Near the end of the second day of New York Comic Con, the creator and cast of the hit animated series Bob’s Burgers held a panel to discuss the recent success of the show. They previewed upcoming episodes and took some questions from the fans in the room. Series creator
Loren Bouchard described how thankful he is to the fans and his cast, who made the recent greenlighting of seasons four and five possible. By far the highlight of the panel were the cast members, including H. Jon Benjamin, voice the eponymous Bob Belcher who entertained the audience with his passive-aggressive persona.
This was a farcry from the other panels I’ve attended this year featuring comic creators who were less capable of being entertaining in front of the large Comic Con crowds. The cast spent a good amount of time discussing who influenced each of their respective characters. John Roberts, who voices Linda described how most of his influence came from his own mother, who was in fact in the audience that evening. Larry Murphy, who plays the offbeat and doughy longshoreman Teddy was attributed as having an innate ability to know what his character was thinking which characterizes his offbeat remarks and personality. It was obvious that most of their backgrounds in comedy collectives contributed to their ability to play off each other on stage and in the show.
The best moment, however, happened when Dan Mintz spoke at the panel for first time, and the tone and inflections of his voice was nearly identical to that of his character, Tina, which elicited uproarious laughter upon the entire audience’s collective realization of how close his own personality was to the awkward teenaged girl, perhaps sans the erotic friend fiction and fixation on boy’s butts.
Nevertheless, butts and fan fiction came into the spotlight during the Q&A section of the panel. Several fans asked pointed questions regarding the show’s production, an example being about how much of the show was based on improvised dialogue, which was a staple of Bouchard’s series Home Movies, which Jon Benjamin did voice work for as well. Bouchard described how the series writers have an entire script for each episode and that it would be unfair to his actors to rely on them to inject humor into the show, but there’s always room for when the actors want to riff.
It seemed almost inevitable when the kid with thick black rimmed classes and a thick mane of dark hair approached the stage and stumbled through his explanation of how the character of Tina was an inspiration to awkward teens like him everywhere and his subsequent request that the cast and creator of the show read his “Erotic-Con Fiction” and act it out. The cast complied in the most glorious fashion where they awkwardly read the lines of this masterwork of prose, and acted out grabbing their own behinds in front of the entire Comic Con audience. The display would have been enough to make passive viewers of the series as diehard as the rest of us, and it was a reminder to the fans of what makes the show so special, namely its amazing cast.