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Credit: FOX

Amazing Casts Help Jon Succeed

The two most successful shows of Benjamin’s career are ‘Bob’s Burgers’ on FOX, and ‘Archer’ on the FX Network. ‘Bob’s Burgers’ was renewed for a 10th season in February, while the 10th season of ‘Archer’ is about to air. And the Belcher family from ‘Bob’s Burgers’ are slated to be in movie theaters next year.

Each show is so completely different, from writing styles, animation styles, etc., (even though there was a ‘crossover’ to begin the fourth season of ‘Archer,’ where he gets amnesia and works at Bob’s Burgers thinking he’s Bob), but the thing they have in common, other than Benjamin voicing the main character, is a strong cast.

Credit: FXX

“Certainly, the shows with Loren, not to repeat myself, but those shows were always cast by him with the people he knows and likes and he kind of builds the show around them,” Benjamin said. “You’d have to ask Loren, but I think his approach has always been cast first and then sort of build out from there and let the characters follow once they’re set in place.”

According to Benjamin, it’s always imperative for Bouchard to bring in people he knows are funny and can work together. In many cases, most of the actors already knew each other coming in from their time working in the comedy world.

“That creates a very specific dynamic, one where people interact naturally,” Benjamin said. “Whereas starting from a script and casting based on the characters is much different. That would be kind of the more traditional way of how any show is done. With Loren, I think it’s always been assigning the roles once he knew the people were there.

“I’m happy he keeps coming back to me, that’s always good. I assume there’s a point when that’ll stop. But, you know, maybe we’ll get bad, too. Scorsese has his core repertory of actors and eventually, it gets stale, so maybe that’s coming next. I mean, I still like Scorsese’s movies, so I shouldn’t disparage him. I’m looking forward to the next De Niro/Harvey Keitel movie.”

Jon Has the Meats … for Sandwiches

Benjamin grew up in Massachusetts but didn’t officially start his comedy career until he was 24. His sense of humor, albeit a bit self-deprecating, provides a genuine connection with people, though he would likely tell you otherwise.

Credit: Arby’s

His good nature is one of the many reasons his career over the past few decades has done so well. In fact, people literally come up to him to offer him jobs. That’s how he became the new spokesperson for Arby’s restaurants.

“Like a lot of things that come my way, I was just asked,” Benjamin said. “They approached me and I assume it has something to do with my connection to food and ‘Bob’s Burgers.’”

Later, Benjamin found out not only did he have a doppelganger, but that he worked as the head of the test kitchen at Arby’s.

“I’m a dead ringer for that guy. I think I was cast based on that,” Benjamin said. “I met him and he looked shockingly similar to me. I was typecast for my looks, which has never happened. It’s always been a huge deficit. When you look like a homunculus troll like I do, sometimes it pays off.”

While Benjamin admits he hasn’t had a classic roast beef sandwich since he was about 12 – there was an Arby’s in his hometown – he will vouch for the tastiness of their curly fries.

“I’m all in favor of their curly fries,” Benjamin said. “They gave me a couple of gift cards. And I used them. I used the gift cards to get some curly fries.”

Jon Attempts to Write a ‘Self-Hurt Book’

Believe it or not, Benjamin is a published author, having written what he calls “an attempted memoir.” ‘Failure Is an Option: An Attempted Memoir’ delves into Benjamin’s own failures in an effort to make you laugh and, hopefully, teach you not to make the same mistakes he did. Why did he decide to write a memoir? Someone asked him to write one, of course.

“It feels like I’m a passive participant in a lot of the work I do,” Benjamin said. “I met a book agent. I write for TV pretty much regularly, like a pilot every year or every couple of years. I’ve been doing that ever since I started my comedy career. I’ve always written. But I had collected a couple – not every story that’s in the book – but I had written a few of these stories prior. I handed them to the book agent and he liked them, thought they were funny. So, I just expanded on those. He came up with the thread line of failure because it seemed like all of my stories in some way touched on how I failed at something. We just structured the book around that. It was just a cheeky way of doing a self-hurt book, I guess.”

One thing the book doesn’t mention is that, while his character Bob can cook a mean cheeseburger, Benjamin is not a chef.

“My family would attest that I fail frequently,” Benjamin said. “There’s been an attempt to make a decent stir fry – which is a good ‘Archer’ reference – for six, seven years. Every time I do it, it’s just God awful. So, I’ve been failing routinely at trying to make stir fry. I can cook simple stuff fairly well at this point, but on the whole, yeah, not good.”