Growing up in Anchorage, Dan Mintz always knew comedy was "kind of" something he wanted to do, but he had a hard time believing it was something he could realistically pursue. Mintz felt he was too quiet, too awkward.
It wasn't until the summer before college in a comedy club in New York that he changed his mind. Onstage was a comic, Mitch Fatel, who was also quiet and awkward. And the crowd loved him.
"He talked slowly and in a weird voice like me … It was one of the funniest things I had ever seen. So I realized there was a type of comedy that maybe I could do," Mintz said.
Today, Mintz has found mainstream success as Tina, the boy-obsessed eldest daughter of the Belcher clan in FOX's hit animated television show "Bob's Burgers." This week, he's returning to his hometown of Anchorage to perform in a benefit show for Planned Parenthood at Williwaw.
Last year, Mintz's aunt sent him an article about the Anchorage comedy scene — Mintz didn't even know there was one.
"There's a bunch of local comics on the show who I'm excited to see," he said.
Mintz graduated from East High in 1998 and set off for a college in Boston. Fueled by a passion for making people laugh, Mintz relocated to Los Angeles and performed as a stand-up comic for years when he fell into voice acting based on the recommendation of friend and "Bob's Burgers" co-star, H. Jon Benjamin.
"I met Jon Benjamin, who was going to play the dad in a new show called 'Bob's Burgers.' He recommended me to the creator as someone with a weird voice that could maybe play one of the kids," Mintz said.
"Bob's Burgers" is Mintz's most popular project to date. Since its premiere in 2011, the show has run for eight seasons and amassed two Emmy awards and a cult following; it's inspired a cookbook, a special edition vinyl album of songs from the show and plans for a feature-length theatrical film to be released in 2020.
"Voiceover is the best job ever … I'm hoping "Bob's Burgers" stays on the air as long as possible," Mintz said.
Today, outside of his "Bob's Burgers" gig, Mintz is writing jokes as part of the writing staff of HBO's "Veep" and performing as a stand-up comedian in Los Angeles. When asked about his homecoming performance Friday, Mintz hopes the audience appreciates his brand of deadpan comedy.
"And if they don't laugh, they can still feel good about it, because it's a benefit."
Also featuring local comedians Becky Braunstein, Kass Smiley, Matt Collins and Matt Jardin
When: 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Friday
Tickets: $15 advance and $20 at the door at williwawsocial.com