Former Bob's Burgers Actor to Plead Guilty to Jan. 6 Charges

Jay Johnston faces multiple federal charges
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 8, 2023 12:45 AM CDT
Updated Jun 25, 2024 6:34 PM CDT
Bob's Burgers Actor Arrested on Capitol Riot Charges
This image from Washington Metropolitan Police Department body-worn video, released and annotated by the Justice Department in the statement of facts supporting an arrest warrant for Jay James Johnston, shows Johnston, circled in yellow, at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington.   (Justice Department via AP)
UPDATE Jun 25, 2024 6:34 PM CDT

Actor Jay Johnston, who was dropped as the voice of Jimmy Pesto on Bob's Burgers in 2021 after he was hit with Capitol riot charges, has agreed to plead guilty to federal charges next month. Johnston, 55, faces charges including civil disorder and disorderly or disruptive conduct in a restricted building or ground, Deadline reports. The FBI said he joined a mob that confronted police officers during the riot. In a post on X, NBC's Ryan J. Reilly noted that Johnston is "the only known man to have participated in both the News Fight in Anchorman (2004) and the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol (2021)."

Jun 8, 2023 12:45 AM CDT

An actor known for his roles on the comedy television shows Bob's Burgers and Mr. Show with Bob and David was arrested Wednesday on charges that he joined a mob of former President Trump's supporters in confronting police officers during the US Capitol riot, court records show. Jay Johnston, 54, of Los Angeles, was arrested there on charges including civil disorder, a felony, the AP reports. A federal magistrate judge agreed to free Johnston on $25,000 bond after his initial court appearance in California. A public defender who represented him at the hearing declined to comment.

Video footage captured Johnston pushing against police and helping rioters who attacked officers guarding an entrance to the Capitol in a tunnel on the Lower West Terrace, according to an FBI agent's affidavit. While the mob attacked police in the tunnel with pepper spray and other weapons, Johnston helped other rioters near the tunnel pour water on their faces and then joined in pushing against the line of officers, the FBI says. Johnston also held a stolen police shield over his head and passed it to other rioters during the attack on Jan. 6, 2021, the affidavit says. Johnston "was close to the entrance to the tunnel, turned back and signaled for other rioters to come towards the entrance," the agent wrote.

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Johnston was the voice of the character Jimmy Pesto on Fox's Bob's Burgers. The Daily Beast reported in December 2021 that Johnston was "banned" from the animated show after the Jan. 6 attack. Johnston also appeared on Mr. Show with Bob and David, an HBO sketch comedy series that starred Bob Odenkirk and David Cross. His credits also include small parts on the television show Arrested Development and in the movie Anchorman, starring Will Ferrell.

(More Capitol riot stories.)

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