The Bob’s Burgers panel at Comic-Con International in San Diego began with a trailer showcasing moments from the upcoming fifth season of the Fox animated comedy. All of the madcap hilarity fans have come to expect was on display in the clip, culminating with Bob’s wife Linda chanting, “Two kids enter, one kid leaves! Two kids enter, one kid leaves!” while her own children and their friends sit inside a walk-in freezer with pillows tied around them with ropes as if they’re preparing for a gladiatorial competition. That’s exactly the idea the clip and the chant, reminiscent of one from Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome brings to mind — only animated, and with children (possibly) in combat for their lives.
As the screen faded to black, a cheer erupted from the crowd as series creator Loren Bouchard took to the stage to introduce his business partner and producer, Jim Dauterive, along with cast members H. Jon Benjamin (Bob), Dan Mintz (Tina), John Roberts (Linda), Kristin Schaal (Louise) and Larry Murphy (Teddy).
Bouchard was quick to point out that production staff from the show was in attendance before kicking off the panel with a question for the cast. “If you could have any type of Bob’s Burgers merchandise what would it be?” Much to the crowd’s enjoyment, all of the cast members answered as their fictionalized counterparts,
“Ummm … I think a Teddy mid-cap,” said Murphy as Teddy.
“A Bob’s Burgers restaurant playhouse with all the action figures and the apartment upstairs,” answered Schaal as Louise. “It opens up so you can just get lost in there with your imagination.”
“I think Linda needs a box a Vino!” Roberts shouted as Linda, a fan-favorite for her tasteful drinking and rapid-fire showtunes.
Mintz, held up a styrofoam cutout of Tina’s face, glasses and all as he answered creepily. “I think the Tina mask is perfect.”
Schaal demanded Mintz put on the mask, which he did, affecting Tina’s trademark whine as the crowd roared in approval.
“If Linda is going to get a box of Vino then she should also get a dildo,” said Benjamin as Bob.
“A Sneaky Pete!!!” Roberts interjected, which is exactly what Linda would say.
“Okay, like a little Bob action figure,” said Schaal. “I get It.”
Dauterive said that if he could create any merchandise for the show, it would be a “memory foam butt plug,” much to the crowd’s amusement. Bouchard let the idea sink in for a moment before continuing.
The creator told the crowd that during Season 4 the writers invited any of the cast members to write an episode, but only one took up the challenge. Mintz wrote “The Equestranauts,” in which Tina discovers her favorite animated pony cartoon has a fan base of adult men, one of whom tricks her out of her rare toy pony, forcing Bob to go undercover to try and recover it.
Bouchard then asked the cast what they wanted the writers to do with their characters in the coming season that hasn’t been done before.The fact that a cast member had written an episode of the show lead to the next question in which Bouchard asked the cast what they would like to see the writers do with the characters that they haven’t yet done on the show?
“I’d like to see them younger, a flashback episode or road trip,” said Murphy.
“I want to see Louise get haunted by her imagination,” said Schaal.
Roberts said she wanted to see a riff on a classic kids movie. “I’d like to see where Linda goes to sleep and has a crazy dream that she shrunk the kids. Bobby I shrunk the kids!”
“I’d like to do anther story on Ken, Gene’s imaginary friend that Tina is in love with,” said Mintz.
“I just want Bob to leave the family… and just start a new life,” Benjamin joked.
“In the pilot we had to cut the scene where you’re in the walk-in [freezer] talking to a potato, trying to make yourself feel better and the potato said, ‘You should burn it down!'” Bouchard said with a laugh.
“I’d like to do an episode where we learn the name of the damn town,” said Dauterive.
Haphazardly, Bouchard revealed that he had an announcement to share with the Comic-Con crowd. He figured out how to do a crossover between Archer, also starring Benjamin, and Bob’s Burgers. Upon hearing this revelation the crowd went wild.
Bouchard then outlined his idea for the crossover. “This is what we’re going to do. We take an episode of Archer and we take all the dialogue in that episode and then we spread it out over a season of Bob so if you knew where to find it you could cut together all of Archer’s lines that may be coming out of Bob’s mouth. A secret, hidden crossover.”
The crowd again went nuts with applause, prompting Benjamin to drop an F-bomb as Bob.
As the audience settled down, Bouchard prepared to screen a series of clips, the first two of which were from a Season 5 episode entitled “Friends and Burger-fits.” The episode deals with Teddy finding out that he can’t have too much red meat while also discovering that he’s Bob’s best friend. The clip began with Teddy entering the restaurant and going directly to the restroom, where he locks himself inside. Bob and Linda try to convince him to come out only to realize that Teddy has paid the previous customer to buy him a burger. The situation becomes even sadder when Teddy, scarfing down the burger, says (through locked door) he paid $300 for the burger.
