Meet Tina Belcher IRL

by Marisa LaScala

Louise may be the most delightfully outlandish. Linda has an indominatble spirit. But it’s the utter weirdness that makes Tina Belcher the most fascinating character on Bob’s Burgers. But just who is the voice of Tina Belcher?

Tina comes to us courtesy of comedian/writer/actor Dan Mintz. It may seem a bit odd that a male comedian is the voice of an adolescent girl, but there’s a reason for it. Mintz told the Phoenix New Times:

I was actually originally cast as a boy, like the second son in the family, and then Fox wanted to change the character to a girl because it was thought to be too similar to Eugene Mirman's character [Gene Belcher] ... I was just kept in that because I was friends with Jon Benjamin and he recommended me to Loren [Bouchard], who's the creator. And I think for all of us, he kind of built the characters around us and our comedy.

Since Bouchard molded Tina around Mintz, she’s close to his personality (minus the Jimmy Jr. fixation), despite being a 12-year-old girl. In a recent Reddit AMA, Mintz explained:

My inner Tina is pretty close to the surface, so it's pretty to easy to channel. She has kind of a zen quality of being in the moment with whatever she wants at that moment, so I just try to clear my head of distractions and focus on that one thing.

But that's not enough. Here's everything you need to know about the man behind Tina Belcher:

You Might Have Seen His Stand-Up

As a stand-up comic, Mintz has performed on Late Night with Conan O’Brien and had his own Comedy Central special. His comedy album, The Stranger , comes out on October 7. If you listen to a snippet of it, you can tell he has a deadpan delivery style that’s not all that different from the way Tin Belcher talks.

Even If You Haven’t Seen His Stand-Up, You’ve Probably Heard His Jokes Before

Mintz has written for a ton of comedy shows, including the under-appreciated Human Giant (which co-starred Aziz Ansari before he was Tom Haverford), Lucky Louie, and Important Things with Demetri Martin, in which he was also an actor. Above is a sketch that Mintz did on Demetri Martin, about two people interviewing for the same job who mistakenly think the other is the interviewer. It takes a while to get going, but the two main actors in the sketch are Mintz and H. Jon Benjamin, who does the voice of Bob on Bob’s Burgers. Seeing them both in the flesh, while relating to each other as adult men, is weeeeeiiiirdd. If you close your eyes, they sound just like Bob and Tina.

He Married a Comedian

Mintz is married to a fellow comedian, Margie Mintz, who has been on Demetri Martin and Comedy Bang! Bang! She also hosts live shows in Los Angeles, including “French Toast” at Taix.

I don’t know about you, but I’m always fascinated by the idea of double-comedian couples. I can’t tell if it’d be nice to have someone around who can always make you laugh, or if it’d be insanely competitive — especially if one half of the couple snagged one of the best pre-teen girl roles on television without ever having to go through the specific misery of actually being a pre-teen girl.

Still, I love you, Tina Belcher — you’re a star!

Image: Fox; Giphy (3)