While it hasn’t been around for nearly as long as The Simpsons or yet achieved its immense popularity, Bob’s Burgers very much follows in the footsteps of that animated series’ earlier episodes. Mixing rapid-fire dialogue with the character-based humour found in the first several seasons of The Simpsons, as well as King of the Hill, Bob’s Burgers centres on restaurateur and “beef artist” Bob Belcher (H. Jon Benjamin), who runs a burger restaurant in a seaport town with his wife Linda (John Roberts), awkward eldest daughter Tina (Dan Mintz), showman son Gene (Eugene Mirman) and scheming youngest daughter Louise (Kristen Schaal).
Since the cartoon’s debut in early 2011, Bob’s Burgers has not only garnered growing critical acclaim but also attracted a wide variety of guest stars, each of whom has added their own brand of hilarity to the show. The following guest actors might be surprising to casual fans of the show.
6. and 7. Ollie and Andy Pesto – Sarah and Laura Silverman
The young twin boys of Jimmy Pesto, Bob’s rival, Ollie and Andy are a little off, to say the least. Constantly giddy and eternally inseparable—to the point of suffering panic attacks when not in each other’s presence—the boys often find themselves the unwitting pawns of Louise. In their first appearance in “Art Crawl,” the boys are tricked into making art collages day and night for the youngest Belcher sibling to sell to tourists. The twins also once attempted to carry one another to school, with mixed results.
If at least one of the Pesto twins’ high-pitched voice sounds familiar, it’s because it belongs to none other than comedian Sarah Silverman, who with her sister Lauren portrays Ollie and Andy, respectively. Sarah, a stand-up comedian and actor, is known for her lead role on The Sarah Silverman Program, the voice of Vanellope von Schweetz in Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph (the first of two voice actors from that film to appear on this list) and Seth MacFarlane’s upcoming Western sendup A Million Ways to Die in the West. Elder sister Lauren co-starred with Sarah on The Sarah Silverman Program and has also appeared on The King of Queens and done voice work for Adult Swim’s Metalocalypse.
5. Chett – Zach Galifianakis
The Belchers meet homeless loner Chett after they discover him living in a storage unit Bob inherited from a deceased relative. Kind, enthusiastic and seemingly mild-mannered, Chett is more than happy to help around the restaurant, using his experience as a department store employee to craft eye-catching Christmastime window displays that help to bring in loads of customers. Things take a turn for the strange when it’s revealed Chett believes he is actually an anthropomorphic store mannequin who longs for his female window display counterpart.
For the role of Chett, comedian and actor Zach Galifianakis brought much of the understated and unbalanced hilarity that he infused in his breakout role of Alan Garner in The Hangover and its sequels. On the smaller screen, Galifianakis has also appeared on HBO’s Bored to Death, hosted three episodes of Saturday Night Live—one of them earning him an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series—and had repeat appearances on the surreal sketch comedy show Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!
4. Marbles – Jack McBrayer
When Bob takes up a part time job as a taxi driver to help make rent for the month, Marbles is one of three transgendered escorts that he picks up as a fare and eventually befriends. Though considered outcasts by the townspeople, Marbles and her fellow ladies of the night eventually become stand-up friends of Bob and attend Tina’s birthday party in a show of solidarity, and also help to humiliate antagonistic rival restaurateur Jimmy Pesto at the episode’s end.
30 Rock fans might recognize Marbles’ voice as none other than that of Jack McBrayer, who played naïve and increasingly enigmatic NBC page Kenneth Parcell on all seven seasons of the sitcom. Disney fans might also know him from his more family friendly role of Fix-It Felix, Jr. in the computer animated film Wreck-It Ralph.
3. Gayle – Megan Mullally
A recurring character, Linda’s artistic sister Gayle is best known for popping in on the Belchers when they least expect or need it, and also for her crippling anxiety and severe low self-esteem. Making her first appearance in the episode “Art Crawl,” Gayle jeopardizes Bob’s business by hanging up her myriad paintings of animal anuses around the diner, with Linda too concerned for her feelings to tell Gayle to take them down. When not depicting animal posteriors in oil paints, Gayle has also mistakenly thought Bob wanted to have an affair with her and, with the Belchers’ landlord Mr. Fischoeder (more on him later) secretly lent her vocal talents to Louise’s science project.
The actress who lends her voice to Gayle is Megan Mullully, who to television audiences is best known as Grace Adler’s rich, alcoholic friend Karen Walker on Will & Grace. Mullully has also appeared as Bev on 30 Rock and Chief on the darkly satirical Adult Swim show Children’s Hospital. Additionally, and in a perfect comedic pairing, she is married to Nick Offerman, aka Parks and Recreation’s Ron Swanson, who also appeared in the second season episode “Bob Fires the Kids.”
2. Dr. Yap – Ken Jeong
Though the Belcher’s dentist, Dr. Yap is mentioned in the first season, he doesn’t make an appearance until his eponymous second season episode. A younger dentist who dotes on his electric guitar—named “Greta”—and owns a time-share condo in the mountains, Yap is extraordinary insecure when it comes to talking to women, and so relies on the teachings of pick-up/scam artist “the Prince of Persuasia.” After meeting and becoming infatuated with Linda’s sister Gayle, Yap invites the Belcher’s up to his cabin for a ski trip, intent on seducing Bob’s in-law. Hormones, pain medication and deceit lead to an awkward love triangle between Yap, Gayle and an unwilling Bob.
The insecure dentist’s voice actor is none other than Ken Jeong, a comedian best known for the role of Chang on TV’s Community. A licensed physician, Jeong first cinematic appearance was as a micromanaging OB/GYN in Judd Apatow’s Knocked Up, and since then has appeared in all three of The Hangover movies as gangster Leslie Chow.
1. Mr. Fischoeder – Kevin Kline
At first glance, Calvin Fischoeder would seem nothing more than Bob’s Burgers ripping off Mr. Burns from The Simpsons: a rich, older gentleman who lives alone in a mansion, has a controlling interest in nearly every business in town and has a penchant for coming up with diabolical plans. Unlike Mr. Burns, however, Mr. Fischoeder executes his schemes with the madcap, wild abandon of a vaudevillian performer, plus a dash of everybody’s favourite drunk uncle. Puttering around town on a golf cart and adorned in a pristine white suit, cape and eye patch, he has enlisted the Belchers to act as his family in order to woo a former flame, fired a live gun in a crowded baseball stadium and even bet wads of cash at Louise’s illegal basement casino. Most of all, Fischoeder, like all good madmen, has no idea how insane he actually is.
Outside of the recording booth, Mr. Fischoeder’s portrayer, Kevin Kline, is famous for a wide variety of dramatic and comedic roles in film, ranging from Meryl Streep’s lover in Sophie’s Choice to the English-hating gangster Otto in A Fish Called Wanda, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.