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Actor / EntertainerI am the comedian Eugene Mirman. I voice Gene on Bob’s Burgers and sometimes co-host Star Talk with Neil DeGrasse Tyson. AMA!

Oct 6th 2017 by MrEugeneMirman • 29 Questions • 1116 Points

My Audible Series Hold On with Eugene Mirman launches its third season today! If you are an Audible or Amazon Prime member, you can listen to it here: www.audible.com/HoldOn. You can also hear Season’s 1 and 2 wherever you get your podcasts. Hold On with Eugene Mirman is the storytelling show that puts comedians and performers in the spotlight, and on the spot. Featuring special guests Jim Gaffigan, Kristen Schaal, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Maria Bamford, Kumail Nanjiani, Reggie Watts, John Mulaney, David Cross, and many more!

Proof: https://twitter.com/EugeneMirman/status/916014919790841857

UPDATE: Okay, everyone! Thank you very much for participating in this. I'm going to go now.

Q:

What's your favourite bobs burgers moment?

A:

There's a scene Louise is making Gene look like Bob in their bathroom and the whole family ends up joining. I think it was originally written as a few lines and we all ended up improvising a bunch and it's a scene I always love.


Q:

Do you have any ideas about gene's likes or personalities that aren't common knowledge?

A:

Gene likes pre-1978 Jethro Tull, but never gets to talk about it.


Q:

How did you get the role of Bing Bong the fertility clown on the Colbert Report?

A:

They asked me to do it.


Q:

How are things between you and Portsmouth NH?

A:

They’re very good. I like Portsmouth a lot! I’ve been back since the ticket several times. Though last time I was there they still did not have a sign saying “front end parking only,” like everywhere else with that law. But maybe if New Hampshire creates an income tax, they can use that money to provide Portsmouth with clearer signage?


Q:

Gene always seems to drop unexpected deep anecdotes and clever pop culture references (i.e. "Get your damn hands of her Biff!) . Do you have any input in the witty Gene dialogue?

A:

We get to improvise, so sometimes I do. I think the specific line you're referring to was written though. Over the years, the writers have gotten to know us and we've gotten to know the characters and it all blends together.


Q:

Hi! Is Gene's name actually based on yours?

A:

Yes. Though I have never asked for my name to be used for a character, virtually every character I've played is a version of my name.


Q:

Hi Eugene. Who has been your favorite guest on the show to date? And who are your favorite comedians to hang out with 'off the clock'?

Thanks for another AMA, keep up the good work.

A:

I loved Busy Philipps’ story. Neil deGrasse Tyson is the first story of season 3 and it’s really great. Kumail Nanjiani and Mike Birbiglia were also episodes I loved doing. In terms of hanging out with comedians, a lot of the people I work with are also good friends. I adore Jon Benjamin, Kristen Schaal, Daniel Kitson, John Hodgman, Kurt Braunohler, Bobcat Goldthwait and lots of others.


Q:

Whatever happened with you and Time Warner Cable?

A:

They wrote a blog entry on their official blog and then put me in touch with someone who would solve my problems when they came up. I moved to a place where there is no Time Warner, so don't have them anymore. I recommend taking out a full page ad making fun of a company because it is an effective way of getting improved service.


Q:

How do you warm up before going in to work?

A:

I start a fire in my living room, frantically put it out, and have a martini. Then I'm ready to go.


Q:

Thanks for doing this AMA. What can fans expect from a Bob's Burgers movie? There's never been a story arc on the show that spans several episodes.

EDIT: It was brought to my attention that the show does indeed have a story arc that spans across more than one episode (Season 4 Ep. 21 and 22).

A:

I don't know the story they have planned. But I do know that Loren is very thoughtful and protective of Bob's Burgers, so I imagine whatever he's thinking of will be great. But I don't know what it is.


Q:

What was it like on the set of Flight of the Conchords?

Love you on Bob's Burgers, keep up the good work!

A:

When we originally made the show, it was a pretty low budget. I remember filming a music video in Prospect Park where I was dressed like Gandalf I think. We filmed for maybe about 12 hours and there wasn't a green room of any kind and I remember just lying on a large, flat cardboard box on the ground for a while.


Q:

Hey Eugene, Delocated! is one of my favorite all time shows. What's your favorite memory from working on it?

A:

It was such a fun show to work on. I think murdering Scott Wolf in a bathroom was fun. He was very nice. Jon Glaser had a vest full of puppies in one episode that made me laugh a lot. Steve Cirbus, who played my brother was an amazing actor, and was very fun to work with. There was a scene where Yvegeny was losing his virginity to his girlfriend (Amy Schumer) and Sergie bursts in to tell Yvegeny that our father was dead. I had to go from having an orgasm to crying in one long shot and we did like 8 or 9 takes. When Adult Swim got the cut of it they said it was too much and needed to be cut down. So I think in the end, you can barely see Amy and it's all much shorter, but it was the only love scene I've had to do and both very funny and mildly traumatic.


Q:

I listen to your comedy all the time!!

In what way are you most like Gene?

