Bob’s Burgers is one of the most critically acclaimed comedies on TV, winning the Emmy for outstanding animated program in 2014. The show is known for its great writing and characters, who wouldn’t be nearly as great without the impeccable voice casting behind the animation. Unlike most animated shows, all the actors all voice their characters together, which may also have contributed to the vitality of the series. But who are the voices, and where do you know them from? Many of them are accomplished stand up comedians. All of them have outside successes. It’s a dream cast, and while most of you know the personalities behind the main characters do you know all of the famous voices that come in and out of Bob’s Burgers?
In addition to the five principals (H Jon Benjamin, John Roberts, Dan Mintz, Eugene Mirman and Kristen Schaal), you’ll also find Kevin Kline, Sarah Silverman, Laura Silverman, Megan Mullally, Ken Jeong, Zach Galifianakis, Jenny Slate, Aziz Ansari, and Jon Hamm regularly lending their voices to Bob Belcher’s universe.
You’ve heard his voice whether you realize it or not. H Jon Benjamin is an animation rock star. What else has he done? Remember the show Dr. Katz? He played Dr. Katz’s lazy but oddly loveable son Ben. He’s also the voice of title character Sterling Archer on FX’s beloved series Archer, Coach McGuirk in Adult Swim’s Home Movies, and he played the Master on the series Venture Brothers.
And that doesn’t even begin to touch on the recurring guest rolls in shows like Aqua Teen Hunger Force (Mothmonsterman,Mortimer Mango), Family Guy (Carl, the Mini Mart Manager), American Dad (Talking Cabbage). And of course, you’ll hear his memorable voice in his starmaking role in Wet Hot American Summer as a can of vegetables.
In the Live Action universe, he has his own show ‘H. John Benjamin Has A Van‘. Although his patented droll has been used for several characters before, his voicing of Bob fits the laid-back patriarch of the family perfectly and makes it hard to picture anyone else playing the fry cook. Here’s John redoing ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ as the voice of HAL.
Your favorite TV mom is a dude, and that’s just great. John Roberts voices the always optimistic always cheerful (until you get her really mad) Linda Belcher. John isn’t an animated voice vet– this is his first time voicing a TV character, so hitting a home run in his first at bat is pretty impressive. But it’s not his first time voicing a loveable mom.
Before Bob’s Burgers, John Roberts gained viral video fame for his popular YouTube series in which he plays an over the top Jewish mother who has a flair for the dramatic. The character of Linda would have to be written completely different if not done by Roberts who makes it seem like he is coming up with his lines on the spot. Internet favorites like “My Son is Gay“, and “The Tree” made him famous, but it’s “Mothers Day” that may have inspired the character of Linda.
And by may have, we basically mean 100% live action Linda.
Yeah, Tina’s also a dude. Dan Mintz is a well-known stand-up comedian having appeared on the ‘ Late Show with David Letterman‘, ‘Late Night with Conan O’Brien‘ and ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ who is famous for his monotone delivery in never breaking character during a set which would make him seem like an odd choice to play the family’s awkward, boy-crazy teenage daughter. But it’s Mintz’s deadpan delivery and uncomfortable moan that somehow sounds different every time it’s delivered that makes Tina one of the funniest and most complex characters on television. Mintz has also written on some TV’s best comedies, including ‘Lucky Louie‘, ‘Human Giant‘, and ‘Nathan For You‘.
If you’ve never watched Dan Mintz’s stand up, but you already know and love Tina Belcher, be warned, this is kind of a head trip experience.
With that said, here’s some of Dan’s stand-up work, or is it Tina?
Well known stand up comedian Eugene Mirman voices Gene, the family’s high-energy and somewhat spastic son who’s always ready with a joke or song on his portable keyboard. Pre-Bob’s Burgers, Mirman was best known for his many Comedy Central roles and appearances, like Eugene on ‘Flight of the Concords‘, and his role as Yvgeny on ‘Delocated‘.
Mirman is perfect casting in the role of Gene, who constantly delivers the shows most inane and offbeat lines (that are screamed more times than not) that are often the funniest. Here’s some of Eugene’s stand-up from his latest Comedy Central special, ‘An Evening of Comedy in a Fake Underground Laboratory‘ Want more Mirman?
You can find him twice annually at his very own comedy festival! Eugene Mirman’s Comedy Festival runs every summer in Boston, and every autumn in New York.
