Pleased to Meat Me: ‘Bob’s Burgers’ Creators on Last Night’s Episode
Each Monday we'll talk to the writers responsible for the previous night's episode. Today: Jon Schroeder, proud scribe of the season two premiere, 'The Belchies'
We couldn’t be more thrilled that Bob’s Burgers is back on Fox for our second season. And to show our excitement, we’re going to bug the writing staff each week to glean insight into the creative process, learn the behind-the-scenes skinny about each episode, and just basically revel in the majesty of well-executed dick jokes.
First up: Jon Schroeder, who wrote the Goonies-inspired Season Two premiere, “The Belchies,” in which Louise, Gene, and Tina search for treasure in a soon-to-be demolished taffy factory, while Bob and Linda search for Louise, Gene, and Tina. Also, Bob has a perma-rection from a little blue pill Linda slipped into his casserole.
Whose idea was it to pay tribute to The Goonies and why?
[Story editor] Scott Jacobson’s. The guy is obsessed.
Generally speaking, what’s the process here: Do you write the initial script, then the other writers and producers chime in, or are you taking everyone’s fragments and putting them into a coherent script?
Both. We break the story in the writer’s room as a group, then the writer of the episode goes off and writes a first draft, then the room will punch it up. It’s very much a group effort, everyone has a piece of every script.
Is it a basic tenet of action-movie screenwriting that the hero should have some minor physical malady that becomes an obstacle? Like, John McClane’s bare feet = Bob’s persistent casserole-erection?
That sounds right. I didn’t put that much thought into it, though. I just like boner jokes.
How did you get Cyndi Lauper to quasi-reprise her Goonies theme with “Taffy Butt”?
We figured it couldn’t hurt to ask, and luckily she was amused by the homage. Also, her son is a fan of the show, so I think that helped.
Laura and Sarah Silverman play Andy and Ollie — why is there so much gender confusion in the Bob’s cast?
It’s just one of several ways our show is exactly like Shakespeare.
Every few years, there are rumors of a Goonies sequel — is that something you think younger audiences would want to see, or do you think this episode will sate that need?
I hope they never do it. Goonies is perfect as is, and shouldn’t be tampered with. But every TV show should pay homage to it. Can you imagine the fun The Good Wife could have with that?
Goonie Martha Plimpton is actually on another Fox comedy — did no one at the network see the crossover potential here?
I think Martha Plimpton is lovely, and should not be referred to as “Goonie.”
If someone refers to your penis as a pretty brunette like Catherine Zeta-Jones, should that be taken as a compliment?
Absolutely. I wish my penis looked like Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Is it really possible to build a giant out of taffy?
No. It’s literally impossible. The show was initially live action, but we knew we wanted to do this story, and that’s how we arrived at animation.
What’s the best joke that didn’t make it into the episode?
I think we kept every joke. Although there was one that was dangerously close to being cut, Teddy’s three-bean salad joke, which I fought for. It wasn’t even my joke, it was Nora Smith’s, but I loved it as if it were my own. It was always in the script, until I took a day off over the summer. In my absence, it had been cut. I threw a fit, and held my breath until they put it back in. And even then, several writers pitched cutting it after the table read. Mostly Scott Jacobson. I was kind of joking about being mad at him, but I think I really hated him for it. I still do. I am furious as I type this.
Did you know there was a British band a couple years ago called the Fratellis?
I did not! I am now going to iTunes…