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Bob's Burgers actor Jay Johnston

Jay Johnston is an American actor, comedian, and writer best known for his work on various television series, including his notable role in the animated series "Bob's Burgers." His career spans several decades and encompasses a variety of comedic roles that have showcased his unique style and versatility.

Bob's Burgers actor Jay Johnston

Early Life and Career Beginnings

Jay Johnston was born on October 22, 1968, in Chicago, Illinois. He began his career in comedy and improvisation, a natural fit given Chicago's vibrant improv scene, most notably through his involvement with the Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB). The UCB, known for its innovative and influential approach to comedy, was a springboard for many comedians who have since achieved significant success in television and film.

Breakthrough with Mr. Show

Johnston's breakthrough came with "Mr. Show with Bob and David," an HBO sketch comedy series created by Bob Odenkirk and David Cross. The show, which aired from 1995 to 1998, became a cult favorite and is remembered for its edgy and absurd humor. Jay Johnston was a core cast member and writer, contributing to the show's unique and often surreal comedic style. His work on "Mr. Show" helped establish him as a talented comedian and writer capable of delivering both in front of the camera and behind the scenes.

Television and Film Career

Following the success of "Mr. Show," Johnston continued to build his career with roles in various television series and films. He made guest appearances on numerous shows, including "Arrested Development," "Parks and Recreation," and "The Sarah Silverman Program." His ability to blend into different comedic styles made him a sought-after actor for various roles.

In addition to live-action roles, Johnston's distinctive voice made him a natural fit for voice acting. He lent his voice to several animated series, but his most prominent role in this field is that of Jimmy Pesto Sr. on "Bob's Burgers."

 Bob's Burgers: The Role of Jimmy Pesto Sr.

"Bob's Burgers," created by Loren Bouchard, premiered on Fox in 2011 and quickly became a beloved animated sitcom. The show follows the Belcher family as they run a hamburger restaurant and navigate the ups and downs of family life. Johnston's character, Jimmy Pesto Sr., is the owner of Jimmy Pesto's Pizzeria, a restaurant located directly across the street from Bob's Burgers.

Jimmy Pesto Sr. is portrayed as Bob Belcher's (voiced by H. Jon Benjamin) primary business rival. Their rivalry is a central theme in many episodes, often leading to humorous confrontations and schemes. Pesto's character is known for his arrogance, competitiveness, and over-the-top personality, which contrasts sharply with Bob's more laid-back and earnest demeanor. Johnston's performance brings a dynamic energy to the character, making Jimmy Pesto Sr. a memorable and entertaining antagonist.

Controversies and Legal Issues

In recent years, Johnston has faced significant controversies that have impacted his career. In 2021, he was identified by online sleuths as a participant in the January 6 Capitol riot, which led to widespread media coverage and public scrutiny. Although he has not publicly commented on his involvement, the allegations have had professional repercussions. In December 2021, it was reported that Johnston had been fired from "Bob's Burgers" due to his alleged participation in the riot. The show's producers have since stated that he will not be returning to the series.

Legacy and Impact

Despite the controversies, Jay Johnston's contributions to comedy and television remain significant. His work on "Mr. Show" and "Bob's Burgers" has left a lasting impression on fans and the comedy community. Johnston's ability to create memorable characters and deliver nuanced performances has earned him a place in the annals of contemporary American comedy.

Personal Life

Jay Johnston has maintained a relatively private personal life. Little is known about his personal relationships or family, as he tends to keep these aspects of his life out of the public eye. His focus has largely been on his professional work and his contributions to the world of comedy.


Jay Johnston's career is a testament to his versatility and talent as a comedian and actor. From his early days with the Upright Citizens Brigade to his standout roles in "Mr. Show" and "Bob's Burgers," he has demonstrated a unique ability to adapt to various comedic styles and formats. While recent controversies have cast a shadow over his career, his body of work continues to be appreciated by fans and peers alike. Jay Johnston remains a notable figure in the world of comedy, known for his distinctive voice and memorable performances.


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