Interview with Bob Odenkirk

Bob Odenkirk is known best for his skit series “Mr. Show with Bob and David” with David Cross. He has worked on Adult Swim shows like “Tom Goes to the Mayor” and “Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!” He has also has recurring roles on TV shows like “How I Met Your Mother” and “Breaking Bad”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Bob about his TV work and also his new upcoming pilot for Adult Swim.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about working on the “Breaking Bad”?
Bob Odenkirk: I love being a part of that show. It was something that came out of the blue and just fell on my head. It is different from all my other work as it is a drama. The show has a bunch of great actors and writers who work extremely hard. I don’t know if my character will continue to be a part of the show as I don’t really know what happens. Every year I will go down and hang out with the writers just to talk about writing. I guess while I am down there I will see if my characters name is up on any of the walls. I’m guessing they wouldn’t have me come over for lunch if my character wasn’t going to be around anymore. (Laughs) I really want to be a part of the show as I love playing the character. I have such respect for the challenge of making the show that I am for whatever they want to do with my character.

MG: What do you like most about playing the sleazy Saul Goodman?
BO: I want to play the sleazy guy. I love reading the script and asking myself what Saul is really trying to get done. He only is telling people what they want to hear or what will get them to do whatever it is he wants. It’s always fun to think about what he is really after.

MG: How does it compare to working on a show like “How I Met Your Mother”?
BO: The energy is different. There is a more relaxed feeling on a show such as “How I Met Your Mother”. “Breaking Bad” consists of a great group of people but in order to get the show done within the time constraints you have to work really hard. You have to show up knowing your lines and be ready to go. If that didn’t happen the show would just never get done. It’s a pretty serious place. It’s a challenge that is fun.

MG: Tell us about your recent stand up tour with the Birthday Boys, called “Seven Man Sweater”?
BO: The Birthday Boys are a sketch group here in Los Angeles that are really funny. We did a show earlier this year called “The Heroic Man”. We are currently working on coming up with a television show as well. I also did a show for Adult Swim called “Let’s Do This” that will air on their website next week. I want people to go to the site, check out the video and if they like it tell Adult Swim they want it made into a series.

MG: How did you get involved working with Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim?
BO: Tim and Eric are amazing, funny guys. They amaze me and are real artists. I think I am good at helping them with the tools that make a good show. They have a vision and a voice that is very distinct and unique. It’s an inspiration to work with guys like Tim and Eric. I envy them.

MG: Are you still writing for “Check It Out! with Dr. Steve Brule” season 2?
BO: I don’t. I think I helped with the first season by making some observations. I think I also talked with them about the point of view. That’s pretty much what I do with Tim and Eric as well. The episodes are pretty well completed and I just give them some notes.

MG: Are you going to be directing anymore films?
BO: Yes. When I finished “Brother Salomon” I felt like I really needed to step back from teachers and think about what I am doing there, why I am doing it and what will my next film be. I think I have a lot of fans that look at the 3 films I have done and they don’t really see my voice. It’s certainly not as potent as it was on “Mr. Show” and that’s understandable. I think the next movie I am going to make is going to be more of what you would want from me. I have a couple scripts out there and am actually meeting on one tomorrow. I also am shooting a short for “Funny or Die” next month which will be a lot of fun.

MG: Tell us about your role for the upcoming film “Movie 43”
BO: I am not in that but, I did direct a short for that film. Peter Farrelly is producing that and the film is made up of a variety of short comedy films. I gave them some stuff to look at and they picked one thing out of what I gave them. That film is pretty much out of my hands.

MG: What else do you have planned for 2012?
BO: David Cross and I are performing at the Amnesty International Ball with Cold Play. It’s nothing really big. (Laughs) David and I are also going to Vancouver where we are doing a show as well. I also will be recording my first Mr. Blow podcast which will be on Ear Wolf. Mr. Blow will be a podcast featuring people who wrote, were in or saw the live version of “Mr. Show”. The cast will not be about “Mr. Show” but about life now.

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