Bob’s Burgers Goes Live

A phone chat with H. Jon Benjamin.

H. Jon Benjamin is the voice behind Bob Belcher, the family patriarch on the animated TV series Bob’s Burgers, and Sterling Archer on Archer. The Emmy-winning actor is renowned for his distinctive deadpan delivery. (His method: “Do the same voice every time.”) Benjamin is visiting Seattle to perform two live stagings of Bob’s Burgers with an impressive ensemble, including Kristen Schaal and Eugene Mirman. Here’s a condensed version of our recent phone chat.

How does the live tour work? Not particularly well. It’s a work in progress. It’s pretty straightforward—everybody in the show performs some comedy. There are some surprises. Then it ends. In a flurry. Of love.

What kind of surprises? Oh, you know. Unexpected events. Maybe some surprise guests? Maybe free haircuts? There’s things that will happen.

How often do you get to perform with your co-stars on the show? We don’t do [the taping] all together; it’s done predominantly in L.A. Most of the cast lives there. There’s a small minority of us that live in New York. Basically, the Jews do it in New York.

Why do you like performing in Seattle? Seattle is one of my favorite cities. I say this to everybody, not just to people in Seattle. I say this to whomever lives anywhere. I really like the weather. I like depressing weather. L.A. is very difficult for me. If the weather’s going to be the same every day, I’d rather it be cloudy, like coat weather. Now that I’m fat, coats are really important.

What will do you here after the shows? I’ll probably go to the Palace Kitchen, I like doing that.

Have you tried the goat-cheese fondue? I have had the fondue before—I’ll probably have something else. Maybe the burger. The rest of the time I’ll probably just take a Xanax and stay in my hotel room.

Do you prefer live acting or voice acting? I don’t really have a preference, but with voice acting I have a less rigorous schedule, unlike action movies or pornography.

How often do folks recognize your distinctive voice? I’ve been recognized for my voice only a couple times, though actually I’m not sure if it was for my voice. I don’t go up to people and say, “Do you recognize me? How? Is it my voice?”

BOB’S BURGERS LIVE The Neptune, 1303 N.E. 45th St., 682-1414, $26–$29. 8 p.m. May be sold out.

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