Bob Odenkirk


Comedy writer


October 22, 1962


Berwyn, Illinois

Berwyn, IL


58 years old


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A little about Bob

High school and college years

He graduated high school at age 16 because he was "tired of high school" and had enough credits, although he was only a junior. He thought it would be awkward to attend a big college at such a young age so he opted for the local college of DuPage in...

Color blind

Bob has a bit of color blindness, and leaves it to the costume department to select the right outfits for his roles.

Almost Michael Scott

He was considered for the role of Michael Scott in the pilot of The Office, a role that ultimately went to Steve Carell. Odenkirk finally guested in the final season of The Office as a Philadelphia manager strongly reminiscent of Michael Scott.

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Bob's posts (13)

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Bob Odenkirk


If he improvised on Breaking Bad

NO I do not improvise on the set of Breaking Bad. I don't need to. I approach it as a classically trained actor. I watch James Lipton interview someone, then I read the script, then I memorize the script, then I watch more James Lipton, then I put my make-ups on, then I take them off, then I act my pants off. Then, in post, they put pants back on me. The expense of putting pants back on me in post is killing the show. Send me pants, save Breaking Bad!


I do have advice. Fill a page every day with notes on possible sketches. Don't write 'em up yet...just make notes and try to expand on them. Then, the next day, look back at your notes and take a run at one of the sketch ideas. That distance can help, and too often young writers just dive in to writing a sketch (or feature, or spec tv show, etc) without first picking their best idea or taking the time to find the best angle in.
The question I was responding to, "Bob are you going to call Saul?" was deleted. But here's my answer. What? What does that mean? The character of Saul Goodman is made-up. You can't call that character. He doesn't exist. I can't call him either. He was created by Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould as part of the story of "Breaking Bad", a show that played on AMC networks in America and has since had great success as a DVD series and on the streaming service of Netflix. A wonderful show. But none of it actually happened, and none of the characters exists in actuality. Calling any of them would be a ridiculous time-waster and neither you, nor I, must waste precious time doing so. I have written a ...


It's a challenge. From the first time I played the role I was amazed at the amount of talking the character does, and in order to know those speeches I have learned about reading them over and over and deconstructing them a little, something most comic sketches do not require. But it's very rewarding. A character like Cal Mackenzie Goldberg who I play in "Let's Do This!" (please do check it out on Adult is a more heightened character who I can improvise in. Saul takes some contemplation.


I'd say it's even-steven between my comedy stuff and Breaking Bad. Which is pretty amazing because I've been doing comedy for 20+ years and BB for 3. But BB is the biggest thing I've been involved with, by far. The interesting thing to me is that there is often an either-or aspect to it, people who like me in BB have no idea I've ever done anything funny...but I guess that doesn't mean they haven't seen me doing comedy.
"The Ben Stiller Show" was a crazy ton of fun. In fact, when it ended I had the very conscious thought that it was the most fun I would or could ever have in showbiz and my goal from that point on would be to try to replicate it. "Mr. Show" could have been more fun if I hadn't been such a tight-ass, but we still had a ton of laughs.
Obviously, "Matt Foley, the Motivational Speaker". Farley…forever.
Just naturally funny, kind of all-the-time…David Cross, Zach Galifianakis, Tim Heidecker
Sweet, gentle, and then, when I got to be 14 or so...boring as shit. I couldn't wait to get out of there and get to a city where I might get mugged or even murdered to death. But, now that I'm nearing 50, I like Naperville again. I really do. Centennial Beach is the best thing ever.


I am ridiculously lucky to be included in Breaking Bad, a truly amazing show. I'm just glad I'm not fucking it up for everyone. When people think my presence actually helps the show, well, that's just "honey on a walnut" to that the phrase?, wait, now I got it, that's just "an altoid on a pretzel" to me. It's a good thing.
I am amazed at my career trajectory. Very seriously. I am a midwestern guy from a family where television and showbiz were not valued in any way and the whole notion of being a part of this business was very strange and hard to conceive of. Having said all of that, I love sketch comedy but I always thought I might actually have more to offer as a performer, in a slightly dramatic context. My favorite sketch performers; Chris Farley, David Cross, Dana Carvey, have a simpler, more likable energy than I do. I can't believe anyone "likes" me. But please, keep putting up with me!


99% of the time, David and I agreed on what should go on, and why, and what was good. That's one reason the show was so great. I never just wrote off a sketch and thought "You don't like it, but I do..we'll put it on." However, the sketch about the waiter dropping food in the guy's lap and offering to pay for half the dry-cleaning never really worked and everyone agreed "Date With the Queen" was a huge clusterfuck of incomplete thinking. Those two sketches were real stinkers. Some writers hated "Hunger Strike," which i loved. . I'm not sure everyone liked "The Story of Everest." That's a sketch that divides people. It's probably my favorite, though....
GRANT! U.S. Grant (Hiram Ulysses Grant was his true name). I have been messing with an idea for a screenplay about the man. I quiet, unassuming fellow who was passed over for years by everyone around him (nickname "Useless") but in the end he drove it home and saved our beautiful republic.