Bob’s Burgers S09E19: “Long Time Listener, First Time Bob”

Episode Grade: B

“Wait until the scary man leaves.”

At heart, Bob Belcher is not just a restaurateur, he’s an artist. As such, he takes his methods of food preparation extremely seriously, and any deviation from what he considers the proper way of doing things is the most reliable way to drive him out of his usual straight-man role and into a level of craziness more typical of the rest of his family. Sometimes this can drive him to some pretty self-destructive places, like giving up five months of free rent rather than delay a family Thanksgiving, or turning down a life changing amount of money over aesthetic changes to the restaurant. Nothing quite that extreme happens here, but Bob’s refusal to give in to the sweet-potato fries trend puts him in sympathy with Clem Clemens, a radio DJ whose refusal to adapt his style lead to his firing and replacement by a computer program with a shuffle function.

The world of Bob’s Burgers being what it is, Bob’s efforts to get Clem his job back quickly spiral out of control as Bob and the kids end up barricaded in the station’s radio booth as Clem hijacks the airwaves and begins broadcasting his own show. It felt like there was a bit of a missed opportunity here, as the Belcher kids taking over a radio station could’ve been a hilarious episode in of itself. Instead, the episode remains focused on Clem, Bob, and the station manager, with Bob shifting pretty quickly into the ineffectual voice-of-reason role, which is a little less fun than maniacally-determined Bob. From there, the episode settles into pretty average Bob’s territory. There were funny moments, as there always are, but nothing especially memorable. The same could be said for Linda and Teddy’s restaurant b-plot, where Linda’s efforts to find a use for fifty pounds of sweet potatoes result in ten inedible pies that Teddy nevertheless continues to eat as they race around town looking for Bob and the kids. Again, it had its moments, but Teddy and Linda restaurant b-plots are fairly common, and there wasn’t much to make this one stand out.

Sweet Potato Fries:

  • Storefront: The Rods Must Be Drapey: Curtain Rods and More. Exterminator: For Non Bugs.
  • Since when do you listen to your doctor, Teddy?” You know Bob’s in a bad mood when he’s telling his best friend to ignore doctor’s orders. He was once thrown through a glass window trying to accomplish the exact opposite thing!
  • “Ask your doctor if it’s okay for you to get fired up two days in a row.” Lots of medical advice flying around tonight.
  • Maybe we could just light it on fire.” “Dad, hear him out.” A few shades of old-school Louise tonight as well.
  • “Pretending to look it up. Wishing I hadn’t come in here today.” Good to see Mort, even if he wasn’t thrilled to be there.
  • I would absolutely listen to a radio show featuring Gene “the boy with the golden voice and golden ding-dong”, Tina, and “a pillar of fire with hammers for fists“.
  • Zentapede poster sighted in the DJ booth!
  • Sweet Potato Fries are overrated.