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The Hollywood Reporter

‘Bob’s Burgers’ Star Jay Johnston Charged by DOJ for Storming U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6

By Seth Abramovitch and Alex Weprin,


Jay Johnston, a stalwart of Hollywood’s alternative comedy scene best known for his work on HBO’s Mr. Show and for voicing a pizzeria owner on Fox’s Bob Burgers , has been arrested by the FBI for his alleged participation in the Jan. 6, 2021 riots at the U.S. Capitol.

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Johnston was charged by the Department of Justice in connection to his presence at the Capitol, per a copy of the criminal complaint. He was arrested Wednesday in Los Angeles, according to a copy of the warrant.

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.

The FBI said flight records indicated that Johnston flew to Washington on Jan. 4, and returned to Los Angeles on Jan. 7.

In addition: “The FBI has interviewed three current or former associates of Johnston, all of whom identified Johnston as the individual in the above photographs of 247-AFO,” per the complaint. “One of these associates provided the FBI with a text message in which Johnston acknowledged being at the Capitol on January 6, stating ‘The news has presented it as an attack. It actually wasn’t. Thought it kind of turned into that. It was a mess. Got maced and tear gassed and I found it quite untastic.’”

Johnston, 54, was pictured in a pair of photos in the weeks after the Capitol riot in tweets from the FBI’s main account. “The #FBI is still seeking information on people who took part in the violence at the U.S. Capitol on January 6,” the post reads. “If you know this individual, visit”

Several responses identified the man in the photos — wearing a camouflage jacket and, in one photo, a camouflage face mask — as Johnston.

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The Chicago-born actor and comedian is a Second City alum whose big break came on Mr. Show , Bob Odenkirk and David Cross’ influential sketch show, which ran from 1995 to 1998. His work on the series frequently incorporated physical comedy, like “The Story of Everest,” in which he repeatedly pratfalls into furniture.

Johnston later appeared on The Sarah Silverman Program , playing Officer Jay McPherson, boyfriend to Silverman’s sister Laura on the show. It ran on Comedy Central from 2007 to 2010. He also had a recurring role as a cop on Arrested Development , appeared as a pastor in the Netflix series Love , and voices pizzeria owner Jimmy Pesto on Fox’s Bob Burgers .

The Hollywood Reporter also obtained a photo from a source picturing Johnston at a party last year in which he appeared to be dressed as the so-called “Qanon Shaman,” a man who was previously charged with storming the Capitol on Jan. 6, and pled guilty.

You can see the photo below.
Image background has been altered to protect source.

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