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Monday, May 13, 2013

Once You See How the Burger's Made...

Posted by Thomas Ross on Mon, May 13, 2013 at 3:29 PM

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The cast of Bob's Burgers came through town Friday night on a five-stop tour of the US. The show was at a packed and hot-as-hell Crystal Ballroom.

John Benjamin and Eugene Mirman start the show by riffing on Portland for a little while. Best line is from Mirman, about how everyone in Portland is required to carry a turntable and an original Velvet Underground and Nico “with the banana unmolested.”

Mintz’ standup: “Oh Dan Mintz is doing the Tina voice.” But that’s just his voice. He then did not speak again for the rest of the night except in the table read.

Jon Benjamin’s bit was one joke. Set up: It takes him like ten months to come up with a bit. Punch line: Bane comes out on stage and it’s not very topical. This takes like ten minutes. Larry Murphy (Teddy on the show) as Bane, however, talking about his Yelp reviews of Portland restaurants was actually pretty hilarious. Bane also implied that every neighborhood in Portland is a gay neighborhood.

John Roberts’ schtick has always seemed to be an obnoxious character that you smile at more than laugh. Unfortunately, the only one that really works is his impression of his mom (the one his Bob’s Burgers character Linda is based on). But now we can add God as a bitchy old drag queen to the short list of good John Roberts characters.

Kristen Schaal is a fucking rock star. I remember everyone in the Cyrstal Ballroom, including Schaal, screaming for her entire set. Then she thrashed around like Hendrix for a while. She knows how sexy it is to just walk onto a stage. And she knows how sexy it is to describe the ideal way she’d like to meet Tori Amos (it’s adequately weird).

Eugene Mirman’s set was excellent, with no Portland jokes, and generally well-received.

Then there was a long awkward moment during which Eugene Mirman tried to kill time while a promised clip of next season’s Christmas special didn’t play. The Bob’s Burgers crew repeatedly blamed the Crystal for that, but who knows.

The table read, however, was next season’s Thanksgiving episode. It’s a whodunit—a witch hunt to find out who keeps putting Bob’s beloved turkey in the toilet mid-brine. We got the first two acts, and I can’t believe we’ll have to wait until Thanksgiving for the third. Watching the cast read the script together was a blast—these are talented voice actors at the top of their game. For instance, for like a solid minute, Benjamin and Roberts moaned and squealed their way through what sounded like an earth-shattering, wholly upsetting sex scene.

For a jerk like me, though, the real treat of the night was watching Jon Benjamin berate the parade of dummies who thought they could be funnier than a cast of professional comedians. The pain of watching a Q&A was lessened some by Benjamin shouting at a perfectly nice guy who had just mispronounced Mel Blanc’s name, “Mel Blahnc? It’s Mel Blanc, not Mel Blahnc, you asshole.” That’s the real takeaway of the night: Jon Benjamin is a perfect asshole.

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