Bob Belcher’s rivalry with the owner of the pizza shop across the street has been a core element of Bob’s Burgers since the show started, until rather recently. Jimmy Pesto has not actually appeared on the show since the year 2020, and was absent from the movie. Last night he just suddenly came back like nothing had changed. Well, one thing had.
All previous appearances of Pesto were voiced by actor Jay Johnston, who was officially fired from the show in 2021 when footage of him at the Insurrection surfaced. However, the fact that Pesto had already been off the series for a year suggests there were problems behind the scenes with Johnston before then.
Bob’s Burgers is hardly the first animated show to have to replace an actor. Most recently Rick and Morty had to find new VAs for its title characters after cutting ties with Justin Roiland. The difference is, the Rick and Morty replacements were cast at lightning speed with barely a discernible delay in production. For whatever reason (we may never know), Bob’s Burgers took three years to find a new voice for Jimmy Pesto.
Eric Bauza was revealed as the new voice of Pesto last night, and he’s become pretty much the go-to man for roles left behind by other people. He has voiced half the Looney Tunes including Bugs, Daffy, Tweety and others. Given this, it feels like they could have called up Bauza three years ago and just….didn’t. Instead they put Pesto on hiatus entirely.
Pesto’s return saw the restaurateur behaving as dastardly as ever. Bob’s menu item of the day, the Burger Ball Pit, was a bunch of small meatballs instead of a solid patty, held together with cheese. Pesto caught wind of it and immediately introduced the Pizza Ball Pit — basically a pizza topped with more pizza. Pesto got more attention than Bob, more press than Bob, and claimed the idea was entirely his.
Bob spent much of the episode fuming and trying to think of ways to undermine Pesto’s scheme, only to realize in the end, becoming Pesto wouldn’t make him any better. “I can always think of other ideas, Jimmy. This wasn’t even one of my best. It might even be one of my worst. And since you and your customers like it, that’s a red flag.”
The current season of Bob’s Burgers airs Sundays at 9 on Fox.