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May 30, 2014 9:07 PM   Subscribe

"The Demo" [SLYT] is the original pilot episode of the animated tv show, Bob's Burger's (previously).The theme remains the same, although the art style is a bit rough. The plot is exactly the same as the first episode, "Human Flesh", with minor differences in animation and timing. Oh, and Tina was originally a Daniel!

The Bob's Burger's Wiki has more information about this episode.
posted by Room 641-A (23 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's a good thing they toned down Bob's 'stache, that's for sure.

The whole look was far too "pointy" I think. It kind of seemed like a deliberate choice to make it as visually different as possible than the overly smoothed, adobe flash-vector image look of "Lucy: The Daughter of the Devil" or the squigglevision shows like "Dr. Katz" and "Home Movies." However, they ended up somewhere near a vague recollection of a 60s Hanna-Barbera knockoff, but with an added touch that made the characters faces intentionally more unappealing. I appreciate the effort to try a new visual style, but in this case I'm glad they reworked it.

The whole Tina/Daniel thing was discussed recently, and I for one am glad that the Tina was the final choice.

I've had a theory about how this show's pickup and first season went down that has no evidence to support it, but seems to make sense. The creators of the show have had a lot experience in dealing with network execs, both good and bad over the years, and played things very safe and non-weird for the first 7 episodes or so, to get not only a broadest appeal from the audience, but more importantly to not unsettle the network execs for it being "too weird" and have it pulled because some suit got skittish after a "weird episode/not fantastic ratings" combo. It seemed they wanted to separate the "get to know the characters" time with the "weirdness ensues" time - a wise choice, as it amplifies the weirdness, while emphasizing these are not simply 'weird people doing weird things' - they are regular, everyday people with goofy personality quirks, that end up encountering weirdness alongside the viewer.

This weirdness really began with episode 8 -The Art Crawl, with the dancing animal butt parade. After that, the show was free to be what it really was on the inside. They showed the network it could play normal, but bring out the weird stuff and look at the audience's reaction - see, FOX, this is the way to do it. To me it seemed like a damn clever plan to give the show the best possible chance in the fickle world of network TV. It could also be that this theory simply comes to the fact that I was kind of disappointed in the show until things got strange, and then it went from 'meh' to 'I want more' very quickly.
posted by chambers at 9:57 PM on May 30 [4 favorites]


I'm so glad that Tina is Tina.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 10:30 PM on May 30 [5 favorites]


Can't hear bob without thinking Archer. dangit
posted by drewbage1847 at 10:52 PM on May 30 [2 favorites]


Thank you so much for this. BB's is easily my favorite sitcom of the past decade and one of the most all-around entertaining comedies to ever hit the airwaves. I know I'm in the minority here, but one of the only shows that almost reached BB's level of satirical brilliance was the dearly departed and grossly misunderstood Cleveland Show. I have a feeling that if CS hadn't been a spinoff of Family Guy and BB's had*, we'd be having an entirely different conversation.

*note: while I personally prefer Bob's Burgers, the Cleveland Show comes in a close second, outshining its parent show Family Guy by about a hundred thousand to one.
posted by item at 11:00 PM on May 30 [1 favorite]


I loved that they kept the fire extinguisher/zoom gag from the demo in the pilot.

I'm glad they switched Daniel to Tina. I don't think I'd like the show as much with Daniel treading the same old male puberty ground. It's been done to death by Bobby Hill and Steve Smith anyway.
posted by ob1quixote at 11:17 PM on May 30 [1 favorite]


OK after watching the demo 3 times all the way through, I have to say that this is one of my absolute favorite Mefi posts in the 14 years I've been reading the site (and the 12 years I've been a member). Thank you, Room 641-A, thank you thank you thank you.
posted by item at 11:20 PM on May 30


Can't hear bob without thinking Archer. dangit

I can't hear Archer without thinking of Bob.
posted by Rob Rockets at 3:14 AM on May 31 [6 favorites]


Chambers, is Adventure Time the exception that proves or destroys that theory?
posted by bigZLiLk at 3:24 AM on May 31


"It's a record!"

