I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Bob’s Burger table read of “Long Time Listener, First Time Bob” at the North Hollywood Studio on Friday, May 11th. It was my first table read, so I was very excited and it was also my first time at Bob’s Burgers studio office! After the entertaining reading with H. Jon Benjamin (Bob Belcher), Kristen Schaal (Louise Belcher), Dan Mintz (Tina Belcher), John Roberts (Linda Belcher), Loren Bouchard (creator), and guest stars Ron Fuches (Patrick), Nick Offerman (Clem) and Rob Huebel (Vance). I was able to have a one-on-one conversation with Jim Dauterive, writer and developer of Bob’s Burgers. During the interview, we discussed the process of creating an animated show for Fox.
Originally, when Jim came to Hollywood, he had no ambitions of becoming a writer for animation. He wanted to write for films, but the opportunity to presented itself when he wrote some spec scripts for a few television shows. By 1996, he was hired for King of the Hill to bring a more realistic portrayal of Texans in the series. Jim treated writing King of the Hill as writing for a live action scripted series, which wasn’t hard for him to do since it’s such a naturalistic setting. In that way Bob’s Burgers is similar to King of the Hill. Both shows are pretty realistic, discounting the occasional fantasy scenes. The Bob’s Burgers character work in a restaurant and they have natural, organic dialogue. Jim even jokes that Texans call King of the Hill a documentary. Fox has used The Simpsons as the seed to grow the animated series with teaming up experienced staff with new creative talent. Simpsons as an established series is a template for their other animated series. They take an established Fox series showrunner and pair with a new talented creator to establish a winning team who can navigate the business of TV while allowing them free reign to make a unique show that fits the lineup. That’s how Jim and Lorne teamed up after Fox ordered Bob’s Burger. For Family Guy, David Zuckerman of King of the Hill was paired with Seth Macfarlane. Even before the start of Fox animations, The Simpsons showrunner Matt Groening was paired with James Brooks and Sam Simon.
It takes about nine months after the table read for the animators to finish an episode and have it ready to be viewed on air. Sometimes they will save five or six episodes that will air the next season. Jim said there is no linear schedule they follow, but they do make holiday episodes like the Halloween episode “The Wolf of Wharf Street” follow a schedule. The most recent Bob’s Burgers episode, “Boywatch”, was written a year and a half ago, but Jim wanted to wait until it was summertime-ish to air it. There is truly no strict order they follow when it comes to releasing episodes.
For “Long Time Listener, First Time Bob”, Scott Jacobson pitched the idea, and Loren approved it. The episode idea then goes through the writers who will help Scott structure the story. Scott will make an outline that must be approved, and once it was approved he wrote the script. Then following Loren’s notes, the writers will edit the script. The final script rewrites always occur the night before the table read. According to Jim, the voice actors will be recorded Wednesday, and the animators will listen in to see how the animations will work in the episode. This process is obviously long and very collaborative, so episodes are not finished until they are about to be aired.
Jim describes the show as a family environment, where for the most part the staff have been together since the beginning. The writers are always in a great mood, and their work environment is very conducive to doing a great show. It shows in the quality and tone of the show. The lightheartedness and positivity in each episode is a also a reflection of the work room. I believe that has contributed to the longevity of this show, and I’m excited to see what they plan to do next season.
Comment your favorite Bob’s Burgers episode below!
Posted in geek tv, Los Angeles, TV Tagged with: animated, Bob's Burgers, Bob's Burgers Table Read, Dan Mintz, Fox TV, H. Jon Benjamin, Jim Dauterive, John Roberts, Kristen Schaal, Loren Bouchard, Table Read
The Bob’s Burgers Burger Book Written by Loren Bouchard and The Writers of Bob’s Burgers, Contribution by Cole Bowden
This is the perfect gift for any Bob’s Burgers (Fox) or just burger fan that is available to order or pick up at brick and mortar bookstores. I was able to chat with creator and executive producer Loren Bouchard and executive producer Jim Dauterive at San Diego Comic Con this past summer where they mentioned the book release (sadly SOMEONE turned my mic off <boo hoo> so no audio). I recommend giving them the book with either a gift certificate to a new burger joint or with cooking implements, buns/bread and gift certificate for the grocery store or butcher to buy good beef or make vegetarian with beef substitute so that they try recipes themselves!
But it’s always a blast to talk with the the team and cast of my favorite adult/family friendly animated series.
Interview with Bob’s Burgers: H. Jon Benjamin, Larry Murphy & John Roberts via @YouTube
Interview with Bobs Burgers: Dan Mintz, Eugene Mirman & Kristen Schaal via @YouTube
BUY THIS BOOK
The Bob’s Burgers Burger Book: Real Recipes for Joke Burgers
Written by Loren Bouchard and The Writers of Bob’s Burgers, Contribution by Cole Bowden
The Bob’s Burgers Burger Book gives hungry fans their best chance to eat one of Bob Belcher’s beloved specialty Burgers of the Day in seventy-five original, practical recipes. With its warm, edgy humor, outstanding vocal cast, and signature musical numbers, Bob’s Burgers has become one of the most acclaimed and popular animated series on television, winning the 2014 Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program and inspiring a hit ongoing comic book and original sound track album. Now fans can get the ultimate Bob’s Burgers experience at home with seventy-five straight from the show but actually edible Burgers of the Day.Recipes include the “Bleu is the Warmest Cheese Burger,” the “Bruschetta-Bout-It Burger,” and the “Shoot-Out at the OK-ra Corral Burger (comes with Fried Okra).” Serve the “Sweaty Palms Burger (comes with Hearts of Palm)” to your ultimate crush, just like Tina Belcher, or ponder modern American literature with the “I Know Why the Cajun Burger Sings Burger.” Fully illustrated with all-new art in the series’s signature style, The Bob’s Burgers Burger Book showcases the entire Belcher family as well as beloved characters including Teddy, Jimmy Pesto Jr., and Aunt Gayle. All recipes come from the fan-created and heavily followed blog “The Bob’s Burger Experiment.”
About the Author
Loren Bouchard is the Emmy-winning creator and producer of Bob’s Burgers, cocreator of Home Movies, and writer and producer of Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist. Cole Bowden started the cult favorite Tumblr blog the Bob’s Burger Experiment, which has been featured in Entertainment Weekly, Vulture, Serious Eats, The AV Club, Nerdist, and NPR’s food blog, The Salt.
Posted in Los Angeles Tagged with: animated, Aunt Gayle, Bleu is the warmest cheese burger, Bob Belcher, Bob's Burgers, Bobs Burgers Experiment, Books, Bruschetta-Bout-It-Burger, Burgers, Burgers of the Day, butcher, Cole Bowden, Cookbook, cooking, Dan Mintz, Dr. Katz, Emmy Award, Eugene Mirman, Fox, Geek Gift, gift bag, gift certificate, grill, grocery store, H. Jon Benjamin, Hamburger, Home Movies, I Know Why the Cajun Burger Sings Burger, Jim Dauterive, Jimmy Pesto Jr., John Roberts, Kristen Schaal, Larry Murphy, learn to cook, Loren Bouchard, Nerd Gift, recipes, San Diego Comic Con, SDCC, Shoot-out at the OK-ra Corral Burger, Sweaty Palms Burger, Teddy, The Bob’s Burger Experiment, Tina Belcher, writers