I'm H. Jon Benjamin. I play Sterling Archer on ARCHER, Bob from Bob's Burgers, and I just wrote a book called FAILURE IS AN OPTION. Let’s talk about our failures. As the letter says, I'm here for you to ask me anything. AMA! The book: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/558430/failure-is-an-option-by-h-jon-benjamin/

Hey everyone, I have to go take the subway, so you can bet I'll be waiting on the platform for a half hour if you want to stop by. BYE!

proof: https://imgur.com/a/Bxbs5F3

Comments: 2242 • Responses: 27  • Date: 

luckyyates4852 karma

What's your second favorite thing about me?

failurejon4123 karma

Your dog

katemcblair3144 karma

If ARCHER was made into live-action, would you consider voice over-ing the lead (Jon Hamm)? Kind of like a Milo and Otis situation. I think you may be too handsome to play live-action Sterling...

failurejon4703 karma

Jon Hamm is referenced a lot, but I would prefer Paul Giamatti

Jankinator2580 karma

Hey Jon,

How do you approach voice acting differently for Bob vs. Archer?

failurejon5206 karma

Mainly, I just yell louder for Archer, but also, having the cast around me live when we record Bob really helps inform the character, since it's pretty much developed into an ersatz family in real life

vvedge2445 karma

I loved reading, er, listening to your new book in audiobook format. When I was finished, I was saddened to find that this is the only book you've ever narrated. Any plans to narrate more books in your awesome voice? What genre of book besides autobiography would you be interested in doing?

failurejon3008 karma

A Higher Loyalty maybe


Will you be mad at me if I just borrow the book from the library instead of paying real dollars to own it?

failurejon6793 karma

No! I come from a long line of library employees. My mother worked at the New York Public Library and I worked at the Cambridge Public Library when I was in my twenties as a book stacker and masturbator-stopper

fringeHomonid1706 karma

What has been your favorite moment of Bob Belcher having conversations with/giving voices to inanimate objects?

failurejon2586 karma

Loren Bouchard continues to make me do this despite my intense dislike of it, but he enjoys the humilaition

segfaultca1300 karma

Personality wise, are you more like Bob or Archer? You just do Archer so well it seems effortless.

Also, is Woodhouse ever coming back, or did he fetch his last rug?

failurejon2459 karma

certainly more Bob than Archer. I drink and have sex and lope around like a middle-aged man, so definitely Bob

esthalg1158 karma

What’s a good burger recipe?

failurejon3105 karma

seriously, buy the Bob's Burgers cookbook. All of the burgers of the day are in there and I've had a few made for me and all pretty great

ocentertainment949 karma

Yes hello Mr. Jon Benjamin. Let's talk. Who do you think was a more successful failure? Archer or Bob? And how can we learn to fail as badly good as these guys do?

failurejon2241 karma

Most certainly Archer. He self medicates and suffers from extreme narcissism and has a trove of unresolved issues from a morbidly bad childhood. Bob suffers from less demons and has a simpler life that doesn't involve incessant murder and self-harm, although Linda is annoying.

SindeeVicious719 karma

Can there be a Dr. Katz reboot? Please and thank you.

failurejon938 karma

Jonathan Katz has been doing them on Audible, and I believe he's into the second season, so it's already out there without the squigglevision

falloutboywonder675 karma

if you could, would you go back and change anything about jon benjamin has a van? that show was one of my first forays into alternative comedy. big fan!

failurejon676 karma

well, I would have done a second season, and we wrote I believe 4 episodes of one, before it got cancelled. I think we (myself and Leo Allen) figured out a more fluid way to do the show when writing the second season, so it was less unstructured, which maybe the first season suffered from.

godyallsomebrokeboys568 karma

Was that episode of Bob’s Burgers where Gene sleeps over at a kids house from school inspired by the sleepover experience you talked about in your book?

failurejon721 karma

I think subconsciously yes. I've pitched many ideas for Bob's scripts and it's not often the writers have not already discussed a scenario so I was happy to get that one on.

