Herb Kazzaz (voiced by Stanley Tucci) was BoJack's former mentor and close friend, as well as an experienced comedian who created and wrote Horsin' Around. He was a recurring character in Season 1 of BoJack Horseman.
Role on BoJack Horseman
Herb was a comedian in the 1980's, he would often perform at a bar in Los Angeles, he met BoJack Horseman while heckling him as he performed. He approached BoJack in the bar, and while BoJack was initially upset and told him " Get cancer, jerkwad." This foreshadows Herbs rectal cancer later in life. Herb gave him advice, and the two became fast friends, they were best buddies in the 80's, they worked at the bar together, and performed together. BoJack was close with Charlotte Moore, whom Herb was dating at the time. Herb pitched network executives his show, Horsin' Around. Around the same time, Charlotte had to leave to go to Maine. She broke up with Herb. " I don't think I'm the person Herb's looking for."
The network picked up Horsin' Around. Herb wanted BoJack to be the star of the show, to which he accepted. Excited, Herb kissed BoJack, but they both clarified they weren't gay. Herb gave BoJack a telescope. The show went into production and premiered in 1987. It was initially dismissed as mediocre, and not very good, but it grew a popular audience, and was a huge success. He grew healthy relationships with the stars, Bradley Hitler-Smith, Joelle Clarke and Sarah Lynn. But his relationship with BoJack was strained as BoJack was letting fame go to his head, and was becoming a narcissistic and depressed person.
In the early 90's, Herb was caught having sexual relations with another male. He was widely criticised by the media, who attempted to boycott Horsin' Around. Herb was worried about being fired, and admitted his homosexualty to BoJack and asked him as a friend to threaten to leave if he was fired. BoJack was unsure at first, but decided to because Herb was responsible for his fame in the first place. However, when Angela Diaz convinced him that if Herb was really BoJack's friend, he'd understand, BoJack kept on the show, not only betraying Herb, but cutting off contact with him entirely. Herb was understandably upset and kept in touch with Joelle and Sarah Lynn, but never spoke to BoJack for twenty years after. He did many things in that time, including meeting the president Bill Clinton. During the time, he caught Rectal Cancer.
In 2014, BoJack decided to speak to Herb after getting a phone call from him. He traveled to Malibu, California, where Herb lived, with Diane Nguyen, who was writing his biography. Todd Chavez was also there, but didn't meet Herb because he was left to park the car, and ended up in a sub plot with two girls who were stealing from celebrities. Herb was actually glad to see his old friend. But was still angry and took several jabs at BoJack, but he ended up enjoying himself and his time with BoJack. BoJack apologized to Herb for what he did. Herb didn't forgive BoJack, and went on a rant about how he has to live with what he did. He was mad not because BoJack never left the show, but because he completely abandoned him, it's hard to forgive someone for that. He than commanded BoJack to " Get the fuck out of my house." BoJack walked out, before picking up the telescope Herb kept. Herb got mad, and attacked BoJack, they ended up wrestling on the ground. Herb said this " You know what your problem is? You wanna think of yourself as the good guy! Well, I know you better than anyone else and I can tell you, that you're not. In fact, you'd probably sleep a lot better at night if you just admitted to yourself that you're a selfish goddamn coward, who takes whatever he wants, and doesn't give a shit, about who he hurts, that's you! That's BoJack Horseman!" BoJack claimed he didn't know why he came there, to which Herb replied " Yeah, you do." BoJack and Diane left, and BoJack ends up pulling over his car to breathe before he kissed Diane, who rejected his advances.
In 2015, Herb overcomes his cancer, but is soon after killed in a car accident. He didn't sustain injuries from the accident itself, but had crashed into a truck filled with peanuts to which he was deathly allergic.
In flashbacks, Herb appeared to be a friendly and mostly positive person who did believe in everyone on board and did care for them. He was removed from the show after it was figured he was gay. BoJack had to stay on the show for the public, figuring he be satifying millions of people watching but it didn't work out years later when Herb felt it was betrayal.
The episode of Still Broken revolves entirely around the funeral of Herb Kazzaz. Several people attended the funeral, including BoJack, Todd, Joelle, Sarah Lynn, Bradley, Henry Winkler, Mr. Peanutbutter, and Princess Carolyn. Henry used to volunteer with Herb at Habitat For Humanity. Mr Peanutbutter and Princess Carolyn didn't know Herb personally, but Mr. Peanutbutter was there to network. Princess Carolyn was too, but she pretended as though she knew Herb, Mr Peanutbutter caught her and forced her to tell tales about her friendship with Herb, which didn't exist. She lied about helping orphans with Herb. She made it as though she was best friends with Herb. Henry gave her the ashes of Herb. Meanwhile, BoJack, Bradley, Sarah Lynn and Joelle reconnected, They were all annoyed with one another, but when it was revealed Herb was writing a manuscript for a novel, they agreed to look for it. They eventually found out that Henry Winkler took it, but not by any malicious intent, but simply because it was a horrible manuscript. They were hiding it because they didn't want Herb to become a laughing stock. As a respect for Herb's legacy, they agreed not to publish the book.
- "I'm not gonna give you closure. You don't get that. You have to live with the shitty thing you did for the rest of your life. You have to know that it's never, ever going to be okay! I'm dying! I'm not gonna feel better! And I'm not gonna be your prop so you can feel better! Do you know what it was like for me? I had nobody. Everybody left! I knew all those showbiz phonies would turn on me, sure. But you? I don't care about the job! I did fine! I had a good life, but what I needed then was... a friend. And you abandoned me. And I will never forgive you for that. Now get the fuck out of my house!"
- "You know what your problem is? You want to think of yourself as the good guy. Well, I know you better than anyone, and I can tell you that you're not. In fact, you'd probably sleep a lot better at night if you just admitted to yourself that you're a selfish goddamn coward who just takes whatever he wants and doesn't give a shit about who he hurts. That's you. That's Bojack Horseman."
- Herb was born in 1961, and died in 2015, meaning he died at fifty-four or fifty-three years old.
- When BoJack first meets Herb, he tells him "Get cancer, jerkwad!". Later on Herb gets terminal rectal cancer.
- Herb's closet homosexuality is subtly hinted at by Charlotte's statement, "I don't think I'm the person Herb's looking for," a mere scene before Herb steals a kiss from BoJack at Griffith Park.
- In "Sabrina's Christmas Wish" it is also show that Herb lays the voice of Mr. Liberatore, the Horse's boss in the sitcom, "Horsin' Around"
- Herb is the first of four characters who use the word "fuck". The other two being Charlotte in Season 2, Todd in the third season and Bojack in Season 4. The writers have a rule, the word can only be used once per season and it has to be used by a character whom is leaving BoJack's life for good.