‘Bob’s Burgers’ Star Jay Johnston Charged For Alleged Role in January 6 Riot
For years, comedy nerds have known Jay Johnston for his work on shows like Mr. Show, Arrested Development, and Bob’s Burgers, where he had a recurring role in over 40 episodes as Jimmy Pesto. But in early 2021, those same comedy fans, and even some of Johnston’s colleagues, thought they recognized him in images shared by the FBI of a man suspected for taking part in the violence at the U.S. Capitol on January 6.
Today, Johnston was arrested by the FBI in conjunction with the January 6 riots. Per The Hollywood Reporter, Johnston “was charged by the Department of Justice on four charges in connection to his presence at the Capitol, per a copy of the criminal complaint ... Charges include civil disorder, entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly or disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds and impeding passage through the Capitol grounds or buildings.”
Johnston reportedly traveled to Washington D.C. from Los Angeles on January 4, and was identified from the aforementioned photographs by several “current or former associates,” including one who provided the FBI with a text message in which Johnston allegedly admitted he was at the Capitol on January 6, claiming the riot was not an “attack,” and describing the situation as “a mess” where he got sprayed with mace and tear gas.
Johnston was born in Chicago, and worked there for the famous Second City comedy troupe. He wrote and co-starred on dozens of episodes of Mr. Show, and appeared on all three seasons of The Sarah Silverman Program. On Bob’s Burgers, Johnston voiced Bob’s rival Jimmy Pesto, the owner of a pizza restaurant.
After Johnston was identified as the man in the FBI’s photographs, he was fired from Bob’s Burgers in 2021.