H. Jon Benjamin

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H. Jon Benjamin
H. Jon Benjamin by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg
Benjamin at the 2019 WonderCon
Birth name Harry Jon Benjamin
Born (1966-05-23) May 23, 1966 (age 53)
Worcester, Massachusetts, U.S.
Medium Film, television, voice acting, stand-up comedy
Nationality American
Years active 1987–present
Children 1

Harry Jon Benjamin (born May 23, 1966)[1] is an American actor, voice actor and comedian.[2] He is known for voicing characters such as Sterling Archer in Archer; Bob Belcher in Bob's Burgers; Carl Graves in Family Guy; Ben in Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist; Satan in Lucy, the Daughter of the Devil as well as Coach McGuirk and Jason Penopolis on Home Movies.

Early life[edit]

Benjamin was born on May 23, 1966, to a Jewish family[3] in Worcester, Massachusetts and graduated from Worcester Academy in 1984 and Connecticut College in 1988.[4]

Although his first name was thought to be "Henry," Jon himself said that it was not, and that he would not reveal what it actually stands for.[5] However, in his comedic autobiography Failure is an Option: An Attempted Memoir, he writes that his first name is "Harry".[6] He chooses to go by "Jon," and the addition of the "H" in credits was not his idea; it was allegedly initially added by Laura Silverman, Benjamin's Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist co-star, "just to make fun of me."[5]

Career[edit]

Benjamin's comedy career began at age twenty-four 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. Afterwards, his independent work remained more experimental, rejecting traditional styles of stand-up comedy.

Benjamin's 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. A Midnight Pajama Jam DVD is currently[when?] in production. Benjamin and Cross appear together on the album Invite Them Up.

He was the guest on Space Ghost Coast to Coast in its eighty-first episode, "King Dead" on December 17, 1999 where Zorak and Moltar kidnapped him. He has appeared in the television show Cheap Seats, on ESPN Classic, as "Gene Stapleton" and "Rabbi Marc Shalowitz". He co-starred in Todd Barry's short film Borrowing Saffron, and portrayed a talking can of vegetables with a shameful habit of autofellatio in the film Wet Hot American Summer. He made short cameos in Not Another Teen Movie as the football trainer, and on the FX Network comedy-drama Rescue Me as the pimp "F-bomb" in season two. He can be seen in Turbocharge-the Unauthorized Story of the Cars, a comedy biopic about '80s rock band The Cars, playing the role of Cars' manager Elliot Roberts in his usual deadpan comedic delivery.[7]

Benjamin has done extensive voice work in animated TV shows. His credits include starring roles in several Soup2Nuts cartoon shows, such as Science Court; Home Movies; O'Grady; Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist; and Assy McGee. He co-created Freak Show with David Cross. Benjamin starred as the Devil and multiple other roles in Lucy, the Daughter of the Devil, which ran for one season on Adult Swim beginning September 9, 2007. Benjamin plays a recurring character on the PBS Kids series WordGirl, and is the announcer for The Sam Seder Show and The Majority Report. He did the voice of "Shelly", Sam Seder's accountant, on Breakroom Live with Maron & Seder.

Benjamin has made guest appearances in several animated shows. He was in the Aqua Teen Hunger Force episodes "Bus of the Undead" and "The Last One" as Mothmonsterman, in "Broodwich" as Mr. Sticks, in "Bible Fruit" as Mortimer Mango, and played the live-action role of Master Shake in "Last Last One Forever and Ever", credited as Capt. Turd Mahoy. He made a cameo appearance as a government agent in the film Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters alongside frequent collaborator Jon Glaser. He has appeared in Family Guy as Carl, a movie trivia obsessed convenience store clerk who portrayed Yoda in the Star Wars parody episode "Something, Something, Something, Dark Side".

Other appearances include The Venture Bros., in the episodes "Escape to the House of Mummies Part II," "I Know Why the Caged Bird Kills," and "The Better Man," in which he played Dr. Orpheus's master—who appears in the form of Cerberus, Catherine the Great's horse and, in "The Better Man", both Dr. Orpheus's ex-wife and a future Dean Venture, respectively. He appeared in the Stella short "Bar", which can be found as an easter egg on the Season 1 DVD. Benjamin appeared on the Comedy Central sketch/variety show Important Things with Demetri Martin and had nearly as much screen time as Martin.

In 2009, Benjamin and David Cross created and wrote for Paid Programming, a live-action pilot for Cartoon Network's late night programing block, Adult Swim. Paid Programming was not picked up for a full series, and Benjamin referred to it as an "abject failure".[8]

Benjamin was featured in a Super Bowl XLIII Bud Light commercial with Conan O'Brien[9] and was responsible for the McCain Girls[10] videos on YouTube.[11] He voices Sterling Archer, a secret agent in the FX series Archer that first aired January 14, 2010.[12] He has appeared in several segments of the television show Human Giant and had a cameo in the American Dad! episode "License to Till" as a talking head of cabbage.