"Yaaaayyyyyyyyy"
posted by boo_radley at 3:47 AM on May 31 [2 favorites]


I can't hear Bob without thinking of the Master, Dr Orpheus's patron.
posted by fings at 7:03 AM on May 31


Having never watched this show, I took in the pilot and now I'm on a Netflix binge and it's PERFECTLY HEALTHY OK ok.
posted by zrail at 7:08 AM on May 31 [2 favorites]


Can't hear bob without thinking Archer. dangit

Here's why I'm super impressed by H. Jon Benjamin. Despite the fact that that there's no real difference between Bob and Sterling's voices, I can instantly tell which character is talking. Part of it is writing and word choice, but a lot of it is just ...Bob always sounds like he just woke up and would like to go back to sleep now while Archer has this bratty, self-satisified way of underling words when talking.
posted by The Whelk at 7:19 AM on May 31 [13 favorites]


"You're my children and I love you and you're all terrible at what you do here."

I love that right off that bat they wrote Bob with no illusions about the situation he was in. He's surrounded by wacky, weird, sometimes insufferable people but the family all care about one another and they all react like believable humans to the ridiculousness around them.

Also you guys I just watched the episode where Hugo the horrible health inspector goes on leave to become a nude-beach aficionado (...yep) and there were so many heartfelt speeches about completely disturbing topics I have no idea how this show works so well.
posted by psoas at 9:09 AM on May 31 [2 favorites]


Thank you so much for this.

Thank figurant! I was going to post the HAL video, and when I saw it was a double I started clicking around YT and stumbled across this.

one of the only shows that almost reached BB's level of satirical brilliance was the dearly departed and grossly misunderstood Cleveland Show

I'm actually a fan of Family Guy (mostly) but never really gave The Cleveland Show a chance so I'm going to try again.
posted by Room 641-A at 12:52 PM on May 31


About 10 yrs ago, I stopped doing sketch comedy and improv and comedic performance art bits to focus on other artistic pursuits that were more rewarding at the time.

I knew and I know that I was never gonna get famous but I do get sad that I'll never get to show up as a voice on Bob's Burger or a weird character on Comedy Bang Bang or Children's Hospital. So many talented weirdos who've been pounding the pavement at clubs for years pop up.
posted by elr at 1:20 PM on May 31 [1 favorite]


The thing I find really interesting is that Daniel often has the EXACT SAME LINES as Tina in the Pilot... and yet, with Tina they're hilarious, and Daniel, they're just kinda OK. (I don't know why, but for some reason, Daniel's itchy crotch is kinda gross, but Tina's itchy crotch is funny.)
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 3:31 PM on May 31 [1 favorite]


Just watched the first episode on Netflix and totally enjoyed it. Thanks, Room 641-A! Three seasons of goodness to explore.
posted by the sobsister at 10:31 AM on June 1


I love the way that every single character on the show is a loser. Even Jimmy Pesto, Bob's more-successful arch-enemy is clearly no happier than Bob. It lets them explore all the awkwardness and desperation of life without making you feel too uncomfortable about it.

I hope more than anything that my family can be as well adjusted as his. They accept their failures with grace, courage, and a healthy amount of willful denial, and never lose heart.
posted by CaseyB at 5:02 PM on June 1


They accept their failures with grace, courage, and a healthy amount of willful denial, and never lose heart.

Writer/producer Jim Dauterive helmed another animated show that fits this description, King of the Hill.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:00 PM on June 1


They accept their failures with grace, courage, and a healthy amount of willful denial, and never lose heart.

No surprise that writer/producer Jim Dauterive helmed another animated show that fits this description, King of the Hill.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:12 PM on June 1


But what about this show I've heard so much about, King of the Hill. Was Jim Dauterive involved in that also? ;)
posted by RustyBrooks at 6:31 PM on June 1 [2 favorites]


Ha! I've had a very long day! (And gross, I used the word "helmed" twice!)
posted by Room 641-A at 6:43 PM on June 1 [1 favorite]


Can't hear bob without thinking Archer. dangit

I can't hear Archer without thinking of Bob.


I know you both have seen this, but for anyone who has not, these guys should get an award for 'best crossover episode of the last 20 years at least' for their masterful mix of Archer and Bob's Burgers with a special nod to 'A History of Violence'.

For me, it took me a while to not hear both characters as Coach McGuirk,

Chambers, is Adventure Time the exception that proves or destroys that theory?

For me it's an entirely different thing, for both the visuals and the show strategy for three reasons. One, Cartoon Network is much more adventurous and seems to be more willing to let the audience decide when it comes to trying out visual styles in general. Two, the huge positive response from the internet when Adventure Time was just a lone animation on the web bypassed most of the hurdles of selling the idea to the network, and lastly, the fact that it is a fantasy setting where all rules of reality are mutable means a whole different set of criteria is in play compared to a more traditional, 'vaguely real world' family sitcom setting and context that Bob's Burgers occupies.
posted by chambers at 6:20 PM on June 2


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