Comedian and actress Kristen Schaal plays the Belcher’s conniving youngest child, Louise, who is almost never seen without her trademark pink bunny hat. No matter how off-the-wall the character gets, Schaal keeps it real making Louise as lovable as she is bizarre. Louise’s frequent, high-pitched wails and idle threats are done hysterically every time by Schall, who ups the crazy level in her character better than any actress could and rounds out the most perfectly cast family on television.
Outside the confines of Bob’s Burgers, like most of her cast mates, Kristen Schaal is a headlining stand up performer. If you’re wondering where you’ve heard her distinctive voice before, she’s done commercials for Wendy’s, RadioShack, and Starburst. You might also recognize her voice as stalker-fan Mel in ‘Flight of the Concords.’ If you’re an avid fan of Aqua Teen, yes that’s Schaal you heard as one of the Bible Fruits– She played Tammy Tangerine. Schaal was a guest on The Simpsons as Taffy, a love interest for Milhouse too. She stars in Hulu’s Housewives of Orlando, plays Sarah Lynn on BoJack Horseman, and we’ve only just scratched the surface. If you’re STILL not sure where you’ve heard her voice before, you’ll have to roll over to IMDB because Kristin’s projects list is so long, it could take you all day to get through.
Real life sisters/comedians Sarah and Laura Silverman voice the show’s high strung set of twins, Ollie & Andy who bring humor and a lot of cringe worthy moments to the show. Just like normal twins it’s nearly impossible to tell the two voices apart which seems like quite the challenge if it weren’t for the two expert comedians playing them.
Outside of Bobs Burgers, Sarah has had one of the most profiled careers in comedy with an award winning stand-up career as well as her own TV show, ‘The Sarah Silverman Program‘ which she starred alongside Laura. Sarah’s also played a Simpsons character, a human on the puppet-based and short lived but great show Greg the Bunny, and voiced Hadassah on Crank Yankers. You’ve also heard Laura before, alongside castmate H. Jon Benjamin, on Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist. She played the unattainable and sardonic “Laura” the receptionist, who Ben was constantly trying to charm. She also played the largely offscreen role of Jane in the original run of HBO’s The Comeback.
Megan Mullally is one of the most talented comedic actress alive and the same goes for her voice acting, which can completely change from role to role. As Gayle, the family’s neurotic, cat-loving Aunt, Mullally makes every one of Gayle’s quirks more uncomfortable than the last.
Megan also voiced another role on Bob’s Burgers– one half of a kooky couple– Beverly and Cooper. (Her husband Nick Offerman joined her to play her other half).
Mullally won multiple Emmys for her work on ‘Will and Grace‘ and can also be seen in her recurring role on ‘Parks and Recreation‘ where she plays Ron Swanson’s (who is her real life husband) ex wife. You also might have seen her on Starz original series ‘Party Down‘ or as Chief on Adult Swim’s ‘Children’s Hospital.’
Here’s a clip of Mullally from Bob’s Burgers as the crazy Aunt Gayle.
Stand up comedian and ‘state of the comedy industry’ historian Andy Kindler voices the recurring character of Mort. You’ll find Mort sitting at the counter of Bob’s Burgers on a regular basis, and running the mortuary service next door. Andy got a little controversial once again this year at Montreal’s Just for Laughs Festival by taking a hard line stance against talk show personality Anthony Cumia for his race-based tweets.
Handyman and contractor Teddy is another frequent counter sitter at Bob’s. He’s a sweet man but tends to drone on a bit and has a history with mechanical sharks. Teddy is voiced by animation veteran Larry Murphy, who played all the characters on Assy McGee, and is the voice behind Lt. Grimes on Ugly Americans. You’ll also see him on H. Jon Benjamin Has a Van, Adult Swim’s Delocated, and playing characters on Conan.
Tim Meadows, Saturday Night Live alum voices Mike, the mailman. He loves heavy metal music, and fried green tomatoes. Meadows is currently starring on the new sitcom, Marry Me on NBC.
School guidance counselor Mr. Frond loves therapy puppets and believes in fairness. And he likes cake. Comedian Dave Herman provides the voice for Mr. Frond and many other characters around the animation universe. He’s got roles in Futurama, Brickleberry, TripTank, American Dad, King of the Hill, Moral Orel, and he was a cast member of both MadTV and House of Buggin. You’ve also seen him in the movie Office Space and Idiocracy.
