Jay Johnston From ‘Bob’s Burgers’ Arrested by FBI For Joining Jan. 6 Capitol Incident

By: Lilli Keeve | Last updated: Aug 06, 2023

On Wednesday, actor and comedian Jay Johnston, best known for his roles on Arrested Development, Bob’s Burgers, and the HBO comedy series Mr. Show was detained by the FBI. He was charged with felony civil disorder for his alleged participation in the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021.

According to the Hollywood Reporter and a copy of the criminal complaint, the Department of Justice charged Johnston for his presence and involvement in the Capitol attack.

Johnston's Charges

The 54-year-old actor, who also starred in comedy movies such as Anchorman and Men in Black II, faces a host of charges following his arrest. These charges includecivil 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.” 


Source: Reddit

Flight records provided by the FBI showed that Johnston flew from Los Angeles to Washington on Jan. 4 and returned to LA on Jan. 7.


The Evidence Is Undeniable

After the FBI shared images on Twitter about a specific rioter on March 4, 2021, many users responded, saying that the rioter resembled Johnston. His participation in the attack was further confirmed when other actors and comedians posted on Twitter saying that he was there. 


Source: FBI/ Twitter

Additionally, three current or former associates of Johnston’s identified him as the rioter in the photographic evidence presented during the FBI’s interviews with them. The criminal complaint stated, “One of these associates provided the FBI with a text message in which Johnston acknowledged being at the Capitol on January 6.”

A Text Message From Johnston

The text from Johnston read, ‘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.”

Other responders identified the rioter as Johnston in the images, who wore a camouflage jacket and a camouflage face mask. 


Source: Joseph Prezioso/AFP/Getty Images

Prosecutors said that Johnston participated in a huge push against the police in a tunnel at the Capitol’s west entrance. The FBI stated that Johnston encouraged others to join the effort, giving fellow rioters water to wash the chemical spray out of their eyes. He also passed a stolen police riot shield to another rioter as he exited the tunnel.

The FBI is continually pursuing the arrests of more than 1,000 people charged with their participation in the riot.

He Was Fired From 'Bob's Burgers'

Per the Daily Beast, Johnston was fired in late 2021 from his lead role as pizzeria owner Jimmy Pesto on Bob’s Burgers because of his involvement in the Capitol attack. 

The Chicago-born Johnston started as a performer at Annoyance Theater and Second City. He has since had a successful career, starting with his breakout role on the sketch show Mr. Show. Later, he appeared in The Sarah Silverman Program as Officer Jay McPherson, which aired from 2007 to 2010 on Comedy Central. 


Source: Reddit

Johnston has also starred in recurring roles on Arrested Development as a cop and a pastor on Netflix’s show Love