Jon Benjamin | Has a Van

“I’m really good at doing cartoons, and I’m really not good live, or showing my face, but how do you resist this face!”




Throughout the history of television, many voices have passed though our ears, often without us ever knowing the name of the person delivering it. Dan Castellaneta (The Simpsons), Billy West (Ren & Stimpy, Futurama), Dana Snyder(Adult Swim) and Jon Benjamin (Archer, Home Movies). While they may not get the same credit that show creators like Matt Stone & Trey Parker, Matt Groening, and Seth McFarlane get, they have supplied a soul to some of the most memorable characters of our lifetimes.  

Every now and then an idea comes so vividly that it becomes necessary to jump out of the recording studio and into the field. After catching up with Jon Benjamin at the years Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, it became clear why Jon Benjamin Has a Van might be the best new show on Comedy Central. Benjamin might not agree however, as he puts it, “I’m really good at doing cartoons, and I’m really not good live, or showing my face, but how do you resist this face!”

The show features Benjamin framing faux (Onion-like) news stories around the greater theme of the episode.  Though the van is in the title Benjamin says, “Just because you have a van doesn’t mean you have to use it.” Though he has worked or been a part of a ridiculous amount of television shows, Benjamin notes that Jon Benjamin Has a Van is completely his show and that “it’s a lot harder to perform and be responsible for the entirety of a show. Whenever I get a plant it dies, whenever I get a pet it dies, whenever I have a kid…. No, no.. he’s alive”

In an episode featuring comedian Matt Walsh, Benjamin pushes his close friend (Walsh) into Mexico, leaving him stranded without his passport. Year’s later, Benjamin returns, only to push Walsh into Guatemala, leaving him to rebuild his life yet again. Benjamin speaks fondly of his time in the Mojave Desert, “It was shockingly cold, like, too cold to shoot. We didn’t bring a jacket because they basically told us we wouldn’t want to wear any clothes, then we get there and it’s like 45 degrees and windy.”

Benjamin also currently star’s on Fox’s Bob’s Burgers, which airs on Sunday nights. Also appearing on that show is Eugene Mirman, who according to Benjamin, “He was in my hotel room like 17 hours ago, he wouldn’t leave.” The glamorous life of two comedians on the road knows no bounds, however, as, “we put all the extra Popeyes in the fridge, then without saying anything, he (Mirman) took the bottle of scotch, and the chicken, then just left. I mean, it was part his chicken, but not all, and he didn’t ask or anything.”

Speaking of the festival, Benjamin did get to see some bands. “We filmed pretty much all day, I got heat exhaustion, then saw Best Coast,. I wanted to stay but I had to leave. It was miserable. I got home and was Mad Max, but not attractive. “ he did however offer me the advice: “Do not go see Arcade Fire, don’t…. just stay away. I’ll probably go see Arcade Fire though, seriously." | Bruce Matlock 

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