Loren Bouchard

Loren Bouchard Headshot

Animator • Writer • Producer • Director • Composer

Birth Name: Loren Hal Bouchard

Birth Date: October 10, 1969

Age: 54 years old

Birth Place: New York, New York

An animator with a signature visual look and a distinctively sweet-natured comic style far removed from the aggression of many of his peers, Loren Bouchard first gained notice for the easygoing, largely improvised "Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist" in the 1990s. He followed that success with the winsome surrealism of "Home Movies," one of the first shows to premiere on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim lineup, following a truncated prime-time run on the fledgling UPN. Bouchard made the leap from cable to a major network with the witty cult favorite "Bob's Burgers," a clever retooling of the typical cartoon family that exploded sitcom stereotypes like the henpecked husband, nagging wife and precocious children by making all of the characters both more believably well rounded and more cartoonishly eccentric.

Loren Bouchard was born in New York City but grew up near Boston. He was a middling student with a passion for art who eventually dropped out of high school. In 1993, the twenty-something Bouchard ran into Tom Snyder, who had been his junior high science teacher but was at that point starting a company to produce educational animation. Remembering his ex-student's artistic skills, Snyder invited Bouchard to join Tom Snyder Productions, where he was instrumental in the development of "Squigglevision," a low-budget computer-aided animation process that resulted in a distinctively jagged but appealing DIY quality. While working on their educational projects (which eventually included a TV series called "Science Court" [ABC 1997-2000], directed by Bouchard), the pair teamed up with Boston-area comedian Jonathan Katz to create the cartoon "Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist" (Comedy Central 1995-2002). "Dr. Katz" matched the low-key, cerebral Katz with the stand-up comedians of the era, whose therapy sessions consisted primarily of animated jokes from their stage acts. These were interspersed with the therapist's interactions with his bored, sardonic secretary Laura (Laura Silverman) and his slacker son Ben (H. Jon Benjamin). The improvised interplay between Katz and Benjamin became the show's most popular element; Benjamin went on to work in all of Bouchard's projects. The first of these was "Home Movies" (UPN 1999 / Cartoon 2001-04), which Bouchard created with another Boston-based comedian, Brendon Small. Small played Brendon, a film-obsessed pre-teen boy whose days were spent making elaborate films with his best friend Jason and learning life lessons from his soccer coach John McGuirk (both characters voiced by Benjamin). Although the show was canceled by UPN halfway through its first season, "Home Movies" went on to become one of the first shows on Cartoon Network's late-night Adult Swim programming block. Bouchard's next project after "Home Movies" was a Western-themed comedy called "Saddle Rash" that starred Benjamin and comedian Sarah Silverman (the sister of "Dr. Katz" co-star Laura Silverman), but after airing the pilot in March 2002, Adult Swim declined to pick it up as a series. Bouchard followed that with "Lucy, The Daughter of The Devil" (Cartoon 2007), a short-lived series starring "Home Movies" alums Benjamin and Melissa Bardin Galsky as the Devil and his snarky 21-year-old daughter Lucy, a San Francisco hipster with an art school background and a dead-end job as a bartender. After that show's single season, Bouchard worked as a consulting producer on "The Ricky Gervais Show" (HBO 2010-12), which repurposed a series of podcasts Gervais did with his comedy partners Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington, adding old-fashioned Hanna-Barbera-style animation to the existing audio. Bouchard's next project moved him from Adult Swim into prime-time TV real estate. "Bob's Burgers" (Fox 2011- ) premiered following "The Simpsons" (Fox 1989- ) as part of Fox's long-running Sunday night animation block, and was the network's first cartoon in years not involving Seth MacFarlane to become a critical and commercial success. Set in an unnamed East Coast beach town, the show followed the lives of hangdog diner owner Bob Belcher (Benjamin), his free-spirited wife Linda (John Roberts) and their eccentric children Tina (Dan Mintz), Gene (Eugene Mirman) and Louise (Kristen Schaal).

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