Michael Moccio ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Executive Editor
Official Description: You never know what to expect from the Cast and Producers of the Emmy® award winning animated series Bob’s Burgers. The hilarious Cast and Producers will entertain with never-before-seen footage followed by a Q&A Panel discussion.
The cast of the show finally comes out onto the stage to the thunderous applause of the audience. Not surprising, considering how many people have Louise’s bunny ears on right now. It’s a sight to see, though, and it’s set right on the grand stage.
The fans in the room are now being treated to some of the best moments from the Bob’s Burgers show. Each character got a moment in the limelinght–Tina and Louise predictably got the best reactions from the crowd. Part of it was set to Gene’s rock song from a previous episode. And now Loren Bouchard walks onto the stage to introduce the cast. Bouchard is the showrunner and creator of Bob’s Burgers.
Loren Bouchard: This is almost a full cast! We’re of course missing Dan Mintz, but he sends his regrets. His album is out now, though!
The room was treated to a seven foot tallk Tina, though, to which you’re probably going to see on the internet at some point in the near future.
Bouchard: This is merch, by the way. You can all purchase a seven foot tall Tina with a human inside. YOu know, for birthdays, graduations… you know.
Bouchard: John, [Linda’s voice actor] if you could design any piece of merchandise for the character of Teddy, what would it be?
John Roberts (Linda): It would be a special fart proof underwear.
Bouchard; Jon, what would you design for the Zeke fan?
H. Jon Benjamin (Bob): Well, following an underwear theme, maybe a confederate flag underwear. Might be a bit too controversial, but Zeke is totally racist.
Bouchard: And Eugene, what about for Louise?
Eugene Mirman (Gene): Probably… bunny ears? Except they would make Louise sounds! No, no, I would make a Louise destruction tool kit. Yeah, that’s good.
he conversation turned to the Bob’s Burgers comic book produced by Dynamite. Bouchard urged all the fans to check it out, especially on the show floor. He then introduced three clips, explaining them before showing them.
Clip One: The first clip opened with Linda having dyed her hair blond. Bob is cooking burgers while the new blond Linda starts flirting with him. Of course, even while Linda continues to try and role play, she continually goes in and out of character which makes the entire interaction hilarious as she tries to seduce Bob.
Clip Two: Bob has to draw a nude picture of Edith, the art store owner. Without a doubt, you’ll all find this hilarious, since Edith is incredibly okay with what she has, and so Bob has to go through with the awkwardness.
Clip Three: As Bob is participating at a food competition, he needs black garlic and sends the kids to go get it for him at a specialty food store. The kids then flashback to when they went to the store and made fun of the store owner for charging $13 for a candy bar. The kids are incredibly funny, especially with the taunts and insults.
The panel then turned to fan questions.
Justin, how has your previous roles inspire Linda?
Roberts: Uh, my name is John, for one. Well, just starting with that voice from the last mom I played and going from there, it became Linda. It was a sweet thing that happened.
Thank you so much for creating a TV family that loves each other so much. You break so many of the gender roles. Do you do that by intention?
Bouchard: This is one of the great things about animation: you can mess with people in the way they expect and desire. You can have a man play a woman and have a woman play a man and it will inspire better writing, too. You’re going to be playing at the edges of the character–the character would be both at the same time. We’re always trying to make sure the characters act like people. That gives you comedy, because smaller things because funnier if you “buy” this animated family.
As actors and performers who have very unique voices, how do bring subtlety to you characters?
Mirman: THE WAY I BRING SUBTLETY… (laugher)
Schaal: Definitely the scenes. I took a college course on subtlety and it cost me $500,000. Totally worth it.
Roberts: We get great direction. They know exactly what they want.
Mirman: And they want us!
What’s your favorite episode?
Mirman: Loren had a great answer, that his favorite is the last one he did. So I’ll go with that!
Schaal: Boring! What you’re doing is not answering! I like the episode where it’s a parody of Jaws. I like that one because, when we read it at the table reading, I didn’t quite get the humor because the humor was in the animation. Before I saw it, I thought it was going to bomb!
Benjamin: I love the one where Bob gets stuck in the wall. That’s the first and only episode I’ve ever watched.
What can we expect Gene to do next?
Mirman: I would say don’t expect Diehard 2 the Musical!
Kristen and Eugene have a great comedic background. What was your reaction when you first got handed the script?
Schaal: Well, we first said no. This is awful. We lit if on fire. The fun process was that we got asked to do a couple scenes while Loren was still making it. I remember getting a call from my agent asking me why I didn’t tell her I was on a Fox animated show, and I said I didn’t know I was on it!
Bouchard: My suggestion is to cast first! It makes it so much easier! I cheated and chose these people and built the characters around them, basically stole their characters from them.
What is the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do in the booth?
Roberts: I have a hard time making gag sounds. It’s hard. If I ever have to do a scene with food in my mouth, that’s always a challenge.
Benjamin: It’s hard working with John Roberts.
And updates on the soundtrack?
Bouchard: The tracks are being prepped! We’re still trying to figure out how to upload them onto iTunes. We have to put it out. It’s just got to happen.
How did you guys feel on the Archer/Bob’s Burgers crossover episode?
Mirman: Kristen and I felt nothing!
Roberts: I got to record with them. They do it very differently. They have it more isolated and lay down all the dialogue in the booth. It was a great show and it was great to be asked to crossover into that show.
Benjamin: It’s always dangerous to crossover…
How much of the show is improvised?
Schaal: Well, that’s probably improvising. Mathematically, I would say ninety to ninety-five percent improvised.
Bouchard: I would always try to figure out that mathematical number, but then suddenly, I didn’t care anymore. We started writing better scripts and I stopped being less self-consciousness. We always want to hear them do their thing. You can hear the pleasure in their voice when they make shit up to try and make each other sense. We don’t try to make them improvise. I would feel embarrassed coming to a recording and expect them to improvise.
Besides the character you voice, who’s your favorite?
Schaal: I really love Zeke!
Roberts: I love the teacher that Jon plays. And I love Tina!
Mirman: I think Mr. Fishodor. He nails it. Juliard worked for that guy!
Do you find yourselves becoming the characters, like if you’re just talking to someone?
Mirman: I run around with a keyboard in Brooklyn just running everyone’s peace! … A little bit, yeah.
Have you guys ever felt the pressure to start becoming like Family Guy and The Simpsons?
Bouchard: The only time I ever felt that pressure, I felt that. And that was on me. I felt the need to cut through and thought the show needed to do something shocking. My first pitch was to have a family running a restaurant… except they were cannibals! Fox suggest no cannibalism, so I went with that. But now, there’s never been any pressure like that.
If you encountered your character in real life, what would you reaction be?
Mirman: Uh… how did you come to life? (audience laughter)
Roberts: I would definitely think I was about to die. And I would panic.
Benjamin: I have. I talk to John Roberts all the time and it’s incredibly annoying.
Schaal: I think Louise would put me on edge. I would be nervous around her!
What suggestion would you have to young people wanting to break into the industry?
Mirman: Tenacity. If you don’t stop, you’ll probably succeed.
Benjamin: But maybe fail.
Mirman: But continually and successfully fail!
Bouchard: Don’t forget that luck is going to be a factor. It is for everyone. You can’t control that, so you have to allow for it to be good or bad. But it’s important to just accept and when you’re ready to have your lucky break, you’ll know it!
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