The next clip featured Bob and Linda’s children turning the temperature down in the walk-in fridge and turning it into a walk-in freezer by spilling a thin layer of water on the floor. This leads to the invention of a new sport called “ice pushing” on their makeshift ice rink. This is where Linda’s Thunderdome chant comes into play as Louise challenges one of the older kids to a pushing match because she doesn’t want to push the presumably weak kid she’s set to face. Taunted by Zeke, who teases that she can’t hang with the big dogs, Louise hops off her crate and pushes her opponent down with one quick shove, prompting an “All right!” from Linda.
The third clip, from a different episode, involved Tina carrying around a shoebox that she says a ghost lives in, and that she’s slowly falling in love with it. Tina is at school when she tries to make her crush, Jimmy Pesto, Jr., jealous by mentioning that she and the ghost have an otherworldly relationship.
As the clip ended, microphones were set up and fans were allowed to ask questions to the panelists. A group of fans wearing Louise ears crowded into the aisle near one of the mics, and as the crowd cheered them on Benhamin pointed out that he’s never seen a man wear Louise ears. “That’s a bold move. You’re really setting yourself up for… a really bad life,” said Benjamin. “And those other two, yeah, whatever, good luck.”
The first question from one of the Louises was directed at Bouchard, about whether Louise might get a love interest other than Boo-Boo from the boy band episode in Season 3. “I wouldn’t say it’s a love interest, per se, but she has a violent reaction to the kid, Logan, who stole her ears.”
“Louise is nine, so I don’t know if she’s ready for love,” said Schaal. “But when she ages she’s going to be a firecracker in the saaaaack!”
“It’s hard to hear that as Bob,” Benjamin said. “I hope you’re not going to be a firecracker.”
The next fan dared to call Bob’s Burgers “better than The Simpsons,” which caused the cast to break into a panic. In character, Bob told the fan to “get out of here” while Linda reassured everyone not to panic. Fittingly, Louise panicked and broke into a scream before asking, “Wait, The Simpsons aren’t here, are they?” It was a genuine improv moment and it showed how well the actors understand their roles on the series.
Bouchard took a moment to announce that a Bob’s Burgers CD with music from the show’s previous 4 seasons will be out later this year.
The next audience member who stepped up to the mic was a man dressed as Tina. Not in a mask, but in full on drag — dark hair, dark-rimmed glasses, blue shirt and dark skirt, all in addition the man’s mustache. From the moment “Bizarro Tina” appeared the audience and panelists cackled with laughter.
While the panel focused on one of Benjamin’s two current series, no Bob’s Burgers panel would be complete without someone asking the actor do his Coach McGuirk voice from “Home Movies,” also created by Bouchard. “Don’t wear… don’t wear tank tops. You look stupid, anybody, except for women. They should still wear tank tops,” Benjamin responded in character.
A young woman dressed as Poison ivy asked about the show’s possible cover of pop music to which Roberts as Linda goes right into singing, “Are you ready for, ready for,” and just like that we’re watching a live episode of Bob’s Burgers.
Another fan confessed to the creators that the show’s opening theme was the reason he started learning to play the ukulele, which he had with him at the panel. Schaal asked if the fan would play the instrument, and he immediately began playing the Bob’s Burgers theme song as Linda’s nasally voice sang, “ukulele” to everyone’s delight.
As the panel neared its end, an assortment of reveals came flying at the audience. The first announcement was a Tina and Louise episode where the two sisters bond via Girl Scouts. The episode will be titled, “Tina Tailor Soldier Spy,” a parody of John le Carré’s Tinker Tailor Solider Spy.
Much to the delight of the audience, Bouchard said Tina’s erotic friend fiction was going to be printed as a book to later this year. One can only hope fans can get their hands on it by the time the fifth season premieres on October 5.
Asked about the Halloween episode, Bouchard smiled and said the final clip he brought was actually from the fifth season’s Halloween episode. It began with Tina sitting on a bench inside a conservatory with the ghost in the showbox as she tries to break off their relationship. She hears the words, “Kiss me” and opens the box with her lips ready for a kiss before a janitor interrupts her. The Halloween episode is titled “Tina and the Real Ghost,” which conjures up the image of indie comedy Lars and the Real Girl. Bouchard also revealed that, as in previous Halloween episodes, this one will have a prank.
Since they were originally envisioned as cannibals, the Halloween theme continued with a fan wanting to know which body part each of the Belchers would eat?
“I could eat a foot,” Linda replied.
“Breasts!” screamed Louise.
As the panel concluded, Bouchard said he was surprised no one asked about the burger of the day. The creator then showed bonus clip of one of the songs that will appear on the Bob’s Burgers album. It contained every minor character that had appeared throughout the last 4 seasons. Bouchard also teased that it it “just may be a bonus on the next season’s DVD.”
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