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Most shows plot ways to reinvent themselves when beginning to break stories for a new season. In the case of Bob’s Burgers, the writers are going in the exact opposite direction. As the show prepares for its 100th episode – coming in Spring 2016 – they are trying to cement who the Belchers are without changing much.
Ahead of the season-six premiere, creator and executive producer Loren Bouchard explains to The Hollywood Reporter why it’s important for an animated show like this to stay the same more than grow and what you can expect from Bob and the Belchers as they reach their biggest milestone to date.
What is the arc you are aiming for in season six and where did you want to take the Belchers?
There’s this game you play when you do a show like this where you want to go nowhere and do nothing new. That sounds terrible on some level, but in this funny way you have to be careful not to evolve your world so much that you accidentally move forward in time. We don’t want our characters to age. Every once in a while we’ll do something like Tina’s 13th birthday in season one, but we have to be really careful. We have to make really fun things happen but nothing actually changes.
So we didn’t have any arcs for season six. This is the season that will contain our 100th episode. In a way your 100th episode should be almost like your pilot all over again. I think a good 100th episode shouldn’t be big and crazy. It should be the quintessential Bob’s Burgers episode.
What for you defines the quintessential Bob’s Burgers‘ episodes?
I’m going to cheat because I can’t answer that question directly. I like when one week is kind of big and a little crazy and stretches a little. For example, the sea plane episode where we stretch a little bit and then the very next episode you’re in a very, very small story. We didn’t have to draw any new props, sets or characters for it. It just has our family facing very specific and small problems, sometimes even within the walls of their very own home. I love those one-two punch type of episodes.
What should fans prepare for coming into this season and leading up to the 100th episode?
Our premiere, called “Sliding Bobs,” is our cryptic storytelling episode. It’s our chance to break the mold a little bit in the tradition of [The Simpsons’] “Treehouse of Horror.” In this case, it’s the kids imagining what their lives would have been like if Bob didn’t have a mustache when he met Linda. So it’s all sort of fantastical told by the kids. We do three stories. One has a RoboCop angle. One that has a curse aspect and then finally a real parallel-universe type of story.
Then we have an episode called “The Landship,” where Tina becomes involved with a graffiti artist.
Then we have “The Hauntening,” our Halloween episode, where our family goes to a haunted house. We actually tried to make it a scary episode.
Our Thanksgiving episode is a snowstorm episode. There is a freak snowstorm that strands Bob and Gayle, who is voiced by Megan Mullally. We love that character and we love that actress so this is a fun Bob and Gayle story. The kids and Linda are stuck home trying to cook the turkey.
We finish the fall with our Christmas episode, called “The Nicecapades.” We have Henry Winkler who is going to guest-star. He plays a mall Santa that the kids accidentally piss off a bit and then they become worried. Louise especially becomes worried that she needs to set things right. That’s our more musical episode of the season; each kid does a musical number.
Mr. Fischoeder does a musical number with his brother doing ice dancing. In this case, we actually got Kevin Kline to collaborate with us on the song. He’s been sending us expansions on the song, which I’ve just been getting into the last few days. I really enjoy it. It’s got a lot of alcohol in that song.
Can you tell us anything about the 100th episode?
Simply put, Bob gets glued to the toilet in the restaurant. We barely get out of the bathroom.
Bob’s Burgers returns Sunday at 7:30 p.m. on Fox.
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