5:43pm PT by Rick Porter
'Bob's Burgers' Team Discusses "Doing Good" in Animation, Accidental Pandemic Episode
The creator of Bob's Burgers acknowledged the "important conversation" about representation happening in the animation world during a Comic-Con at Home panel on Friday.
Loren Bouchard also noted that the long-running Fox show has men voicing several female characters and took a suggestion from cast member Kristen Schaal about how to potentially balance that out.
"There's a very healthy conversation going on about representation in animation," Bouchard said during the session. "Every part of it is good, even the awkward ones, and I've been enjoying it in a way because you get better at being in the world" by taking part in it.
"Bob's Burgers tries to do good, and our shop tries to do good," Bouchard continued. "I stood on the stage of Comic-Con and gave credit to you, Kristen, when you challenged us to hire women." He noted that five of the 11 writers currently working on the show are women, and that women make up 31 percent of the staff at Bento Box Entertainment, the animation studio behind Bob's Burgers and several other shows, including Fox's Duncanville and Apple's Central Park.
"That's not enough," Bouchard said of the latter number, but the percentage of women at the company has been increasing year by year.
The discussion about representation came on the same day as Apple announcing that Central Park, which Bouchard created and executive produces, cast a Black actress, Emmy Raver-Lamping, to take over the role of biracial character Molly from Kristen Bell.
Bouchard also touched on the fact that men voice two of the three main female characters on the show (Dan Mintz plays Tina, and John Roberts plays Linda). "Maybe it would be a nice challenge to create more male characters voiced by women and see how that goes," said Schaal. "It's about pitch and tone. Maybe you could create some things that haven't happened before."
Executive producer Nora Smith also said that she and the other writers also try to ensure that women characters on the show don't only do stereotypical "woman stuff."
"When we have women characters on the show, we write them a lot of funny lines," she said. "Every female character we have, we try to make them as funny as possible."
The cast and crew also teased episodes from the show's forthcoming season, which premieres Sept. 27. The second episode, "Worms of In-Rear-Ment," in which the Belchers deal with a pinworm outbreak. The show was written and produced long before the coronavirus pandemic, but Smith said it might be accidentally relevant now.
"It seemed like a fun pandemic story when those were just like wild and fancy free," said Smith. "Then this happened, and I was like, 'Oh no. People are going to think we're joking about it.' They take it seriously, but hopefully it's more fun because it's about anus stuff. There's a lot of hand washing. I'm hoping people think of it as an escape to a more fun pandemic."
Bouchard also promised that a Bob's Burgers feature film "is absolutely coming out," though he doesn't know when. "We have to stop working on it at some point," he joked.