Fans feed off television for different reasons. You might watch “The Americans” for the thrills or “Veep” to learn a few new insults, but the cast and creator of “Bob’s Burgers” made a compelling case for finding compassion through TV while speaking at PaleyFest Friday night.
“We’re in a moment when you have to make a choice to be optimistic,” creator Loren Bouchard said. “We made that choice with this show. The family itself is optimistic.”
“It’s not a part of the show that we set out explicitly to include,” he said. “But, in this day and age, I find myself thinking it’s an essential element of the show.”
“It’s one of the best parts of ‘Bob’s Burgers,’ that they’re in tough straits.” star H. Jon Benjamin added. “I think that’s the heart of the show: They’re a struggling family that still sees the good in things.”
“I think people tune into television to find all sorts of reason for escape,” Kristen Schaal said, noting a bounty of great, recent TV dramas that could be seen as pessimistic. “I think the optimism of ‘Bob’s Burgers’ is something that’s been missing. I think people really connect with it because we are optimistic as a people.
“I watch all kinds of dramas on TV and — so I don’t have nightmares — I’ll watch an episode of ‘Bob’s Burgers.’ I’ll watch ‘Bob’s’ after ‘VICE News.'”
“It’s become the best medicine in these tumultuous times,” she concluded, to a hearty round of applause.
Bouchard, Benjamin, and Schaal joined John Roberts, Eugene Mirman, Dan Mintz, and Larry Murphy inside the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, CA. The lively group discussed the show, shared clips from upcoming episodes, answered questions from fans, and performed a live read of next season’s premiere episode — with the help of Paul F. Tomkins, John Early, and a few other guests present to provide additional voices.
They also used their opportunity to speak directly with fans to share a few announcements many Belcher die-hards have been waiting for. Bouchard again confirmed the upcoming release of a “Bob’s Burgers” music album, confirming the 107-song album will hit stores May 12. Though the official release had gone out a few weeks ago, Bouchard & Co. have been promising to release the album for some time — which highlights the series’ many hilarious original musical numbers — and now it’s finally happening.
Fans will have reason to celebrate again just a month after the album drops, when the cast of “Bob’s Burgers” puts on a live show in Los Angeles. Each cast member will perform individual stand-up routines, and a full band will help them sing 10 songs from the show. The event is on the books for June 17.
“Just one night? We couldn’t sell out two?” Schaal joked.
In addition to the large ensemble showcased in Friday night’s chosen episode — Early will appear as a guest actor, while recurring favorites Kevin Kline and Zach Galifianakis are expected to return, as well — the Season 8 premiere will be animated entirely by the fans.
Fox set up a contest where fans could submit their own artwork online (through a site aptly called “Bob’s Fart”) that would then be used in the episode. Submissions have now closed, but entries were accepted in three categories: title sequence animations, static background panels, and static character panels.
PaleyFest L.A. 2017 runs through March 26. Check out IndieWire’s coverage so far and keep coming back for more.