Actor Jay Johnston has been banned from the Fox animated sitcom Bob’s Burgers after he allegedly was identified as a participant in the Capitol insurrection, the Daily Beast reported on December 17, 2021.
Johnston, whose credits also include Mr. Show, Arrested Development, and Anchorman, has not been arrested or charged in connection with the Jan. 6 riot. However, web sleuths and fellow thespians identified him in a March 4 FBI wanted photo, as well as in video from the Capitol, which showed him “alongside rioters taking pictures as Trump supporters push their way toward the building,” according to the Daily Beast.
“According to two people familiar with the matter, top staff at the long-running animated sitcom Bob’s Burgers are no longer allowing Johnston to voice his recurring character—Jimmy Pesto Sr.—on the critically lauded Fox show,” the site reported, adding that the character has become a fan favorite. “Johnston, 53, had voiced Pesto in a grand total of 43 episodes of Bob’s Burgers over the course of its first eleven seasons. He last appeared in the Season 11 episode ‘The Bridge Over Troubled Rudy,’ which aired on May 2, 2021, and has been noticeably absent from the show’s 12th season.”
Representatives from Fox and Disney declined to comment. Although neither Fox nor Johnston has publicly confirmed that he participated in the insurrection, his former colleagues were quick to identify him in the photo and video back in March.
“I’m no detective, but I do know Jay. He said he was there. And that’s him in the picture. So..” actress Cassandra Church, who worked with Johnston, wrote on Twitter in response to the FBI photo.
Actor Spencer Crittenden, who has also worked with Johnston, wrote that he’s “a craven Trump supporter and was there” during the insurrection.
Tim Heidecker, who guest-starred on Bob’s Burgers, said he had “fully confirmed through reliable sources” that the man in the FBI poster was Johnston and added, “it’s Jay.”
According to the Daily Beast, Johnston is an associate of Gavin McInnes, the founder of the Proud Boys.