From Bob Belcher in Bob’s Burgers to Sterling Archer in Archer, H. Jon Benjamin has created memorable characters that have made millions of fans laugh and relate.
Early Life and Career
H. Jon Benjamin father, Howard, was CEO of an electric company, and his mother, Shirley, was a former ballet dancer who taught dance at a studio. He graduated from Worcester Academy in 1984 and Connecticut College in 1988.
Benjamin’s comedy career began in Boston, where he was in a comedy duo with Sam Seder, then a member of Cross Comedy, a comedy team led by David Cross. For the first seven years of his career, Benjamin almost exclusively worked in groups rather than independently. Afterward, his independent work remained more experimental, rejecting traditional styles of stand-up comedy.
H. Jon Benjamin live projects include the Midnight Pajama Jam, a show performed in New York City with Jon Glaser and Tinkle, a show combining stand-up comedy and live music, co-hosted by Todd Barry and David Cross. He also appeared on Space Ghost Coast to Coast, Cheap Seats, and Wet Hot American Summer.
Voice Acting Roles
Benjamin’s breakthrough role came in 1995, when he voiced Ben Katz, the slacker son of Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist, on Comedy Central. The show was an animated sitcom that featured improvised dialogue between the characters and real-life comedians who played themselves as patients of Dr. Katz. Benjamin’s deadpan delivery and sarcastic wit made him a fan favorite.
H. Jon Benjamin continued to voice various characters on animated shows, such as Home Movies, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Family Guy, O’Grady, Lucy: The Daughter of the Devil, Freak Show, Assy McGee, and The Venture Bros.
In 2009, Benjamin landed two of his most iconic roles: Bob Belcher on Bob’s Burgers and Sterling Archer on Archer. Both shows are adult-oriented comedies that feature Benjamin’s signature voice as the lead character.
Bob’s Burgers is a Fox sitcom that follows the adventures of the Belcher family, who run a struggling burger restaurant. Bob is the patriarch of the family who loves his wife and kids but often gets frustrated by their antics and schemes. He also has a rivalry with Jimmy Pesto, the owner of a pizzeria across the street.
Archer is an FX spy spoof that revolves around the exploits of Sterling Archer, a self-centered and incompetent secret agent who works for his mother’s agency ISIS (later renamed). Archer is a parody of James Bond and other spy tropes, with frequent references to pop culture and history. He often clashes with his co-workers and ex-girlfriends but also shows moments of heroism and loyalty.
Both shows have received critical acclaim and numerous awards nominations for their writing, animation and voice acting. Benjamin has been praised for his comedic timing and versatility in portraying different aspects of his characters’ personalities.
Besides voice acting, Benjamin has also appeared in live-action films and TV shows such as Not Another Teen Movie, Wet Hot American Summer (and its sequels), The Demons of Dorian Gunn, The Simpsons (as Bob Belcher), Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (as various characters), and Master of None (as Benjamin).
H. Jon Benjamin also created and starred in his own sketch comedy show Jon Benjamin Has a Van on Comedy Central in 2011. The show featured Benjamin as a reporter who traveled across America in a van with his crew and encountered absurd situations.
In 2016, Benjamin released his first album Well I Should Have… Learned How to Play Piano under Sub Pop Records. The album consists of improvised jazz piano pieces performed by Benjamin who admits he does not know how to play piano at all.
H. Jon Benjamin is an American actor, comedian, writer, producer and musician who is known for his voice roles in adult animated series, such as Archer and Bob’s Burgers. He also wrote a comedic autobiography called Failure is an Option: An Attempted Memoir in 2018.