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The Stars Of The Bob's Burgers Movie Reflect On 12 Years Of Laughter - Exclusive Interview

Speaking to the cast of "The Bob's Burgers Movie" is a surreal and joyous experience. A huge part of the success of "Bob's Burgers" is owed to its excellent voice actors and the comedic chemistry they have with each other. All their voices are so distinctive yet sound completely natural. In the case of H. Jon Benjamin (Bob Belcher), Kristen Schaal (Louise Belcher), and Dan Mintz (Tina Belcher), that naturalness is becasue their normal talking voices are identical to their character voices. 

Speaking to them as a long-time fan of the show almost feels like speaking with the characters (even if Schaal and Mintz are a lot older than their characters and Mintz is a different gender). John Roberts went smoothly in and out of his Linda Belcher character voice in the interview, while Eugene Mirman (Gene Belcher) and Larry Murphy (Teddy) sound quite different IRL.

With 12 seasons of "Bob's Burgers" and a movie to discuss with a group of six actors, there's a lot of ground to cover. A question as seemingly straightforward as "What's your favorite episode?" could lead to a lengthy, amusing, at times tense conversation like one you might hear in an episode of the show itself. While our time with the cast was limited, our conversation reaffirms their talent.

Recording Bob's Burgers in a pandemic

"Bob's Burgers" started off as somewhat unusual among animated shows, in that you would record your lines together rather than separately. This had to change with the COVID pandemic necessitating recordings from home. How much has that change impacted how you do your jobs?

Kristen Schaal: Oh, so much. Our jobs are full of not as much joy, so less joy. It's less joyful, but –

Eugene Mirman: Well, no, but it was, but then they ...

John Roberts: We're back now.

Mirman: Yeah. We actually can now record all together.

Roberts: Yay!

Larry Murphy: Collectively, yes.

H. Jon Benjamin: We're not back together physically, all together.

Roberts: Which is good because Jon smells a little bit, but we can still hear each other, and that's nice.

Mirman: Yeah. For me, who records from another city, I always was not in person for the last several years. So to me, now that we can hear each other, it's really fun and we get to play off each other, but for the year that we were all in our closets –

Schaal: Two years.

Mirman: Two years that we were in a closet, surrounded by pillows or what have you. [It was a] makeshift studio, it was harder, but they also ... The production made it really work.

Roberts: I hated going back into the closet, but we made it out again. We're out.

Benjamin: That's a very inside joke.

Roberts: We're out.

Schaal: Yeah. That's something special to John.

The Bob's Burgers characters the actors relate to

Which "Bob's Burgers" characters do you relate to the most? Are they different from the ones you play?

Benjamin: That's interesting.

Dan Mintz: I would say Tina, and that's not different.

Schaal: You relate to Tina?

Mintz: More than any other character.

Mirman: Bob? As a dad, I relate to Bob. And then Gene, as a Gene.

Benjamin: Gene. As a dad, I relate to Gene. I'm a bad dad.

Roberts: I only relate to Linda. I can't relate to any of the other characters, just Linda.

Mintz: Even Jocelyn?

Roberts: Oh, Jocelyn. Yeah, Jocelyn. What about you, Larry?

Murphy: I relate to Edith.

Roberts: Oh, yeah.

Murphy: A little bit of Teddy.

Roberts: And Gretchen, maybe?

Murphy: A little bit of Gretchen, too.

Schaal: I was going to say, I think I could relate to all of them, but I could relate to Teddy. I feel like I've always been someone who wishes they were closer to a certain friend group than I was.

Roberts: Aw.

Murphy: That's really nice.

Roberts: Yeah, you could. It's never too late to start hanging around a restaurant.

Murphy: [in Teddy's voice] You could do that. That's good for you.

The best (and worst) episodes of Bob's Burgers

What are your favorite episodes?

Schaal: There's too many to choose from. In recent past, the one that I've watched a few times is ... I keep forgetting the title, but it's the one where Louise is afraid to poop in public, and she has the lock in at the sleepover at the aquarium where she's going to feed the sharks. Does anyone remember the title of that?

Benjamin: No.

[Note: the episode's title is "Poops! ... I Didn't Do It Again."]

Schaal: Well, that's my favorite because I also have trouble pooping in public.

Roberts: Me too.

Schaal: So much so, I got up super early this morning just so I could get it done before all these [interviews].

Roberts: Okay.

Benjamin: You finally did it in public?

Schaal: What? Instead of just sleeping in? No, I did it at home.

Roberts: I love "Dawn of the Peck," that Thanksgiving episode, and I love the episode where Linda gets ... "Lindapendent Woman," where she gets locked out and she has to poop at the hotel.

Schaal: Lot of pooping.

Roberts: Yeah, a lot of poop.

Mirman: Oh yeah. Wait, is this where you're the ... You poop in public? No.

Roberts: Yeah, where they talk about ... Yeah, the hotel she goes to. I love Tina. I love –

Benjamin: "The Equestranauts."

Roberts: "The Horse Rider-er." I love the episode that Dan wrote.

Benjamin: "The Equestranauts."

Roberts: Yes, that's amazing.

Murphy: Yeah, that's an excellent episode.

Benjamin: Dan Mintz-penned episode.

Roberts: That's right.

Mirman: And then "The Bleakening," that was a very fun one.

Murphy: And ["Glued, Where My Bob?" is the episode where] Bob gets stuck to the toilet was an excellent episode.

Schaal: Oh, that was scary.

Mirman: I would say in terms of holiday episodes, I love the Thanksgiving and the Halloween ones. Those, I really love.

Schaal: I love all of them. I don't think they –

Murphy: "Full Bars." I like that one.

Schaal: There's been a couple duds. What am I talking about?

Benjamin: Name them.

Schaal: Out of 200? Well.

Benjamin: Don't name them. Don't name them.

Mirman: Yeah. Because each one, someone did –

Schaal: But mostly, they were good.

Benjamin: Couple duds. Oh my God.

Schaal: What?

Benjamin: Okay.

Schaal: I know, it's just like, they want honesty.

Benjamin: That's true. But really –

Schaal: Out of 200, I think there was two that weren't good. So 198 –

Benjamin: Oh my god. You're doubling down.

Schaal: Perfect episodes! What?

Roberts: I'm sweating. I'm starting to sweat.

Schaal: 198.

Can you name the two bad ones?

Mintz: We're starting to name the two bad ones.

Benjamin: You're about to name them.

Baron: What are the bad ones?

Schaal: No, I will not.

Benjamin: You're about to name them.

Schaal: You'll never get it out of me.

Kristen Schaal and H. Jon Benjamin's other roles

I have a different question for Kristen Schaal, then. Anything you can tell us about the next season of "What We Do in the Shadows"?

Schaal: Oh! I will say that there ... I don't know what I'm allowed to say. It's going to be great. There's going to be a lot of blood. A lot of blood. There. I'll leave it at that.

Now a question for H Jon Benjamin: of the many other animated series you've acted in, which would you want to get a movie adaptation next?

Benjamin: Wow. I suppose it makes sense to do an "Archer" movie, just because it's all still on the air as well. So you can take advantage of that. I think that would be very good, if Adam Reed wrote an "Archer" movie, if I have the time.

Roberts: Oh, he's got the time.

Benjamin: I definitely do. I definitely do.

Roberts: He's got the time.

"The Bob's Burgers Movie" opens in theaters on May 27.