Big stars do guest voices on cartoons all the time but rarely voice a regular appearing character like Kevin Kline does, as the Belcher’s scheming landlord, Calvin Fischoeder. Kline is best known for his extensive film career which includes an Academy Award for his role in ‘A Fish Called Wanda’. He’s also won Two Tonys, an appeared in some pretty iconic films like The Big Chill, and In and Out. He has lent his voice to several Disney projects in the past but he brings his role in ‘Bob’s Burgers’ to another level. He commits to the absurdity of the character and show, and brings his own personality to the character, proving that show is so good that it can attract an A-lister like Kline. Here’s Kline in a duet with Bob from ‘Bob’s Burgers’.
Fischoeder’s brother Felix is played by another big star. Zach Galifianakis has voiced characters in many different TV show’s from ‘American Dad!’ to ‘The Simpsons‘ and family films like ‘Puss In Boots‘ and ‘The Muppets.’ Of course his most famous role is from the Hangover Trilogy, and he also has included his extensive stand-up career. Add to that, the voice Felix Fischoeder, Calvin’s eccentric and drama-prone brother. Galifianakis appeared in several season four story lines, and escaped an arrest in the season finale, leaving it open for his return. Here’s Galiafinakis terrorizing his brother in a scene from ‘Bob’s Burgers’. He also appears as “Chet” a man who thinks he used to be a mannequin.
Ken Jeong is famous for playing exaggerated characters from his role in ‘The Hangover’ to his faux doctor persona he used on stage during his early days performing stand up. His dentist character Dr. Yap is a little more diminutive, allowing him to move in on Megan Mullay’s character Aunt Gayle with squirm inducing results.
Jeong has also lent his voice to several other cartoons, such as ‘Kung-Fu Panda’, where he played Superintendent Woo, Floyd in ‘Despicable Me 2’ and his role as Dr. Alan Hu in the recent Netflix hit series ‘BoJack Horseman’. Here’s some of Jeong’s early stand-up as ‘Dr. Ken’.
School bully and fart-prone drama-queen Tammy Larsen is voiced by the hilarious Jenny Slate, who Slate plays as a whiny, bossy girl everyone grew up with who just seems to get everyone else in trouble. Since being let go from SNL, Slate has created and voiced the viral sensation ‘Marcel the Shell with Shoes On’, and has appeared in numerous TV comedies such as ‘Married’, ‘Bored To Death’, ‘House Of Lies’, ‘Kroll Show’ and ‘Parks & Recreation’. She recently starred in the critically acclaimed indie feature film “Obvious Child” which is now available On Demand and iTunes.
Comedian Aziz Ansari voices Darryl, one of the Belcher kids’ classmates at Wagstaff elementary school. Ansari’s stand-up career has blown up in recent years, and he’s become particularly famous as ‘Randy,’ a character he performs. He also plays Tom Haverford on the NBC series ‘Parks & Recreation’ which leaves him just enough time to do a few movies and voice several characters in projects like ‘Ice Age’, ‘The Venture Bros.’, and ‘Adventure Time’. You’ve also seen Aziz in commercials for American Express and Nike.
You know a show is good when an actor like Jon Hamm is willing to guest star as a talking toilet set to answer to every command it is given. Hamm’s appearance is one of the show’s funniest episodes and shows how even the best in the business know how great the show is.
Here’s Hamm flexing his comedy muscles again in a clip from ‘Comedy Bang! Bang!‘.
Todd Barry plays a recurring character “Hummer Guy”, Jordan Peele provides the voice of recurring character Fanny, Paul F. Tompkins stops by to play Randy from time to time and Pamela Adlon plays recurring character Olsen. Rob Huebel played a producer, Eddie Pepitone guested as Reggie, Samantha Bee played Pam, Bill Hader had a great role as Mickey the friendly bank robber, Jeffrey Tambor played Captain Flarty, Fred Armisen voiced Tommy, the replacement health inspector, Amy Sedaris guested as Samantha (and dated Mort), Patton Oswalt played restaurant critic the Moody Foody, Will Forte as Upskirt Kurt the flying instructor who attempts to seduce Linda. Other great guest appearances over the first four seasons have included David Wain, Doug Benson, Bobcat Goldthwait, Linda Lavin, Rachel Dratch, Hannibal Burress, Jim Gaffigan, Kyle Kinane, Joe Lo Truglio, Bob Odenkirk, Ron Funches, Michael Showalter, Molly Shannon, Dom Irrera, Paul Scheer, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Jonathan Katz, Eric Warenheim, Tig Notaro, Jason Mantzoukas, Dana Snyder, and Russell Peters.