Bob’s Burgers star and voice of Linda Belcher on show’s ‘beautiful’ queerness
Author: Maggie Baska
Amid a turbulent pushback on LGBTQ+ rights, the gay man behind Bob’s Burgers much-loved matriarch, Linda Belcher, is glad the show is a pick-me-up for the queer community.
John Roberts has been the distinctive voice of Linda – the musical, raunchy and doting female leader of the burger-flipping family – since the show began in 2011. The happy-go-lucky mum was, maybe unsurprisingly, inspired by Roberts’ mother.
Fans worldwide have grown to appreciate Bob’s Burgers for its acceptance of loveable oddball characters, and the show has gained a special following in the LGBTQ+ community for its inherent and often undefined queerness.
That’s something that hasn’t escaped Roberts.
He exclusively tells PinkNews that it’s “really beautiful” to think about how Bob’s Burgers has become an inclusive world where fans get lost during an extensive pushback on LGBTQ+ rights worldwide, but especially in the US.
“There [are] so many stresses that our community is under, and we do need some kind of relief,” he says. “I think it offers, in the smallest way, that relief.
“And in terms of the acceptance [in] the way people just allow each other to exist on Bob’s, it’s the very small part of who they are, and it’s great to be part of such a wonderful show, with the writer, Loren [Bouchard], the cast and people [who] are accepting and smart and create the space for all of us to enjoy.
“I bring such a small part to this big machine, and it’s been a joy for me to watch that unfold. I didn’t expect that when we started the show because we didn’t know everyone as well as I know them now.
“But I do love that we have so much inclusivity with the characters.”
Linda – like Bob’s Burgers itself – has taken on a life of her own. She’s grown from a mum of three kids working in the family restaurant to an extroverted woman with a personality.
Her passions include collecting porcelain baby figurines, drinking wine, celebrating all things Christmas and pooping in her favourite toilet at a local hotel.
Linda is also usually open-minded and accepting of other people. She cultivated a friendship with queer blogger Dalton, tried to help Nat – a boisterous, lesbian limousine driver – find love, and crafted a queer storyline for Little King Trashmouth, a raccoon who visits the bins in the alley behind the family’s restaurant/home.
Roberts describes Linda as a natural rebel and underdog.
He moved to New York City when he was 17 to attend acting school and realised that “downtown was the place” for him – seeing the drag shows there and basking in the “counter-culture” energy as a gay person.
“When I started Linda just coming off of that world, [I] definitely brought that energy to it and realised that I was kind of in my own bubble in terms of comedy because everyone else was coming from more of the straight world of comedy and YouTube really brought me into that world,” he says.
“It was a good opportunity to get back in, and millennials, I think, also brought a lot more of LGBTQ representation in comedy, which is nice.
“Now we have a nice big community of extremely talented comics… Linda is – she’s a great rebel.
“She really does push back and I love that there’s a moral kind of code that she lives by, and Bob too. [They] have good morals. They’re good people.
“So when she does push back, it’s usually something important, or it’s just for the sake of comedy and something funny about her own kind of thing. But usually she cops to it by the end of the episode.”
Roberts has an impressive musical talent and career of his own. He released a full album of catchy electronic bangers in 2021, and this year’s “Danger, pays homage to 80’s pop, with a dance-inducing beat that his Bob’s Burgers character would obsess over.
Music is a “healing thing” for people’s mental health, Robert says, and it’s a good tool to help people face up to bad news.
“We’re all on our phones and doom-scrolling,” he explains. “Music really is such a gift and can change your whole day. I hope people just have a moment of pleasure.”
“I like to make stuff that’s relevant in a way either to my personal life or other people’s. It kind of fits what’s happening.”
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Actual Story on Pink News
Author: Maggie Baska