados Slim. He also seems to dislike all his coworkers, with the possible exception of Fry and Leela.
Hatred of Dr. Zoidberg
Hermes is known for his cold and pure hatred to Zoidberg and started showing it in "Hell Is Other Robots" when he blamed Zoidberg for hogging up electricity when it was actually Bender who was doing it. Even Zoidberg is clueless as to why Hermes hates him and despite trying to be polite and caring for Hermes, Hermes is very rude and disrespectful to him. It is implied multiple times that Hermes hates Zoidberg simply because Zoidberg is a Decapodian as Hermes frequently calls Zoidberg a "Filthy Crab", which may be taken as a racial slur. Here are the implications on why Hermes hates Zoidberg from Hermes point of view:
- Zoidberg is an incompetent and pathetic doctor who usually messes up on his procedures with humans.
- He smells bad, both due to his living habits and his musk.
- He has the habit of eating endangered animal species cluelessly..
- He frequently steals Hermes' lunch.
- He comes from a planet that is known for an un-democratic government.
- He once ate the Earthican Flag Old Freebie, which Earth viewed as desecration.
- He is a coward who runs away from everything scary and violent.
- He usually cannot find a pure and committed relationship with women.
- He has shown sexual confusion to human men.
- He eats toilet paper from the bathroom.
- He overreacts to certain things and frequently falls for anything that he is tricked on.
- Zoidberg supports Hermes' nemesis, Barbados Slim during the Olympics when he should be cheering for Hermes.
Zoidberg is ignorantly oblivious to this hatred and believes that he and Hermes are the closest of friends even when it is obvious they aren't. In "Into the Wild Green Yonder" when Fry is reading people's minds, he hears Hermes and says "You said it; he is pathetic but loveable", showing that he might not truly hate Zoidberg but finds him somewhat amusing in a way. In "The Six Million Dollar Mon" when Hermes starts to customize himself into a cyborg and eventually leaves Planet Express, Zoidberg is disappointed and slaps Bender for making fun of Hermes leaving.
When Leela and Amy pointed out that Hermes hated Zoidberg, the doctor replied Hermes had a sense of cruel humor and that Hermes is his "best friend". Later on, Zoidberg makes a puppet with Hermes' skin and spend most of the day playing with it until he revives Hermes by placing the brain back in the puppet. LaBarbara (Hermes' wife) tells Hermes to thank Zoidberg but he is hesitant as he hates him but is forced to anyway. During his thanks, he reveals his contempt for the crustecean and how he never liked him. Finally seeing that the others were right, the doctor gets his revenge on Hermes for all the years of abuse by revealing to Hermes his feelings: "Ouch! What a zinger. Well here's one for you Mr. not-my friend-Conrad. You acted like a big jerk. You were selfish and stupid, and you don't deserve a wife like LaBarbara or a friend like me." This stunned Hermes, who was left to watch in shock but smiling as Zoidberg, who stood up to him for the first time, left the room in joy at having ended Hermes' abuse.
- It appears that Hermes is named after the Typewriter brand of the same name.
- In the comic book issue "Bender Breaks Out" it was revealed that Hermes was born in 2959, which makes him in his early 50's.
- During the Bureaucrat Song from "How Hermes Requisitioned His Groove Back", we learn that you had to file applications before getting into his tenth birthday party.
- Hermes is shown to be obese in several episodes, when it is revealed that he has a baby like skeleton with the rest of him being pure fat excluding the organs.
- A holographic Hermes was once attacked by a real pigeon, resulting in the real Hermes appearing in bandages in the next scene ("Fear of a Bot Planet").
- During a limbo party in "Bender's Big Score" he lost his body, his wife LaBarbara and his son Dwight to Barbados Slim.
- He used to work for Mom's Robot Company along with Farnsworth and Zoidberg. He was Bender's quality control inspector. Despite having worked at Mom's Friendly Robot Company prior to Bender's birth in 2997, resigning after falsifying Bender's approval report, he is shown to have been Employee of the Year at Planet Express a number of years from as early as 2992 (Prisoner of Benda). He is also shown to be at his 'current' appearance in these Employee of the Year photos, despite appearing significantly younger in 2997 at Mom's Friendly Robot Company.
- Without Hermes decision in "Lethal Inspection", Bender would never technically have existed in the first place.
- Befitting a Jamaican stereotype, Hermes seems to be an avid marijuana smoker. He tried to buy hemp from Thomas Jefferson. When Amy and Bender tried to legalize robosexual marriage, he hinted that he also wanted to legalize pot. In "Anthology of Interest I", after finding the professor murdered, he planned to call the police after he "flushed some things". In "Bender Should Not Be Allowed on Television", after catching Dwight smoking one of his cigars, Hermes said "That's not a cigar... and it's not mine!". In "T.: The Terrestrial", after finding out how strong Omicronian marijuana is, he quickly sent the team to go collect the plant on Omicron Persei 8 after admitting he wasn't crazy enough to send them there, when omicronians were coming by, he screamed "Five O Five O!!!" meaning he's done something similar to this before.
- Hermes has shown apathy towards the crew's safety at least a couple of times during the episode "The Farnsworth Parabox".
- When Hermes or someone else destroys a piece of equipment anytime and does not want to be paying for it, he usually frames Zoidberg for it. This is shown when Leela destroys the roof of Planet Express with the ship and Hermes says "That's comin' out of your pay" to Zoidberg, which reduces him to tears.
- A running gag in several episodes Hermes was shown to be eating a sandwich (typically a sloppy joe), but ends up having his sandwich taken away for whatever reason, which causes him to yell "My manwich!"
- "Manwich" is the name of a brand of canned sloppy joe sauce that was invented in 1969.
- When he once fired Bender and Fry in case they die in a pointless war, he stuck his fist in his teeth and acted rather worried, which could mean he is frightened if a vital employee is fired.
- Hermes also seems to dislike Nibbler in "The Deep South", as he claimed he would like to "Stuff him in a sack, throw the sack into the river, and hurl the river into space"
- He seems to have a talent for piano based instruments, he has been seen playing the pipe organ and the keyboard several times.
- Part of his auditory system (i.e. ears) is robotic since he was able to hear bender say limbo when bender was stuck in limbo as a ghost.
- Hermes has appeared in all but six episodes of the series: Space Pilot 3000, Mars University, The Birdbot of Ice-Catraz, Roswell that Ends Well, The Why of Fry and Where No Fan Has Gone Before. Of the main seven characters, he makes the fifth-most number of appearances, after Amy (who appears in all but five episodes), Zoidberg (who appears in all but three episodes), Farnsworth (who appears in all but two episodes) and the main trio (Fry, Bender and Leela are the only characters to appear in every single episode of the series).
|Amy Wong - Bender Bending Rodríguez - Hermes Conrad - Hubert J. Farnsworth - John A. Zoidberg - Philip J. Fry - Turanga Leela|