Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Bob Odenkirk brings his entourage and Jonathan Banks impression to Conan

Bob Odenkirk, Conan O’Brien
Screenshot: Conan

On a day when a real-life shady lawyer appears to be headed for his own personal Cinnabon franchise after possibly flipping on his powerful criminal associate, it’s nice to reflect on everyone’s favorite morally suspect attorney, Saul Goodman. Or Jimmy McGill. Or Gene Takavic. Look, when you’re laundering drug money and planning Hummel heists, you acquire some aliases. At any rate, Better Call Saul star Bob Odenkirk stopped by Conan on Tuesday, bringing along tales of working with Streep, Hanks, and Spielberg on The Post, a killer impersonation of costar Jonathan Banks’ peerless gruffness, and his new, union-mandated entourage.

As if worried people will forget amidst his acclaimed second act as respected dramatic actor that he’s also one of the finest and most influential comic minds of our time, Odenkirk continued his mission to turn every Better Call Saul promotional appearance into a Mr. Show sketch. Unveiling his new gaggle of hangers-on (Johnny T, Dexto/The D-Man, Knuckles, Billy The Shiv, and Scott Van Der Horn), Odenkirk claimed that, once you achieved “a certain Q Rating or something,” you’re required to maintain your own entourage. That’s a prospect, he confided to Conan O’Brien and Andy Richter (who do not yet qualify), that’s proving more than a little daunting. “We don’t have any shared interests,” Odenkirk deadpanned of his mostly middle-aged, pasty sycophants. (The spider-face-tatted Van Der Horn being the glowering exception.) Rebuffed in his attempt to ditch his own bale of Turtles backstage (there’s a sign and everything, as Vanilla Ice tried the same trick once), Odenkirk dutifully summoned his new paid best friends to follow him out.


Before then, though, Odenkirk did share his insight into acting opposite Hollywood royalty on The Post. (“It’s intimidating and weird, and I have to act like I’m not freaked out all the time.”) He also stated that—despite the TV gods wanting us to have more Saul in our lives—there’s no logical reason why Saul Goodman didn’t actually get bumped off for his many criminal shenanigans on Breaking Bad. “He was kind of important, but didn’t really matter to the main story,” Odenkirk said, explaining that he flipped through every script, assuming, “I thought I was created to die.” A Better Call Saul clip showed pre-Saul Jimmy pitching last episode’s appropriately low-rent heist of a valuable Hummel figurine to Jonathan Banks’ perpetually, gruffly skeptical Mike Ehrmantraut, prompting Odenkirk to reveal that Banks is essentially Mike, “except he won’t kill you.” Claiming that he breaks out in pent-up laughter every time one of their intense scenes cuts, Odenkirk busted out his own, lovingly spot-on Banks impression (“Let’s get this over with. I did it, that’s how you do it!”) which backs up Odenkirk’s description of Banks. Since Banks has not actually killed him for doing it and all.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

About the author

Dennis Perkins

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.