After 11 years and over 200 episodes, the popular Fox animated sitcom “Bob’s Burgers” is making its big-screen debut. And although the movie acts as a fresh point of entry, at the Tuesday premiere of the film at the El Capitan theater in Los Angeles, the voice actors behind the Belchers revealed the TV episodes they’d recommend for newcomers before seeing the film.
H. Jon Benjamin and John Roberts, the voices behind the central couple Bob and Linda, both recommended that viewers start with one of the many Thanksgiving episodes the show has produced, which acts as a window into the dynamics of the quirky but lovable family.
“I would probably go to one of the Thanksgiving episodes as a primer for what the family is like and the dynamic between them,” Benjamin told Variety on the red carpet of the premiere. “Any one of the holiday episodes is usually a good indicator of the spirit of the show. Something always goes wrong, and then they come together and sort of fix it, but not quite.”
“I love all the holiday episodes, it’s nice to think people are more open on a holiday like Thanksgiving, and everyone’s sitting around the TV and relaxing. So I think that’s a good one to start with, ‘Dawn of the Peck,” Roberts said, referring to the Season 5 Thanksgiving episode.
Dan Mintz, who plays fan-favorite eldest child Tina, told Variety that the film premiere was the first premiere he had ever attended. When asked what episode he would recommend for newcomers, he pointed to the Season 3 episode “Topsy,” about Louise taking part in a Thomas Edison-themed science fair, because it acts as a good intro into the dynamics of the Belcher kids.
“My favorite episode is ‘Topsy,’ which I think is as good as any episode, because it involves all the characters working together on one thing,” Mintz said. “I think maybe the ones that are like flashback and fantasy ones are great, but maybe not your very first one to watch.”
“The Bob’s Burgers Movie” premiere was also the very first premiere for Eugene Mirman, who plays the excitable middle child Gene. Mirman recommended the two-part Christmas episode “The Bleakening,” which, like the film, is structured as a mystery, as the characters attempt to find who stole Linda’s Christmas ornaments. Mirman also stressed however, that the film can be watched completely blind, without any prior knowledge of the series.
“First of all, I’d recommend the movie,” Mirman said. “One thing I do think is great about the movie is that it’s actually a great intro into the world of ‘Bob’s Burgers.’”
Larry Murphy, who plays the Belchers’ close family friend Teddy, pointed to the show’s 100th episode “Glued, Where’s My Bob?,” which sees Bob getting glued to a toilet and was hailed as a “quintessential” episode of the show. On the red carpet, Murphy also talked about his love for episodes revolving around Tina and teased a big role for her in the movie.
“The Tina stories are great, and there’s a lot of Tina in this movie too,” Murphy said. “It’s kind of a summer story. A summer love story. And Tina is kind of making a decision of whether she wants to be involved with Jimmy for the summer or not. It’s not a question of if it’s a question of whether she wants to. She’s pretty empowered.”
For Kirsten Schaal, whose scheming Louise is a central figure in the upcoming film, the episode she recommends isn’t necessarily the most representative, but the one she loves and revisits the most.
“I know there’s there’s probably an episode that’ll showcase more of the family, but my favorite episode right now is the one where Louise can’t poop in public,” Schaal said, referring to the episode “Poops!… I Didn’t Do It Again.” “At the lock-in at the aquarium, she wants to feed the sharks, but she knows she has to poop and she’s scared to poop there. That is like my life. I don’t think Steven [Davis] knew that when he wrote it. And then I read the script and I was like, ‘Do you know that’s very personal to me? I have a lot of problems pooping in public.’”
“The Bob’s Burgers Movie” releases in theaters May 27.