Earlier this year, I finished the series of posts on Things I Don’t Like About Television. In all honesty, those posts need to be revisited, especially since so many things have changed in the past few months alone. But now, I want to talk about something I like about television: FOX’s Bob’s Burgers, which was created by Loren Bouchard and first aired in 2011.
What’s the Show About?
Bob’s Burgers follows the adventures of the Belcher family. The wife and kids help Bob Belcher run a burger restaurant on Ocean Avenue (which may or may not be in New Jersey).
Bob’s Burgers sits between a funeral parlor (“It’s Your Funeral Home & Crematorium”) and a perpetually vacant building. (The latter building bears a new name in the opening of each episode). The burger joint and it’s across the street from Jimmy Pesto’s Pizzeria, owned by and named after Bob’s biggest rival and nemesis.
The family’s home sits on top of the restaurant and it is rented out by Mr. Fischoeder, a tall, wealthy man who wears a white patch on his left eye. Sometimes, Fischoeder stops by to get involved in the family’s antics — or get them involved with his own, especially when his brother, Felix, gets involved.
Who Are the Main Characters?
Meet the cast. First, I will start with the five main characters. (Note: All the following images are “borrowed” from the Bob’s Burgers Wiki.)
Bob Belcher is an affable man in his 40’s. He’s married to Linda Belcher and is the father of Tina, Gene, and Louise. At times, Bob is the sanest person on the show, although he also has his own imagination and has distinct dreams related to cooking.
Bob is voiced by H. Jon Benjamin, who is known for his roles on Home Movies (as “Coach McGuirk”; the show was also created by Bouchard) and as the titular character on FX’s Archer (created by Adam Reed).
Linda Belcher is Bob’s Wife and the mother of Tina, Louise, and Gene. She can sometimes be seen manning the case register and talking to the customers, but she does help Bob cook. Overall, Linda is a dreamer who likes to entertain, and be the center of attention, although she is very encouraging towards her kids and their aspirations.
Linda is voiced by John Roberts, who garnered the role after his YouTube videos were discovered.
Before I was altered to the videos, I had an inkling that Linda was voiced by a man, although Roberts does an excellent job. By the way, Roberts based his character on his mother and he was encouraged to bring that to his role on Bob’s Burgers. That explains the amount of love in Linda’s voice.
Tina Belcher is the awkward, boy-crazy eldest daughter of Bob and Linda Belcher. She is 13 years old, so that explains a lot. Tina loves butts, zombies, horses, rainbows, and writing erotic fiction.
Tina also has a long-standing crush on Jimmy Pesto Jr. He is one of her classmates at Waggstaff School and a pretty talented dancer.
Tina is voiced by Dan Mintz. It should be noted that Tina was originally supposed to be a male character named Daniel. However, many of Tina’s traits would have played differently if she was a male.
Gene Belcher is the Bob and Linda’s only son. He is Tina’s younger brother and Louise’s older brother. Gene is an offbeat character who has a talent for music; he can often be seen playing with his keyboard in and outside the restaurant.
Gene is voiced by Eugene Mirman. The Russian-born American comedian also did some voiceover work on Home Movies. IIRC, he was also a villain on finished series Delocated (on Adult Swim).
Louise Belcher is Bob and Linda’s youngest daughter. In many respects, she is the children’s ring leader. She has a great sense of mischief, schemes, and an A-type personality; Tina, Gene, her peers, and even her parents often follow her plans.
One of Louise’s defining characteristics is her cap. She is never seen without her pink bunny ears, except for the time they were taken from her by an older bully.
Louise’s voice actor is Kristen Schaal, whose credits include standup work.
Here she is on Conan:
Other characters on the show include:
- Teddy, who is a regular at the restaurant.
- Mort, the owner of the funeral parlor. (I see what they did there.)
- Andy and Ollie, Pesto Sr.’s twin sons. They are Louise’s classmates and they live in their own little world.
- Hugo Habercore (voiced by Sam Seder, who runs his own YouTube Channel) and his partner, Ron (voiced by Ron Lynch). The two are City Health Inspectors who drop by the restaurant every now and then. Hugo does his job with extra gusto because he used to be engaged to Linda.
- Gayle, Linda’s single, 42-year-old sister. She is voiced by Megan Mullally, known for her work on NBC’s Will & Grace (1998-2006).
What Do I Like About Bob’s Burgers?
The show has an overall charm to it. The plots are pretty funny and I love how all the characters are utilized. Everyone, even each antagonist, has a quirk and there is also a sense of justice at the end of episodes.
In particular, I love the voice acting because it fits the writing on the show and gives it a special energy. This includes the singing within the episodes and during the closing credits. The acting that is what got me interested in the show most of all.
Also, this show serves as further proof that lovers of animated programming can never really grow out of it. This isn’t exactly a child’s program, so …
Did You Know?
Here’s some trivia:
The show was pitched by Bouchard with a darker theme than it currently has.
Originally, the Belchers were supposed to be cannibals. They ran the same restaurant, but with meat from humans.
This darker theme was alluded to at least twice.
- In the first episode, Louise spread a rumor about the restaurant.
- In a Valentine’s Day episode, Tina told a tale of an alternate reality in which Linda married Hugo, and Bob was a health inspector paired with Ron. Hugo ran the restaurant Bob does but sold suspect hot dogs.
The voice actors tape scenes in the same room.
This is a departure from normal voice-over work. Most of the time, voice actors for animated works tape their parts separately.
The Belchers did a crossover on Archer.
In the first season of Archer’s fourth season, the Bob’s Burgers was featured. Sterling Archer was acting as Bob, but the family was accosted by Russian spies.
Would I Recommend This Show?
Of course, I do! If this post doesn’t serve as a recommendation, I don’t know what would.