Benjamin starred in the Comedy Central series Jon Benjamin Has a Van, which he co-created with comedian Leo Allen.[13] The series debuted on May 14, 2011; a total of 10 episodes aired, the last on August 10, 2011.

Beginning in 2013, Benjamin's voice can be heard as the narrator of a series of TV commercials for Coke Zero, including some with tie-ins to ESPN's College Game Day program.[citation needed]

In 2014 Benjamin was named as the year's best male comedy performer for his work on Bob's Burgers and Archer by the Vulture TV Awards, a digital expansion of New York magazine.[14]

In 2015, despite not knowing how to play any instrument, Benjamin released his first jazz album, Well, I Should Have....[15] Benjamin "played" piano and was joined by Scott Kreitzer on sax, David Finck on bass, and Jonathan Preitz on drums.[16]

Benjamin wrote the comedic autobiography Failure is an Option: An Attempted Memoir, which was published by Penguin Random House in May 2018.[17] He narrated the audiobook.[18]

Benjamin began appearing in commercials for Arby's restaurant chain in 2018 as their new spokesman promoting their variety of meats "for sandwiches".[19]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1997 Who's the Caboose? Ken Fold
1998 Next Stop Wonderland Eric
2000 Happy Accidents Reveler #1
2001 Wet Hot American Summer Can of Vegetables (voice)
Not Another Teen Movie Trainer
2002 Martin & Orloff Keith
Borrowing Saffron Ron Short film
2003 Temptation Kevin
2004 New York Minute Vendor
2007 Puberty: The Movie The Torah / Uncle Irving
Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters CIA Agent #1 (voice)
The Ten Lying Rhyno (voice)
2008 The Toe Tactic Police Officer
A Bad Situationist Isaiah
Turbocharge: the Unauthorized Story of the Cars Dance Instructor
2014 22 Jump Street MCS Coach Uncredited[20]
Jason Nash Is Married Dennis
2015 Creative Control Gary Gass
Limbo Jim Short film
Hell and Back The Tree (voice)
2020 Bob's Burgers: The Movie Bob Belcher

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1994 Understanding Quark Episode: "Uncertainty"
1995–1999;
2002
Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist Ben, Various Voices Also writer
80 episodes
1997 The Chris Rock Show Extra 1 episode
The Jenny McCarthy Show Various 6 episodes
1997–2000 Science Court Prof. Nick Parsons (voice) 29 episodes
1998 Sex and the City Jeff Episode: "Bay of Married Pigs"
Upright Citizens Brigade Various 10 episodes
1999 Dick and Paula Celebrity Special Various Also writer
2 episodes
1999–2004 Home Movies Coach John McGuirk, Jason Penopolis, Various Voices 52 episodes
Also writer and producer
1999 Space Ghost Coast to Coast Himself Episode: "King Dead"
2001–2009 Aqua Teen Hunger Force Various Voices 5 episodes
2002 Saddle Rash Gummy, Tommy Morgan (voices) Pilot
Also writer
2004 Pilot Season Ken Fold 2 episodes
2004–2006 Cheap Seats: Without Ron Parker Rabbi Marc Shalowitz, Gene Stapleton 4 episodes
2004–2006 O'Grady Kevin Harnisch, Iris, Philip (voices) 19 episodes
2005 Rescue Me Gary Episode: "Rebirth"
2005–2006 Sunday Pants Bob the Log Travel Logs shorts
2005–2007 Lucy, The Daughter of the Devil Satan, Special Father #1 (voices) Also writer
11 episodes
2006 Freak Show Tuck, Various Voices 7 episodes
Also co-creator, writer and executive producer
2006–2012 The Venture Bros. The Master (voice) 4 episodes
2006–present Family Guy Carl Graves, Bob Belcher (voices) 26 episodes
2006–2008 Assy McGee The Mayor, Various Voices 19 episodes
Also writer and consulting producer
2007–2015 WordGirl Reginald, InvisiBill, Jewelry Store Clerk, Additional Voices 31 episodes
2007–2008 Human Giant Various 4 episodes
Also consultant writer
2009 Michael and Michael Have Issues Larry Episode: "Frog Box"
Paid Programming Various Pilot
Co-creator, writer and executive producer
Parks and Recreation Scott Braddock Episode: "Kaboom"
Titan Maximum Tap Banister (voice) Episode: "Dirty Lansbury"
2009–present Archer Sterling Archer (voice) 110 episodes
2009–2010 Important Things with Demetri Martin Various 7 episodes
Also writer and co-producer
2011 Jon Benjamin Has a Van Host 10 episodes
Also co-creator, writer and executive producer
Soul Quest Overdrive Mortimer (voice) 6 episodes
Also co-creator and co-writer
2011–present Bob's Burgers Bob Belcher, Jimmy Pesto Jr., Various Voices 172 episodes
2011 American Dad! Talking Cabbage (voice) Episode: "License to Till"
2012 Suburgatory Tabitha Episode: "Ryan's Song"
Ugly Americans Dick Maggotbone (voice) Episode: "Mark Loves Dick"
2013 Nathan For You Himself Episode: "Yogurt Shop/Pizzeria"
2014–2018 Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Ben, Scientist, Defendant 3 episodes
2015 Conan Sterling Archer (voice) Episode: "677"
2015 Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp Can of Vegetables, Mitch 4 episodes
The Jim Gaffigan Show Kevin Episode: "The Bible Story"
The Adventures of Puss in Boots Baltasar (voice) Episode: "Luck"
2015–2017 Master of None Benjamin 4 episodes
2015 All Hail King Julien Fred (voice) Episode: "The King Who Would Be King"
2016–2017 People of Earth Officer Glimmer Recurring role
2017 Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later Can of Vegetables, Mitch 5 episodes
Difficult People Brian Episode: "Fuzz Buddies"
2018 The Who Was? Show Narrator 13 episodes
The Simpsons Bob Belcher (voice) Episode: "My Way or the Highway to Heaven"
2019 Wyatt Cenac's Problem Areas Batman Episode: "Inequality Problems"
Star Trek: Short Treks Edward Larkin Episode: "The Trouble with Edward"

