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New York’s Paley Center for Media is in the middle of its TV-centric PaleyFest, which includes several panel discussions with the casts and crews of critically beloved shows. Last night, EW caught one with the people behind Bob’s Burgers—including voice actors H. Jon Benjamin and Kristen Schaal, John Roberts, and the show’s creator, Loren Bouchard.
The hour-long conversation frequently detoured into improvisational riffing by the cast, but it also delivered some interesting information about the show. Here are ten of the best tidbits we learned.
The show works at its own pace. Its creators are willing to sacrifice the kind of up-to-the-minute timeliness of a show like South Park in order to concentrate on small details. Some episodes have taken up to a year to produce from start to finish.
Larry Murphy, who plays the chatty handyman Teddy does a spookily accurate H. Jon Benjamin impression. Roberts, the voice of Linda, does a surprisingly good Mrs. Garrett from The Facts of Life.
You probably won’t be seeing any Bob’s Burgers spin-offs. Bouchard says it’s “a bad idea,” although the cast quickly came up with a number of possible titles, including The Jimmy Jr. Dance Party.
Benjamin thinks Bob’s burgers are probably only “mediocre.” Bouchard, on the other hand, emphatically believes that they’re really good. “He’s an artist,” he says.
This year’s Christmas episode will finally introduce Bob’s parents. Bill Hader will play Bob’s dad, but his mom isn’t in the picture, according to Bouchard.
According to Roberts, Linda’s go-to karaoke song is Barbra Streisand’s “Evergreen.” Schaal says Louise’s is “Welcome to the Jungle.” Murphy says Teddy’s is Bob Seger’s “Night Moves,” and Benjamin says Bob’s would be something by Neil Diamond, and offered a brief but pretty good rendition of “America” as an example.
The original character designs had “big penis noses.” They were also supposed to a family of cannibals. Both aspects changed after early notes from the network.
In 15 or 20 years, Gene and Tina will be “struggling in a band,” Bouchard says. Schaal thinks Louise will probably be “in some kind of Jason Bourne situation.”
Kevin Kline, who voices Bob’s eccentric landlord Calvin Fischoeder, occasionally gets picked up from recording sessions by Meryl Streep. Kline’s friend and the Sophie’s Choice co-star has yet to offer a ride to any of the other cast members.
The most important aspect of the show is giving the Belchers “small victories.” Bouchard and writer/producer Jim Dauterive say that the family’s never going to travel into space, a la The Simpsons, because it’s little things like catching a break on rent that make them relatable.