Bob’s Burgers Live at Orpheum Theatre

Posted March 26, 2015 by Tony McMillen in Theater & Arts
Bob's Burgers Live

AlriiiightBob’s Burgers Live is a real thing and it’s happening in Boston! The historic Orpheum Theatre is one of only 6 stops picked to host the critically acclaimed hit animated sitcom’s unique live comedy show.

While a few another animated shows have done live script readings before, what will set the Bob’s Burgers Live show this Saturday apart is that the entire principal cast (H. Jon Benjamin, Kristen Schaal, Eugene Mirman, Dan Mintz  and John Roberts) are all seasoned stand-ups. Which means they’ll each do a short stand-up set before launching into their collective reading of a beloved Bob’s episode. My vote’s for any episode that gives John Roberts (as Linda or himself) an excuse to sing.

There will also be some exclusive clips of the cartoon, and for the coup de grace, the live show ends with a Q&A where the faithful in attendance can ask the cast as well as the show creator Loren Bouchard important things like when will we see Little King Trash Mouth again? Or when will they be publishing Tina’s Erotic Friend Fiction?

Bob’s Burger’s, currently airing its fifth season on Fox, commands a devoted and ever-growing legion of fans (this writer counts himself as such; in case you hadn’t noticed, I want to have this show’s babies) and arguably the biggest draw is the show’s careful addition of heart to its well-seasoned comedy.

This key ingredient is also what makes the animated show and now this live version of the show such an easy sell for new viewers. In many ways Bob’s has inherited this role from the void left by The Simpsons earlier years.

This precise blend of sharp, but not especially mean-spited humor laced with genuine, but never sentimental sentiment is always a potent mix. Combine that with Bob’s Burgers firm grasp of the indigenous weirdness of family and you have something almost any viewer can latch on to. This inclusive approach is what has helped the show’s audience swell from a respectable cult to a bonafide mainstream following.

Another show strength is its ensemble and a live setting is the perfect proving ground for their remarkable chemistry. I’m looking forward to Dan Mintz’ Tina with her monotone delivery, and the quiet but powerful individualism that has made her a breakout character (along with her love of butts and zombies and zombies with butts).

Likewise, I can’t wait for Bob himself, H. Jon Benjamin. Bob is the closest thing to a straight man this show has and Benjamin’s take on the bedraggled, long-suffering and occasionally psychotic father and husband elevates the role. My favorite thing he does is that every once in a while, Bob will chuckle at something crazy his wife Linda or one of the kids says. You don’t usually see that in sitcoms. The unspoken rule of comedy is, ironically, that nobody laughs. When Bob lets out a little chortle, it feels real and surprising. I can’t wait to for the live show to see if those laughs are scripted or just the other cast members making Benjamin break.

The Orpheum will be the last leg of the limited engagement tour and a bit of a homecoming for about half of the people on stage. Benjamin is from Worcester, Loren Bouchard hails from Medford and Eugene Mirman, the voice of Gene, was born in Russia but moved to Lexington at age 4. To me, this tour was a victory lap the moment it was announced, so it only makes sense to end it with style back home in Boston.

For tickets visit