bob odenkirk smartless

Bob Odenkirk

Bob Odenkirk is a multifaceted American actor, comedian, writer, director, and producer, best known for his role as Saul Goodman in the critically acclaimed television series "Breaking Bad" and its spin-off "Better Call Saul." Born on October 22, 1962, in Berwyn, Illinois, Odenkirk began his career in comedy writing for shows like "Saturday Night Live" and "The Ben Stiller Show," for which he won an Emmy. His journey from a comedy writer to a beloved character actor showcases his wide range of talents. Odenkirk's portrayal of the morally complex lawyer Saul Goodman brought him widespread acclaim and several award nominations. Beyond his iconic role, he has appeared in numerous films and TV shows, demonstrating his versatility across various genres. Odenkirk continues to influence the entertainment industry with his distinctive blend of humor and dramatic depth.

Smartless Podcast with Bob Odenkirk: An Insightful Journey into Comedy and Creativity

The Smartless podcast, featuring hosts Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, and Sean Hayes, is known for its light-hearted yet insightful conversations with renowned guests. In an engaging episode, they sit down with Bob Odenkirk, a figure synonymous with groundbreaking comedy and intense drama. This article delves into the first third of the transcript, exploring the themes and stories shared by Odenkirk, revealing the depth behind his comedic genius and personal life.

Early Comedy Influences and Career Beginnings

Bob Odenkirk’s journey into comedy started early, with a passion for writing and performing skits as a child. Influenced by iconic shows like “Saturday Night Live” and “Monty Python,” Odenkirk’s comedic style was shaped by these early inspirations. He recounts his early career, moving from Illinois to California, and his eventual groundbreaking work on “Mr. Show with Bob and David.” This period marked the beginning of a long-standing collaboration with David Cross, forming a comedic duo that would impact the genre significantly.

Transition to Directing and Personal Reflections

Odenkirk’s career is not limited to comedy; he has also made strides in directing. He discusses his directorial ventures, including “Melvin Goes to Dinner” and “Let’s Go to Prison,” revealing the challenges and creative processes behind each project. He shares personal anecdotes, like his unexpected appearance on “Will & Grace” and the struggles of balancing family life with career demands.

The Intersection of Comedy and Real Life

A recurring theme in Odenkirk’s conversation is the intersection of comedy with real life. He speaks candidly about the influence of his upbringing, marked by an alcoholic father and the unsettling comedy of the 70s that both entertained and disturbed him. This blend of personal history and cultural commentary provides insight into the depth and complexity behind his comedic works.

Exploring the Multifaceted World of Bob Odenkirk: From Comedy Roots to Action Star

In the second third of the Smartless podcast episode featuring Bob Odenkirk, the conversation dives deeper into his career and personal insights. Odenkirk discusses his early days, his comedic inspirations, and his pivotal moments in the entertainment industry. He reflects on his writing days, starting as young as 10, crafting knock-knock jokes and fake commercials, driven by his love for shows like “Saturday Night Live” and “Monty Python.”

Directing Ventures and Reflective Moments

Odenkirk opens up about his directorial endeavors, mentioning films like “Melvin Goes to Dinner” and “Let’s Go to Prison.” He candidly shares his thought process behind these projects, revealing his artistic vision and the personal reflection that comes with balancing creative endeavors with family life. Odenkirk’s detailed account of his directorial mindset provides a rare glimpse into the challenges and triumphs of moving behind the camera.

Collaborative Dynamics and Personal Growth

A significant part of the conversation is dedicated to Odenkirk’s long-standing partnership with David Cross, particularly on their hit show “Mr. Show.” He describes the dynamic of their working relationship, emphasizing how they complement and push each other creatively. This partnership, according to Odenkirk, is akin to a marriage, with both parties bringing unique strengths to the table.

Impact and Legacy

Odenkirk reflects on the cultural impact of “Mr. Show” and his personal connection to it. He considers it a defining project of his career, one that aligns closely with his comedic sensibility. The discussion also touches on how he navigates the different facets of his career, from comedy to drama, and now, action with his role in the movie “Nobody.”

Bob Odenkirk: A Renaissance Man in Comedy, Drama, and Action

In the final third of the Smartless podcast with Bob Odenkirk, hosts Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, and Sean Hayes, alongside Odenkirk, delve into the intricate layers of his career and personal life. This section provides a comprehensive look into Odenkirk’s thoughts on his comedic roots, his experiences in the entertainment industry, and his personal growth.

The Complex Fabric of Creativity and Personal Struggles

Odenkirk discusses the complexities of his comedic work, emphasizing the importance of anger and confrontation in humor. He reflects on his dissatisfaction with the comedic landscape of the 70s and how it influenced his own work, seeking to create something more meaningful and unsettling. This introspection reveals the depth of thought behind his career choices and the personal conflicts that have shaped his creative path.

Reflecting on Relationships and Collaborative Dynamics

A significant portion of the discussion revolves around Odenkirk’s relationship with David Cross and their collaborative work on “Mr. Show.” He describes their dynamic as a marriage, highlighting how they complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses. This partnership is a testament to the power of creative synergy and mutual respect in producing groundbreaking work.

Embracing New Challenges and Future Ambitions

Odenkirk doesn’t shy away from discussing his venture into the action genre with the film “Nobody.” He shares the personal motivations behind taking on such a physically demanding role, reflecting on a traumatic break-in experience that left him questioning his own capabilities and desire for empowerment. This move into action films illustrates his willingness to challenge himself and explore new territories.


Bob Odenkirk’s conversation in the final third of the Smartless podcast is a deep dive into the mind of a versatile and thoughtful artist. From his reflections on comedy and personal growth to his ambitions and collaborative relationships, Odenkirk provides a nuanced perspective on a life lived in pursuit of creative fulfillment and personal evolution. His story is one of continuous transformation, marked by a relentless drive to explore, create, and understand the complexities of both his craft and his personal journey.