Futurama without Bender is no Futurama at all
I am a massive Futurama fan, like, ridiculous levels of fandom. I have Futurama memorabilia, Futurama art, Futurama bumper stickers, Futurama decorations, Futurama figurines, even Futurama tattoos, and yet, I refuse to watch new episodes without John DiMaggio as Bender. DiMaggio, the voice actor behind Bender, is one of my heroes. He's the main reason I have dreams of making it as a voice actor. He's prolific, incredibly talented, dedicated, and truly loves his craft. DiMaggio isn't just the voice of Bender either; he, like much of the cast, voiced innumerable side characters, including Sal, Randy, Elzar, Mr. Panucci, Igner, Flexo, Yancy Fry Sr., and Barbados Slim. Bender is an absolutely integral part of the cast and of the magic of Futurama.
Futurama needs Bender, needs DiMaggio's voice, spirit, energy, and talent. Futurama without Bender is an empty husk, a magic potion missing a crucial ingredient. Imagining the show without him is a sad, joyless endeavor, and his absence would fundamentally alter the show's makeup. Bender has been there since the pilot, and his role only grew over time. Futurama without Bender would be a completely different show, and I can prove it.
"Space Pilot 3000" features Bender assisting Fry in his flight from Leela, with Bender's help proving critical to the episode's story. "The Series Has Landed" wouldn't have introduced viewers to the beautiful Crushinator without Bender. "I, Roomate" revolves around Fry and Bender's search for a new apartment. "Fear of a Bot Planet" takes place on a robot planet, and Bender's involvement is crucial to Fry and Leela's survival. In "A Fishful of Dollars," Bender reminds us just how rich Fry is (monocle!). "Hell is Other Robots" documents Bender's journey of religious discovery, his fall, and his song-centric punishment. And all that's just part of Season One.
Bender and DiMaggio are as much a part of Futurama as Billy West, Katey Sagal, or Lauren Tom. So many of the show's big moments, memes, and fan favorite episodes have Bender as an important piece. DiMaggio brought Bender to life, made fans love him, and made the show better for his involvement. If Futurama comes back without him, I know I won't be watching.