Hey Kristen Schaal, Is A Hot Dog A Sandwich?

There are opportunities in this life that, when they present themselves, you simply cannot fail to act. These golden moments seem to sparkle, to shine, and some primal part of you knows that its light will fade soon, that the window will close, so you must simply act, and act now, leap into the fray and grab the ring before the carousel wheels onward, snatching your moment from you like pollen on the wind. It's the kind of moment that drives one to mix one's metaphors, that prompts one to write perhaps inappropriately florid introductions to simple interview pieces. One such moment arrived when, newly on the hot dog-sandwich beat, I saw one of the stars of Bob's Burgers wander into a room.


Kristen Schaal plays young rabbit ear-hat aficionada Louise Belcher in Fox's terrific series, which returns for its 9th (!) season on Sunday, Sept. 30. Asking Kristen Schaal about the placement of hot dogs in the overall meal taxonomy isn't quite as on the nose as asking her about being the youngest child in a family that owns a burger restaurant, but it's still pretty on point, and as such, her answer should perhaps carry extra weight.

I really should have asked her if she's a horse.

On to the big question.

The Takeout: Is a hot dog is a sandwich?

Kristen Schaal: Great question! [A long pause] No.

TO: Why is a hot dog not a sandwich?

KS: I don't know. It's sort of become its own thing. It's almost like you're asking me, "Is a magician a performer?" Yes. But is a magician a dancer? No.


TO: Okay, so they're both... food?

KS: Yeah. Like, I see why they would belong in the sandwich family, but you don't put other sandwich items in a hot dog bun. A hot dog bun is specifically shaped for the dog, right? So in that regard, I don't think it's a sandwich.

TO: So if somebody took a hot dog and a hot dog bun and then put, I don't know, cold cuts in there, would it become a sandwich?

KS: Yeah. Yeah? Yeah.