Extended Q-and-A With The Cast Of ‘Bob’s Burgers’

Be sure to read our Five Searing Questions For The Cast Of Bob’s Burgers and our interview with creator Loren Bouchard Well Done Television.

 Dan Mintz: Tina

Dan Mintz
Dan Mintz
Tina Belcher (Images and Photos courtesy of FOX)
Tina Belcher (Images and Photos courtesy of FOX)

How did you feel about Tina’s gender swap from that original clip?

—Very skeptical. I never really thought I had a woman’s voice, and when they told me they were changing my characters gender, I thought it was insane. But when they showed me a clip of me talking as Tina, I was like, wow, that actually works.

What is the origin of that signature “Tina groan”?

—All I remember is Loren me to come up with a nervous sound for Tina, and I tried a few things until the groan was the one we went with. I’ll sometimes catch myself doing it sometimes in life, but I don’t know if it’s something I’ve always done or if I picked up after doing it for Tina.

Tina has become a sort of pop icon since the show debuted. Tina’s willingness to be herself and express her love of butts, horses, etc., without worrying about what others think of her has resonated with many people. Why do you think she is so relatable?

—I was surprised when people starting telling me “Oh my god, I’m just like Tina.” Because, at first, she just seemed like a character they made to be weird and say weird things. But I think what draws people to Tina is her complete acceptance of herself and all her quirks. Which is just inspiring to the rest of us who feel like we have to hide who we are.

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Kristen Schaal: Louise

Louise Belcher
Kristen Schaal
Kristen Schaal

Do you share any of Louise’s personality traits? How much of you comes through in the finished product?

—I speak my mind like her. I’m loyal. I’m fairly similar. Except when she goes rogue. I am very afraid to go against authority.

Louise is all about schemes, but there are times when she shows a glimmer of sentimentality and love for her family. How do you feel about those moments in the show and how do they add to Louise’s appeal?

—Those are my favorite moments for Louise and I savor them. I think the writers do a good job of being precious with them so when they do come along they are earned and that much sweeter.

In the season five episode “Itty Bitty Ditty Committee,” Louise says, “We burned dad’s new socks. Who does he think he is?” Your delivery makes it one of my favorite Louise lines. Do you have any favorite lines from your character? Do you have a favorite episode?

—Oh wow! Don’t make me pick! Not gonna do it. Pass!

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John Roberts: Linda

John Roberts
Linda Belcher

What do you love about voicing Linda?

—It’s fun to play a mom, something I wouldn’t be able to do in live action of course. It’s fun to see the character with her family, but I love when Linda really let’s loose.

What are some of your favorite Linda moments or episodes?

—I love the episode where it’s Linda’s birthday and everything goes wrong (“Eat, Spray, Linda”). It’s just one shit sandwich after the next. I also love when Linda breaks out into a song, when she stands up for the kids and when puts her foot down. She’s very encouraging to her kids and is very accepting of their quirkiness. It’s sweet and that really resonates with the fans.

How would you describe Linda’s marriage to Bob?

—They are very much still in love. They are in love with each other and they love being parents and I think they are very cool parents. They have a certain coolness together—they roll with the human condition. They appreciate each other and I think they have some good sex, too.

Linda’s voice is modeled after your mother. How does she feel about it?

—The character started with that voice, but what makes Linda so great is the writing. Now, there’s a whole team writing for Linda and Linda loves that. My mom loves it too. And she’s so happy I’m employed, so that’s exciting. There are some elements straight from my mother, like when Linda says she wants to throw her ashes in Tom Selleck’s face. That came from her mother. But if she said it again, I think she would say Hugh Jackman.

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Eugene Mirman: Gene

Eugene Mirman
Eugene Mirman
Gene Belcher
Gene Belcher

Gene is 11-years-old, yet is always making 1980s pop culture references. How is Gene so worldly?

—I feel like Gene is someone who is always watching TV Land or I imagine him watching a lot of 1980s action-comedies with his dad.

One of my favorite Gene moments is when he dresses like Bob (“Broadcast Wagstaff School News”) and they have a screaming match in the bathroom. Do you have a favorite episode or Gene moment?

—That bathroom scene definitely stands out. Also, I love when Gene overcomes distraction to get the black garlic (“Best Burger”). But one of my favorites is “O.T.: The Outside Toilet.”I got to record that with Jon Hamm, and that was just a lot of fun to have him in the studio, especially since he was voicing a toilet.

How would you describe Gene’s relationship with his sisters?

—For all the bickering they do, it’s never quite personal. It’s more abstract bickering. And that’s tempered with a strong family bond. They absolutely look out for each other.

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H. Jon Benjamin: Bob

H. John Benjamin
Bob Belcher

How would you describe Bob’s relationship with his family?

—Overall, it’s a very loving one. The family is often beset by crises both grounded and over the top, but they do have a real genuine appreciation of each other, despite their circumstance and eccentricities.

Some of my favorite Bob moments are when he’s drunk or in some state of altered reality like “An Indecent Thanksgiving Proposal” or “Crawl Space.” Do you have any favorite Bob moments or any personal favorite episodes?

—Yes, I think the writers key into certain aspects of the characters that are funny, like Linda singing or Tina groaning and Bob slurring on pills. I’m a big fan of the “Crawl Space episode,” the “Burger Boss” episode and “Sheesh, Cab, Bob,” where if I recall correctly, he smoked a little crack.

Part of the show’s appeal to me is that, without being heavy handed, the show explores the struggles of a working family trying keep their small business afloat. Is there a conscious effort on behalf of the voice actors or the creators to get a message about working families across to the viewers?

—I think less and less does the show focus on their financial situation, but for sure, there are always subtle reminders that creep into a lot of episodes that the rent is tough to pay. I mean recently there was an episode where they didn’t have the money to send Tina to horse camp (“The Horse Rider-er”), so it’s for sure a factor.

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Larry Murphy: Teddy

Larry Murphy

Are there any specific Teddy moments that really resonate with you or you just really love?

—There’s a scene with Teddy and Bob at the restaurant (“Synchronized Swimming”) and Bob says, “Teddy, you’ll eat anything,” and he feeds Teddy a piece of a sponge. While we were recording it, Jon (H. Jon Benjamin) is facing me and I say, “Don’t feed a guy a sponge, Bobby!” and the laughing you hear from Bob is really Jon laughing and it was incorporated into the show.

Besides Teddy, who’s your favorite character to voice?

—Gretchen is a character with a lot of depth that we don’t know about yet. She started as sort of a throwaway character I think, but there is some kind of relationship building with Teddy.

Where did the voice and characterization for Teddy come from?

—Teddy is kind of based on a kid I grew up with. He always had a positive attitude even in the worst situations. He could fall through ice on a frozen lake and say “this is alright, this is OK!”

Does Teddy really love burgers or does he visit the restaurant everyday because he’s lonely?

—He wants to be a part of that family so badly. If Bob’s Burgers wasn’t a burger place, but was a dry cleaners or something, Teddy would still be there every day just because he desperately wants someone to talk to.


Steve Mosco
Steve Mosco, the former editor-in-chief at Anton Media Group, is a columnist for Long Island Weekly's food and sports sections. He fancies himself a tastemaker, food influencer and king of all eaters.

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