Bob's Burgers Star Eugene Mirman on Naming 195 Orgasms
Any fan of the cartoon Bob’s Burgers can pick their favorite character from the show’s eccentric family, the Belchers. From Bob himself, to his nasally wife Linda, to his scheming youngest child Louise, there’s no part of the cast that doesn’t bring its own flair. Perhaps the most unabashedly unique and fun is the middle child, Gene, played by actor Eugene Mirman. The actor parallels his cartoon counterpart pretty perfectly, in that he can really only be himself.
Mirman is also a cult favorite in the comedy world, starting shows like The Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival, which has become a staple on Brooklyn’s event calendar, and has featured legends like Sarah Silverman, Kristen Schaal, Demetri Martin, and Reggie Watts. The comedian has become a core component of the NYC comedy scene.
Mirman is about to release his comedy extravaganza, I’m Sorry (You’re Welcome), out October 30th. It’s a 9-volume album that contains everything from a stand-up special to segments like ‘Over 45 Minutes of Crying’ (which is exactly what it sounds like), or my personal favorite, ‘195 Orgasms,’ where he acts out 195 different kinds of orgasms. The comedy record elaborates on the Russia native’s specific sense of humor (he also has Russian lessons on the album, though they’re only the phrases he kind of remembers from when he was four), and penchant for fucking with social media in the most surreal ways.
We talked to Mirman about Bobs Burgers, the album, and brass knuckles.
You’re on Bob’s Burgers as Gene, and that just started up again. Is there anything about the new season that you’re excited about?
Yeah! There’s a lot of great guests. We did an episode with Henry Winkler, which was really fun. There’s an episode named “Stand By Gene” where the kids venture off the find a two-butted goat that Gene is obsessed with.
Do you feel like you and Gene are the same kind of person?
Yes. A lot of it is that in the making of the show, we were casted and then developed the characters together. In that sense, all of the characters are a part of the people that do them.
Do you have moments in your life that could also be Gene’s?
I don’t know. Maybe, though I’ve never run a burger place. I would have to think about it. I think it’s more the feelings than the specific stories. Though now that I think about it there were probably times.
For fans who aren’t in the know, what is I’m Sorry (You’re Welcome), the nine volumes of magic that you’ve put together?
[laughs] Well there’s a volume of stand up. There’s mediation. There’s ‘Over 45 Minutes of Crying.’ There’s sound effects, Russian language lessons. There’s something I like to call the ‘Fuckscape’, which is a romantic soundscape to make love to.
In the trailer you call it the ‘biggest, longest, dumbest comedy album.’ What made you want to go for this epic of sorts?
I just wanted to do something weird and funny I guess? I had this idea, and I thought it would be really fun to work on and collaborate with friends on. I had a great time making it. It was just this fun, weird project.
One of the volumes is ‘195 Orgasms.’ How did you name all of those orgasms?
With a great deal of patience and joy.
There’s also a robe and chair format for the album?
Well yeah. There’s four formats for the album: digital, vinyl, chair, and robe.
What made you decide to add those formats?
The music industry is changing. I think robes are the future.
“The music industry is changing. I think robes are the future.”
What is it about robes specifically?
I don’t know. What about a wearable album is not appealing to you? A chair makes it an album you can sit in. It makes it both convenient and comfortable — comfortable and all encompassing.
In your stand-up, you use social media to do a lot of your humor. What got you into that?
You know it’s funny. I never really realized that was the case until I went back to listen to the album. I think it’s sort of what I come across and what I see that catch my interest. Unintentionally, all of that stuff is just want I end up seeing for whatever reason. Social media is a part of everyone’s lives, mine included. The LinkedIn profile happened because I was get all of these messages from them and not know how to stop it. Then I just decided to look into it and realized I could make this crazy profile. Until people realized I has messed around with my LinkedIn, it just sat there untouched for awhile as this weird little moment on the web.
Can you tell me a little more about the messages you sent to the Ask A Pastor?
[laughs] Yeah, that was pretty silly. I signed up for a Christian dating site and essentailly they offered a service where you could ‘Ask a Pastor’ any questions you might have. I sent a whole bunch of wild questions but I never got answers. Though I did leave my email with each of the messages, but I never heard back.
I guess the pastor was just thinking, ‘No, thank you.’
[laughs] Yeah. I think the pastor was literally staring and these messages and thinking, ‘No, thanks though.’ But I did leave a way to reach me, so now it’s on him, or God I guess.
“I think the pastor was literally staring and these messages and thinking, ‘No, thanks though.’ But I did leave a way to reach me, so now it’s on him, or God I guess.”
So you married a couple on stage during the album. Was that a part of your whole tour? Did you get any weird marriage requests?
Yeah! I did it all during the tour, and I have gotten some messages from people asking me to officiate their wedding – which I can’t actually do [laughs].
You do a lot of audience participation in general. Does anything ever just go wrong when you try to incorporate the audience in the show?
When I recorded the album, I did a few nights. There was one where people were – and you don’t realize it until they get on stage – super high or super drunk in a way that was just too confusing to use. There was one where two guys got on stage that weren’t in a relationship who thought it would be fun to be on stage, which was cute. When you do any audience stuff, you risk the chance of it being funny, but not in the way you intended.
If you could own a pair of brass knuckles that say anything, what would yours say?
Like across them? Do you mean a full sentence? Can I put something like, ‘Hey, has anyone seen my glasses?’ Or do you mean something pithy like, ‘Freedom and Noodles?’
I usually try not to limit the creative flow.
Then I think it would be both of them. One would say, ‘Hey, has anyone seen my glasses?’ and the other would say ‘Freedom and Noodles.’ I’m imaging a sort of lamb and cumin noodle.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
I can’t just say, ‘The one with all of them’ right? That would be cheating. I would want some version of flying or laser face. Maybe being strong? Can I control the weather? That comes with a lot of perks. Oh wait! Telekinesis, that’s it. That means I could make myself fly and move stuff around. I can make force fields around me. Yep, I’m happy with this decision.
Check out I’m Sorry (You’re Welcome) – out October 30th!
Lead image by Shawn Brackbill. All others courtesy of Eugene Mirman.