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Eugene meet Eugene, Again

Stand-up Comedian Eugene Mirman chats with EW about Bob’s Burgers, Russia and a remake of Splash

You know him as the voice of Gene on Bob’s Burgers and as a motley crew of characters on Adult Swim, but Comedian Eugene Mirman is perhaps most revered for his baritone stand-up: a slew of silliness, irreverence and observation. His latest Comedy Central special, Eugene Mirman: An Evening in a Fake Underground Laboratory, was given an A- by the A.V. Club, which Mirman says is “wonderfully reasonable.”

 

Have you ever been to a town that shares your name?

I’ve only been to a town once that shares my name and it was Eugene. I am obsessed with knocking you guys off the number one “Eugene” Google search.

 

Good Luck with that.

Yes, I know it’s going to be hard to defeat an entire city full of people who are looking stuff up in their own city.

 

You currently are on Bob’s Burgers and you have also been on Delocated and Aqua Teen Hunger Force on Adult Swim. Do you prefer Adult Swim or Fox?

I look at it as the individual program. Both programs are wonderful and radically different. In one I play a child and in the other I play a Russian mobster/stand-up comedian … Bob’s is super fun because we get to improvise a lot and we record it all together, which is very unusual for a cartoon. 

 

How does your Russian heritage inform your comedy? Besides vodka jokes.

[Laughs.] Luckily that’s only in the fake character [Delocated’s hitman Yvgeny Mirminsky]. I think it sort of makes me view stuff as both as an outsider and an insider at the same time because I grew up here, but also I speak Russian with my parents and that sort of thing. It also tends to make me probably more moderate than other people, where I have a very real sort of appreciation of America that I think that a lot of people I know sort of don’t have — they’re slightly dismissive of, or wouldn’t really think about it because it’s how it always was for them. Not to say that when I was four the KGB tried to steal my jokes or something. 

 

Have you been back to Russia?

I haven’t been back, but I do want to go back and would like to make a documentary of going back. 

 

Have you ever considered playing a merman?

Like doing a remake of Splash but about a boy who comes out of the water and loves Tom Hanks? Yes. I would do it but Tom Hanks would either have to star or executive produce.

Eugene Mirman performs with special guest Andrew Donnelly 8 pm Monday, May 13, at WOW Hall; $5 students; $7 general. Interview edited for clarity and length.