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role
2017 Destiny 2 Radio Voice

References[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ "Worcester, Mass. Public Records". Retrieved 2018-11-25.
  2. ^ Dekel, Jon (8 January 2015). "H. Jon Benjamin's voice work sets the tone on Archer, the silly spy cartoon for adults that could". National Post. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  3. ^ Rock 'n Roll Ghost. "H. Jon Benjamin Talks FX's Archer Season Finale". Rocknrollghost.com. Archived from the original on 2013-09-09. Retrieved 2014-04-29.
  4. ^ "Class Notes" Archived 2012-04-25 at the Wayback Machine The [Worcester Academy] Hilltopper (Spring 2011) p.28
  5. ^ a b The Verge (2013-07-05), On The Verge: interview with voice actor H Jon Benjamin (Archer, Bob's Burgers), retrieved 2019-05-04
  6. ^ "Failure Is An Option by H. Jon Benjamin | PenguinRandomHouse.com". PenguinRandomhouse.com. Retrieved 2018-08-16.
  7. ^ "Welcome to TURBOCHARGE The Movie". Turbochargethemovie.com. Retrieved 2010-07-26.
  8. ^ Heisler, Steve (4 February 2011). "Random Roles H. Jon Benjamin". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
  9. ^ "Super Bowl 43 ad: Budweiser Bud Light - Conan O'brien 'Vroom Vroom Party Starter'" (Video). YouTube.com. Retrieved 2009-02-15.
  10. ^ "McCaingirls's Channel". YouTube.com. 2008-03-14. Retrieved 2009-02-15.
  11. ^ "Just because". SamSederShow.com. Archived from the original on 2008-11-21. Retrieved 2009-02-15.
  12. ^ "Archer reviews at". Metacritic.com. Retrieved 2010-07-26.
  13. ^ "Interview with Jon Benjamin". SanDiego.com. Archived from the original on 2011-06-12. Retrieved 2011-06-09.
  14. ^ Seitz, Matt. "Vulture TV Awards: The Year's Best Male Comedy Performer Is H. Jon Benjamin". Vulture. New York. Retrieved 19 June 2014. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  15. ^ Bradley, Laura (23 November 2015). "Watch H. Jon Benjamin Record a Whole Jazz Album on the Piano Even Though He Can't Play the Piano". Slate. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
  16. ^ "H. Jon Benjamin Discusses Why He Recorded Jazz Album in Recently Surfaced Interview". Classicalite. 2016-01-20. Retrieved 2016-01-22.
  17. ^ "Failure Is An Option by H. Jon Benjamin | PenguinRandomHouse.com". PenguinRandomhouse.com. Retrieved 2018-08-16.
  18. ^ "Failure is an Option by H. Jon Benjamin". Penguin Random House. Retrieved 2018-06-27.
  19. ^ "Arby's Wants You To Know It Does More Than Just Roast Beef". Forbes. 2018-09-10. Retrieved 2018-09-27.
  20. ^ McCarthy, Erin. "10 Things to Know About '22 Jump Street'". MentalFloss.com. Retrieved March 24, 2016.

External links[edit]