Overview

Bob’s Burgers is an animated sitcom television series developed for the Fox Broadcasting Company by Loren Bouchard. The show follows the life of the Belcher family. Bob and Linda Belcher, together with their children Gene, Tina, and Louise, own and operate a hamburger restaurant from which the show derives its name.

The series was created by Bouchard after she co-created adult sitcom Home Movies with Brendon Small. Bob’s Burgers is produced by 20th Century Fox Television and Bento Box Entertainment.

Bob’s Burgers premiered on January 9, 2011 on Fox. Thus far, ten seasons of the show have aired, and an eleventh season has been ordered by Fox at the time of writing. The first season received mixed reviews, but responses to later seasons of the show have become positive.

Premise

The show depicts the life of the Belcher family: Bob, Bob’s wife, Linda, and Tina, Gene, and Louise Belcher, their children. The family owns and operates a hamburger restaurant on a street named Ocean Avenue in an American seaside community which is as yet unnamed. Bouchard said early on that the location of the show was somewhere in the Northeastern United States. Furthermore, the inspiration for this show comes from several different regions.

The restaurant Bob’s Burgers is in a two-story building which has a second floor apartment in which the Belcher family resides. Bob’s Burgers is sandwiched in between two commercial buildings. One of these is the location for the business “It’s Your Funeral Home and Crematorium.” The business housed in the other commercial building is a running gag and changes each week, frequently featuring new business names which serve as elaborate puns.

In addition to helping with the family restaurant, the children of the Belcher family go to Wagstaff School. A number of episodes deal with the activities of the children both in and around school. Tina, who is thirteen years of age and at the beginning of her teenage years, grapples with being attracted to boys. Jimmy Junior, who is Jimmy Pesto’s eldest son, serves as the most frequent target of Tina’s affections.

Teddy the handyman and Mort, who works at the crematorium next door, are some of the regulars who frequent Bob’s Burgers. The burger place has as its business competition a number of other eateries nearby. Bob’s largest rival is Jimmy Pesto. Pesto owns and operates “Jimmy Pesto’s Pizzeria,” an Italian restaurant that is right across the street from Bob’s Burgers and is oftentimes more successful, which generates some tension between Bob and Jimmy.

Some episodes involve a single storyline which involves the entire Belcher family. Others may feature two simultaneous stories which deal with different members of the family. The Belcher family members have interactions with a number of recurring characters who also happen to be the town’s residents. The show also uses musical numbers occasionally.

Cast and characters

  • Bob Belcher – H. Jon Benjamin
  • Tina Belcher – Dan Mintz
  • Gene Belcher – Eugene Mirman
  • Linda Belcher – John Roberts
  • Louise Belcher – Kristen Schaal
  • Teddy – Larry Murphy
  • Mr. Frond – David Herman
  • Jimmy Pesto Sr – Jay Johnston
  • Jimmy Jr – H John Benjamin
  • Andy – Laura Silverman
  • Ollie – Sarah Silverman
  • Zeke – Bobby Tisdale
  • Tammy – Jenny Slate
  • Jocelyn – John Roberts
  • Darryl – Aziz Ansari
  • Regular-Sized Rudy – Brian Husky
  • Mort – Andy Kindler
  • Mike Wobbles – Tim Meadows
  • Gayle – Megan Mullally
  • Calvin Fischoeder – Kevin Kline
  • Felix – Zach Galifianakis
  • Hugo – Sam Seder
  • Ron – Ron Lynch

Production

The idea for Bob’s Burgers was conceived due to the fact that the creator, Loren Bouchard, wished to do something involving workplace comedy. Bob’s Burgers is generally seen as King of the Hill’s spiritual successor.

On August 6, 2009, Bob’s Burgers showed up for the first time on Fox’s development slate. Fox ordered the first season of 13 episodes on December 1, 2009. The show was placed on Fox’s 2010-2011 television primetime slate on May 17, 2010.

Loren Bouchard is the show’s executive producer, together with Jim Dauterive. These two have been in this role since season one. In season six, Rich Rinaldi and Dan Fybel also became executive producers for the series.

Episodes and reception

Bob’s Burgers began airing on January 9, 2011. 194 episodes of the series have aired in total.

  • Season 1 was comprised of 13 episodes
  • Season 2 was comprised of 9 episodes
  • Season 3 was comprised of 23 episodes
  • Season 4 was comprised of 22 episodes
  • Season 5 was comprised of 21 episodes
  • Season 6 was comprised of 19 episodes
  • Season 7 was comprised of 22 episodes
  • Season 8 was comprised of 21 episodes
  • Seasons 9 and 10 were comprised of 22 episodes

The show has been renewed by Fox for an eleventh season.

Critical response

The first season of Bob’s Burgers was met with mixed reviews, as it received a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 62% and a Metacritic score of 54 out of 100. However, critical reception improved for the second season and has remained high ever since.

  • The second season received a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 100%
  • The third season received a rating of 80%
  • The fourth, fifth and sixth seasons all received a rating of 100%

Bob’s Burgers has received nominations for many awards, including seven nominations in a row for the Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program (winning that award twice, in 2014 and 2017).

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