Pork-Chop-Express540 karma

What fear will make you ruin your pants the fastest?

failurejon982 karma

the fear of going in my pants

RickyCam530 karma

Hey John, what has been your favorite love scene to film?

failurejon985 karma

In Jon Benjamin Has a Van, we did a terrible bit called 'Reaction Jackson', where I had to simulate sex with an old lady. That was sweaty and nice. Otherwise, there is a story in the book about my minor role in a gonzo porn film shot on Beta in the early 80s in Worcester, Ma- not your typical hub of the porn industry

QuasiWriter374 karma

Why did you not list the doctor from Not Another Teen Movie too??

Who writes Archer's character? Some of the funniest, freshest lines on TV. Huge fan!

failurejon991 karma

I am proud of all my extra work. That and the t-shirt vendor in NY Minute with the Olsen Twins. Adam Reed is the creator and sole writer of Archer and boy is he tired

vondutchtruckerhat298 karma

How do you find motivation to continue with your work ? I did really well in school but post grad is so rough. I’ve tried and failed more than succeeded and I often have doubts about my career choice even though this is my passion. It gets hard when failure can bog you down.

failurejon535 karma

for sure, obviously everyone goes through long stretches where you feel like no progress can be made. If it's your passion, it won't fail you. I believe it will come around.

TeddyJTran272 karma

I saw on your Twitter that you were recently in Ann Arbor, MI! What'd you think of the city? Anything memorable?

failurejon604 karma

It's the only place I've ever performed where many people brought me gifts. I think even chocolates that make you high.

chipsmayai247 karma

Who is the funniest person you have worked with on Archer or Wet Hot American Summer?

failurejon650 karma

Well, for Archer, we work alone and record our parts separately, but on the show, I'm a big Amber Nash fan, and to a lesser degree Chris Parnell. I can't stand his voice. In Wet Hot, I've only worked with Janeane Garofalo and Jason Schwartzman, who are both very funny. FYI, Jason Schwartzman smokes a vintage pipe

nadrojmail237 karma

Any advice to anyone looking to break into the voice acting industry?

failurejon525 karma

Literally break a leg

starsin188 karma

I really love the title of your book, and the little synopsis really makes me want to read it. Super coincidental too, because I just hosted a banquet where that was the topic by the speakers. I just graduated college, and I was wondering, if you had any advice that you could give to a college student (at any stage of college), what would it be?

failurejon451 karma

well, if anything is to be learned from the book, it's that patience is essential, even if there's no conceivable pay-off. I think many people get caught in falling behind and feel like they have to push too hard. I like the slo-burn approach to life and hopefully something nice happens. That said, I'm not opposed to people working really hard to achieve goals, like curing disease and helping the world.

esthalg169 karma

Who are your style icons?

failurejon527 karma

Walter Benjamin, Rosa Luxemborg and Tevya from Fiddler on the Roof

BonelessPickles141 karma

Are you watching the Stanley Cup playoffs? Cheering for any team in particular?

failurejon560 karma

I root for the Bruins, so it's all over for me

im_always_fapping118 karma

How did your first attempts at comedy go for you?

failurejon303 karma

not bad actually, although I started in sketch so it wasn't the typical standing alone in a pool of flop sweat making no one laugh. that came later when I tried stand-up. The most nervous I've ever been was the first time I did a bit on Conan O'Brien's show in like the mid-90s. When I walked out in front of the live audience, I almost shit myself. I could barely read the cue cards. And then when I watched it that night, I seemed fine.

HELLOMrJackpots79 karma

What's your favorite way to drink Smirnoff Ice?

failurejon176 karma

oh shit, I can't remember all the variations. I believe there was a Smirnoff Ice 'Dirty Jew'. Just can't remember the ingredients

whatdoesntkaleya38 karma

How fun was filming WHAS?! What was your favorite part of the filming? Thank you!

failurejon106 karma

Very fun. My favorite moment was almost drowning in an unsafe hole of green goo

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failurejon166 karma

it's me, trust me

FrZnaNmLsRghT2 karma

Is the title of your book "Failure is an Option" inspired by the life of your school chum Sam Seder?

failurejon14 karma

This is a set-up by some Seder sycophant