[NYCC 2014] Bob’s Burgers Cast InterviewsOctober 16, 2014
This past weekend at New York Comic Con, the Bob’s Burgers cast and executive producer were in town for a panel where they got to interact with their adoring fans and let them know some secrets about the upcoming season. We also got to sit down with fellow media members and speak with John Roberts (Linda Belcher), Eugene Mirman (Gene Belcher), Kristen Schaal (Louise Belcher), Bobby Tisdale (Zeke) and executive producer Loren Bouchard in a roundtable discussion about the show, voice acting, characters and so much more. You can also check out our interview with H. Jon Benjamin (Bob Belcher) and Larry Murphy (Teddy) here!
What kinds of reactions do you get when you tell people you are Linda?
Oh, I love it. Everyone is such a big fan of the show that you just cash in on all that love right away, Linda is… Well sometimes you have people who are surprised because I’m a man voicing a female character, and people didn’t know that or weren’t expecting it. She’s such a great character to play.
Are you pulling from any female influences in your life?
My mother is actually here at comic con! She’s from Brooklyn and she’s got that East coast thing going on and East coast women are just so big and so much fun to be around. She’s flattered by it so it’s all good!
What have you learned about Linda that you didn’t know when you started?
Well the character just grows and grows. All these great things have happened along the way like musical numbers — Linda loves to sing, she loves to drink her wine, she loves her kids and she’s very accepting of their idiosyncrasies. She’s nurturing but she keeps it real, too. Their parenting style is very grounded but also they have a fun sense of humor about it all.
During recording sessions, how hard is it to maintain the energy?
John: Well Loren keeps me grounded and he knows exactly what he wants so if I say something and go a little bit too far he will tell me to bring it back a bit or give me a suggestion how to say it. He knows a lot more about the stories because he’s in the writers room and knows what needs to happen in the scene. I can do Linda’s voice in my sleep because it’s my mom and I’ve been mocking her my whole life. [laughs]
Loren: All of the actors can do these characters so easily. To have actors that have such a good hold of their characters, it’s incredible. It’s like letting horses out to pasture and sometimes it’s getting them to stop that’s hard.
John: Even Jon [Benjamin] was doing a character voice yesterday and he was holding one nostil closed and wearing glasses and I can’t even look at him it’s so funny. I just feel so lucky that this is my job and I get to go to work everyday and laugh.
Do you get a lot of people asking you to do the Linda voice?
Yeah, if someone is sick or they are going through a hard time, sometimes their friends will ask me to leave a funny voicemail. If it cheers someone up, I’m always happy to help.
What can we expect with the episodes coming up?
John: Oh we have a lot of great stuff on the way. All our holiday episodes! Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Loren: Tina and the Real Ghost is our Halloween special and in it, Tina comes to believe that she’s in a relationship with a teenage boy ghost in a shoebox. It’s a “sort of” love story and to balance that, our Thanksgiving episode is almost a horror story. It’s very Hitchcock.
There was an artist team at their booth dressed up as Tina, Linda and Bob today. What’s that like when you see it?
It’s incredible! There used to never be any Linda’s and now I definitely see more. It feels nice when people create these outfits and it’s so fun to see. I hope this Halloween we see a lot of Bob’s Burgers characters.
What can we expect from that building next door?
Loren: I think the building next door will always be something different to show that Bob probably isn’t in the best location. I think that’s all just a part of the cross he has to bare. He’s a good man who makes good burgers and he hasn’t caught a break so I think that place always needs to be empty, or at least have a high turnover. He has potential and he believes in himself; he has to or else he wouldn’t stick with it.
Five seasons in, is it easier to voice the characters now that you really understand them and have gotten to know them?
Kristen: Yeah, definitely.
Eugene: I think that we’ve all known each other for a long time and because we’ve worked as comics together so yeah, it’s a combination of getting to know the characters and knowing one another for so long it’s fun.
Kristen: It’s fun to get to live in the character for that long because as voice actors sometimes we only get a job for a day and that’s it. So to be able to be with this character that long is a priveledge and you get really protective of them.
Your character (Louise) made a huge change when she fell in love with the boyband – are we going to see any changes in your characters coming up?
Kristen: The fun thing about Louise – first I was afraid that no one would like her because she’s so out for herself and scheming but then she does have these turns and I think people like her even more. I just want Louise to be more popular than Tina. [laughs]
Eugene: There’s an episode where Gene messes up a lot and then focuses on fixing the problems he’s caused so there’s that.
Kristen: I think every episode has some degree of character development.
Do you have a bit from the show that you didn’t know you were going to do when you went to record and it made it into an episode?
Kristen: Yeah, the ‘buckle up, buckle up or you’ll die’ was something I started singing and it got into the show. There’s a few things.
Eugene: I think in the second episode I joke about Salman Rushdie writing The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe which was a weird argument that myself and Jon Benjamin as my dad got into and then it ended up being in the show. You try a bunch of things and sometimes it makes it. There’s a scene where Louise is trying to make me look like Bob in the bathroom and that was originally supposed to be much shorter and we all started piling stuff on top of each other. It’s written a little in the beginning but then we took it and ran with it.
Besides yourselves, who are your favorite characters?
Kristen: Yeah, we love Zeke!
Bobby: Oh, you guys! Thank you!
Eugene: Also the toilet.
What is your favorite episode you’ve worked on all together?
Bobby: Include me guys… include me.
Eugene: It would be…
Kristen: They’re all good!
Eugene: It’s like picking a favorite child. Which… if I had two children, I would have. [laughs]
What do you think would happen if Louise ever met Mabel (Pines)?
I think Louise might blow her off – she likes stickers, to goof off and she’s very into boys which Louise is not but I think Mabel is so warm that she would wear her down and they’d be friends. I think Louise would value their friendship.
Don’t forget to catch Bob’s Burgers Sunday nights at 7:30/6:30 CT during their Sunday night cartoon line up and to keep up to date with everything, make sure you visit their official site as well!