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Who is Jay Johnston? Jimmy Pesto voice actor banned from 'Bob's Burgers' over Capitol riot

Jay Johnston & Jimmy Pesto Sr. (Image via Getty Images and Fox)
Jay Johnston & Jimmy Pesto Sr. (Image via Getty Images and Fox)

Actor Jay Johnston was banned from Fox's animated series Bob's Burgers after being identified as a participant in the January 6 Capitol riot.

The actor has not yet been arrested or faced charges for being involved in the insurrection. But web sleuths identified Johnston as a partaker in an FBI poster on March 4 and in a video of the Capitol insurrection.

The man in a green leather jacket and a camouflage neck gaiter, whom the Bureau referred to as suspect number 247, was identified as Jay Johnston by fellow thespians as well.


Everything about Jay Johnston and his 'ban'

The #FBI is still seeking information on people who took part in the violence at the U.S. Capitol on January 6. If you know this individual, visit tips.fbi.gov. Refer to photo 247 in your tip. https://t.co/CetMHzU190

Jay Johnston, 53, has been a part of shows and movies like Mr. Show, Arrested Development, Anchorman, Men in Black II and many more. The actor voiced Jimmy Pesto Sr. in 43 episodes of Bob's Burgers throughout its first eleven seasons. He last appeared on the May 2 episode of the show and has been evidently absent from the 12th season.

Jimmy Pesto Sr., the owner of Jimmy Pesto's Pizzeria, is Bob's business rival on the show. Pesto is so obsessed with Italian culture that he changed his name to Pesto from Poplopovich, to sound more Italian. He proudly sports Italian flag underwear and tie. In contrast to Bob, a hardworking family man, Pesto is a divorced dad who ignores his sons.

As per 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 Daily Beast also contacted the spokespeople of Fox and Disney, but they refused to comment on the matter.


Johnston's presence at the Capitol didn't shock fans

The 'ban' on the actor has surely made headlines, but it seems like Bob's Burgers fans are not quite shocked as they believe that Jay Johnston participating in the riot is a 'typical Jimmy Pesto Sr. thing' to do.

Here are some tweets from people who love the show:

@thecartooncrave that is something jimmy pesto would do in the show lmao
I can't believe the guy playing Jimmy Pesto was method acting.
So Jay Johnston the voice of Jimmy Pesto was banned from bob’s burgers cause he was at the capital during the “insurrection”. But the hilarious thing about this is that Jimmy Pesto would be there to. https://t.co/7lPL1Wa3ep
Honestly the fact that Jay Johnston (voice of Jimmy Pesto) got banned from voicing him ever again bc he went to the Capitol insurrection is extra funny, bc Jimmy Pesto would 100% go to the capitol insurrection https://t.co/sCazxLijFq
Guys Jay Johnston was just in character as Jimmy Pesto

Actress Cassandra Church, who worked with Johnston on the show Harmontown, stated in a tweet:

"I’m no detective, but I do know Jay. He said he was there. And that’s him in the picture. So…"

Actor Spencer Crittenden, another colleague from Harmontown, said in a now-deleted tweet that Johnston is:

"A craven Trump supporter and was there at the time."

Tim Heidecker, an actor who guest-starred on Bob’s Burgers, identified Jay Johnston on Twitter and later deleted the tweet saying it should not be used as an official source of verification.

Johnston is also an associate of Gavin McInnes, the founder of the Proud Boys, a far-right extremist group, over 60 members of which were arrested for their involvement in the Capitol riot.

Edited by Rhythm Bhatia
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