Arrested Development: Gob Bluth, Profile

Feature Chris Longo
5/19/2013 at 8:52PM

We take a close up look at Gob Bluth leading up to the Netflix return of Arrested Development.

The story of a wealthy family who lost everything has found a new home on Netflix. On May 26, Season Four of Arrested Development will be available for streaming in its entirety. Until then, don’t “blue” yourself. We’ve got your Arrested Development fix covered. Den of Geek is running a series profiling TV’s most dysfunctional family and next up is Orange County’s worst magician: Gob Bluth.

Career Arc: Will Arnett

Before he was the impulsive, manipulative and often forgotten brother on Arrested Development, Canadian born and raised actor Will Arnett shuffled through a series of failed pilots and brief appearances in TV dramas before landing the part that would ultimately turn his career around. Arnett’s early career struggles were vindicated in 2006 when he was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his role as Gob in Season Three of Arrested Development. The critical success of Arrested Development did as much for Arnett’s career as it did for his co-stars Jason Bateman and Michael Cera. Arnett was cast in a number of high profile feature film gigs after Arrested Development went dark.

Although he achieved some sustained Hollywood success, Arnett’s post-Arrested Development career can be seen as a cautionary tale: he is often typecast as the snarky narcissist. In keeping with his Arrested Development roots, Arnett collaborated with David Cross (AD’s Tobias Fünke) on the short-lived Comedy Central animated sitcom Freak Show, as well as another lightly watched cult comedy, The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margret. IFC’s Todd Margaret played to the same strengths that made their Arrested Development characters so unforgettable, with Cross starring as the moronic Todd Margret and Arnett playing his scheming boss, the foul-mouthed Brent Wilts.


NBC gave Arnett a chance to break away from the character type that made him famous with a recurring role as a network executive in 30 Rock. Arnett was finally given the chance to be a leading man when NBC put him in the family comedy Up All Night alongside Christina Applegate. In a role that couldn’t be any further from Gob, Arnett played a stay-at-home father for two seasons before the series was cancelled in May 2013. The return of Arrested Development comes as Arnett is slated to be the lead in a new comedy that was picked up by CBS for this coming fall.

Where We Last Saw Gob:

Gob was constantly trying to find ways to impress George Sr. and Michael but would end up causing more harm than good. When he went on a mission to Iraq to give a magic demonstration, it turned into an anti-US hate rally and landed Orange County’s worst magician in an Iraqi prison. Gob didn’t need to attempt his most daring illusion yet: an escape from Iraq. Michael and Buster rescued him and in the process they found the evidence to exonerate George Sr. from his treason charges. For once, Gob’s good intentions didn’t turn to shit. Back in the states, Gob is caught dating Ann and finally gets what he deserves when George Michael knocks him out cold.

Memory Lane:

We have three seasons of highlight reel of magic follies like the Aztec Tomb, the burning bush and the “disappearing” family yacht to choose from. And how can we forget the failed relationships with Marta, Starla and Lucille 2? Maybe the easiest way to find a Gob memory is to combine the flair he has on stage with his aggressively smooth approach to courting the women in his (and Michael’s) (and Buster’s) (and even George Michael’s) life.

There is that one night when Gob met a woman and married her in a series of escalating dares. Amy Poehler, who at the time was married to Will Arnett in real life, played the woman and it was revealed in Season Two that she was a seal dealer who raised and sold seals to aquariums and amusement parks. Forever seeking an opportunity to up his magic game, Gob used one of her seals in his act. Naturally, seals aren’t the best creatures to use in a magic show and he released it back into its natural habitat.

If Gob was blindsided when he was handed the divorce papers for a marriage that he didn’t remember, then he was really blindsided when the seal he set free bit off his brother’s hand.

What to Expect in Season 4: 

Remember the man with the golden voiceGob was the original.

Season Four will chronicle each character in the years since the show was booted from the Fox lineup. Maybe Gob found his true calling and became a voiceover actor or radio host. Maybe he sacked up and became the father that Steve Holt so desperately needed. More likely, Gob continued to coast off the accomplishments of Michael, nixed a few illusions and tried to hump his female softball teammates along the way. Gob is one of the few family members that gets two episodes during the abbreviated 12-episode Netflix season and rightfully so. As Arnett has shown in the post-AD years, he has the acting chops to be a scene-stealer.

Now Arnett will get forty minutes to tell the story of Gob and we’ll see if the character is just as satisfying as the center of attention. At least we know one thing, the infamous chicken dance will return in all its glory.