Pleased to Meat Me: ‘Bob’s Burgers’ Writers on Episode 2
Dan Fybel and Rich Rinaldi pull back the curtain on the hostage-crisis nail-biter 'Bob Day Afternoon'
Every Monday, we’ll post a short Q&A with the writers of the previous night’s episode of Bob’s Burgers, partially as a window into the creative process behind a show that we love and that’s becoming increasingly, deservedly popular, and partially as an opportunity to quote our favorite lines out of context. Possible spoilers within, and definite references to jokes that won’t make sense unless you’ve seen the episode. Which you should!
Today: Dan Fybel and Rich Rinaldi on last night’s “Bob Day Afternoon,” in which Bob delivers cheeseburgers to a hostage standoff at the bank across the street, and makes friends with Bill Hader.
Whose idea was this episode? Do you just start with the basic premise and fill in around it, or is there a specific scene you want to write that comes first?
We had the idea that Bob would provide burgers to hostages in a bank, but so did Steven Davis & Kelvin Yu. They developed a version of the story, including the Act 3 break scene of the hostages and cops having to awkwardly switch locations in huddle formation. Stories get moved around here sometimes, so we ended up writing this episode. We’ve raised it like it were our own but Steven and Kelvin are the creepy uncles who get supervised visits.
What are the best hostage movies ever made?
Die Hard, Misery, and Crash (because we felt like hostages watching it). Oh, and Dog Day Afternoon is a good one.
Why do hostage-takers always want pizza? What’s the best snack for being held at gunpoint in a bank?
Gotta imagine it’s because the robber could eat pizza and hold a gun at the same time. Very difficult to maintain the same threat level with a chinese chicken salad. True life fun fact: after Dan was robbed at gunpoint last year, Rich brought him Carl’s Jr. That’s just what writing partners do.
Do the writers actually sample the burger specials you make up? Chard to a Crisp sounds tasty.
We do not. But we would if they were delivered to us.
Would you watch a news show whose slogan was “We’ll finger anything with a pulse?”
It’d be a wise move for Channel 6 to adopt that slogan. Ball’s in your court, Channel 6.
When you had to write an essay in school about someone interesting, who was it?
Dan: Well, I idolized Magic Johnson as a kid. Had a life-sized poster of him on my wall. Then one day I came home from school to find a note on the stairs from my Mom that read: “Magic Johnson has AIDS.” That’s how Channel 6 would break news.
What’s the nuttiest thing you ever stole?
Rich: My wife’s heart.
Dan: Rich’s wife’s heart.
What was the one thing Linda wouldn’t do for Bob?
That is a private matter between Bob and Linda.
Is there one character who’s more fun to write for?
We are blessed to have the the most talented cast around… all of them are all home-run hitters. And are the characters are so well developed, so every writer loves writing for all of them.
How has the process changed now that the show’s more of a familiar entity?
The process is basically the same but we’re able to expand the world and bring back characters we love… this isn’t the last we’ll see of Mickey [Bill Hader]. And there are more snacks in the snack room.