A:

I think Gene is sort of what I'd be like as a kid now, more than how I was as a kid. But I think Gene has a positivity that we both share. And a love of interesting food.


Q:

Is it true the Bob's Burgers cast records lines as a group?

A:

Yes, that is true. We are not always in the same city, but we are generally recording at the same time.


Q:

How did Flight of the Conchords so successfully get cast with NYC genius comedians like it did? Were they part of the scene at all? Like Dr. Katz, it just seems like every guest actor became a solid name.

A:

I met them through Demetri Martin after he went to Edinburgh. Yes, Conchords would come to NYC to perform sometimes. And we all did the Aspen Comedy Festival together where they originally got their half hour special for HBO from. I also did Edinburgh with them one year. But in general, when someone makes a show, I think they think of the people they know who would be good for stuff.


Q:

What is the very best cheese?

A:

Jasper Hill has some wonderful cheeses.


Q:

How did you end up working with Star Talk? Did you have a previous interest in space stuff before you joined?

A:

I do love space and science, but I ended up working on it because Helen Matsos, the executive producer of the show, came to my weekly show at Union Hall several times and asked me if I'd be interested in being on the show. I then went in to meet with Neil a few months later and started doing the radio show with him sometimes. I then suggested we do a live version with scientists and comedians, and that's how our live show was born.


Q:

Huge fan, thanks for doing what you do. If you could create a character to be Gene's best friend for seasons to come (sorry Louise), how would you have them compliment Gene, and who would you want to voice them?

A:

I don't know what the character would be. In terms of voicing the character, it could be Bridget Everett, Robyn Hitchcock or Matt Damon.


Q:

If you were in a literal food fight to the death what food would you choose as your weapon?

A:

Butternut Squash? Or could it be a hot food? Like a cheese pasta that would burn someone? Maybe both.


Q:

Eugene! I am like 90% sure I saw you open for Modest Mouse in Jacksonville Florida in around 2004, but 10% believe I have invented this memory. Can you confirm that you played performed with them?

If my (possible) memory is correct, you were HILARIOUS and I didn't know who you were then (went to see MM), but it was an awesome surprise!

Hope J-ville wasn't too dingy. I'm pretty sure the venue was.

A:

I did open for them them!! And thanks! Jacksonville was one of my favorite cities on that tour.


Q:

Are you at NYCC currently and can we hangout?

A:

No, I am not, sorry. And yes, if I was we could meet up and laugh and laugh and laugh.


Q:

Your book The Wills To Whateves really spoke to me. Do you think you'll right anymore self-help books. Specifically for sad jobless 30-something's ?

A:

I'll hopefully write a book of essay's at some point. Not sure if it'll be faux self-help though. But who knows???


Q:

How did being in the funniest show I've ever seen, Delocated come about?

A:

Jon filmed a 5 or 10 minute little demo for Adult Swim and asked me if I'd shoot Paul Rudd and run away. And then from that came the show. I don't know the details. I think it also might have come out of a character he'd done on Conan. I'm not sure though.


Q:

Will you be doing any more work with Flight of the Conchords for TV or perhaps film?

A:

We've toured together several times since the show was on the air. If they make a movie, I'd be happy to be a part of it.


Q:

Have you heard any people express concerns about the number of men voicing women on Bob's Burgers? If not, why do you think it doesn't come up?

A:

We’re all actually very aware of it. There are also women who voice men on the show (Sarah and Laura Silverman voicing Andy and Ollie, as an example). Originally Dan Mintz was playing Dan, not Tina. But they ended up changing Dan to Tina and kept Dan Mintz to do the character because they loved his voice for the role. And loved Dan. Other than the main cast members, I think the character genders are more evenly distributed.


Q:

Voice acting is incredibly difficult.

Any tips for an unqualified newbie to break into the industry ?

A:

Well, I only know how to go about anything through the world of standup comedy. I'd say to try and make stuff and put it out into the world. Find people who can animate and write and make videos to put online. Or figure out how to animate stuff. There's probably various voice over auditions for non-union stuff you can try to find.


Q:

Have you interviewed/met any of your idols that either made you love them more, or made you realise the part you see is an act?

A:

I've met lots of the people I grew up admiring and they've often turned out to be really wonderful. I've become friends with several. I never had an expectation of what they'd be like as people.


Q:

Hi Eugene!

What sort of avenues led you into voice acting? Do you feel like it was equal parts of what you know and who you know? Also, any advice on how to network with people in the world of voice acting?

Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions and for making us all laugh!

A:

I got into voice acting, and all acting, through standup. So for me, I've done standup for about 20/25 years now, that's how I got into it. I work with people I know often, but it's much more about finding like-minded folks to collaborate with, than knowing the right person. In general I recommend basically trying everything you think will make you a voice actor, from auditioning, making your own videos, moving to NYC or LA, and not stopping for at least 10 to 15 years. I think it's likely you'll be a voice actor at the end of that.


Q:

Did kids call you Eugene Mir-maid in elementary school? Sorry for dredging up that memory if so.

A:

They called me New-Jeans and commie.