[NYCC 2014] Bob’s Burgers Interviews with H. Jon Benjamin & Larry MurphyOctober 16, 2014
This past weekend at New York Comic Con, Bob’s Burgers fans had the chance to sit in on a panel and hear what their favorite family will be getting up to in this coming year. Now in it’s fifth season, the show’s popularity has begun to grow exponentially. We had the chance to sit down with fellow media members, H. Jon Benjamin, the voice of Bob and Larry Murphy, the voice of Teddy, for a roundtable discussion.
How much of yourself is put into Bob?
A lot, I think. I’m very much like Bob in real life. I think the only difference is that I’m a little more cynical than Bob. When I play him, Loren will often have to pull me back and stop me from being negative and hate Linda. She’s so hateable — so I have to pull back from that. Loren’s advise for me is “you love your wife”. I can’t conceive how anyone likes her. But I think Loren’s point is that Linda is this wonderfully unhinged woman who probably drinks a little too much but has a lot of spirit and as an actor I have to like that.
When did you adapt the voice?
Jon: When did I get my voice? I… Think it was birth. This is just how I’ve always talked.
Larry: And Jon does have range too, he plays a couple characters on the show.
Jon: A lot of coach or dad-type characters I just use my voice for — it was like a precursor to Archer where I lower my voice just a bit and speak lower. And more angrily.
Do you guys all record in the same studio and if so, does any of that dynamic make it onto the show?
No, we are based on two coasts, but record the same episodes on the same day, usually. You can get a varied range depending on how the actor is feeling that day — you’ll get different dynamics. Fortunately we are playing a family so we can help each other out, but sometimes when I’m having a bad day, well then I’m having a bad day.
Do you think the show would have found as much success with standard voice actors as opposed to comedians?
No, I think that Loren chose the people that he did because he knew, or at least imagined a dynamic that would work and I think it kind of does. He’s also working with a lot of people that he’s worked with before so he knows what he’s going to get. Without the improv, I think it would be a different show.
Were there any episodes that you found particularly difficult?
Jon: There’s been some clunkers [laughs] but I don’t know, it’s never been a grueling experience — I don’t know a specific episode, I would need a list — but I know there are a couple where it could have been improved.
Larry: If anything, I feel like the writing has only gotten better with the episodes and the characters.
Jon: The writers now are firing on all cylinders and they know what they’re doing. All the writers are the same from the beginning so I feel like they’re a little more tight-knit now and it works extremely well. Personally, because I’ve worked on a couple of shows where we can use improv to improve upon the script but that can be a burden sometimes. But Loren does a great job directing and editing.
Larry, you’ve brought a lot of fantastic character voices to Bob’s Burgers. Is there any one character you’d like to see more of?
Larry: No, not really, but I do love it when they use those secondary characters. I was reminded recently of Gretchen making an appearance doing Linda’s hair, and I certainly liked that character. I would love to bring more of them to the show more often, for sure.
Jon: Larry is usually asked either the day of or the day before recording to do characters and more often than not, they’ll bring that character back — that’s how good Larry is at nailing a character on the fly. He’s great and really fun to watch. I would say 70% of the time, the writers will love what Larry did with a character.
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!