Bob Odenkirk

Bob Odenkirk Biography

Robert John "Bob" Odenkirk (born October 22, 1962) is an American actor, comedian, writer, director and producer. He is best known for playing lawyer Saul Goodman on the crime drama series Breaking Bad.

In the 1980s and 1990s, he worked as a writer for such notable shows as Saturday Night Live, Get A Life, The Ben Stiller Show, and The Dennis Miller Show. In the mid-1990s, Odenkirk and David Cross created the Emmy-winning sketch comedy program Mr. Show with Bob and David, which ran for four seasons and ultimately became a cult success. In the early 2000s, Odenkirk discovered Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim and produced their television series Tom Goes to the Mayor and Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!. He has directed three films: 2003's Melvin Goes to Dinner, 2006's Let's Go to Prison, and 2007's The Brothers Solomon. He was also a director on the 2013 sketch comedy film Movie 43.

Early life

Odenkirk was born in Berwyn, Illinois, and was raised in nearby Naperville. He is one of seven children of Barbara and Walter Odenkirk, who was employed in the printing business. His brother is comedy writer Bill Odenkirk. Odenkirk is of half Irish descent. His parents later divorced. His father's battle with alcoholism would later influence Bob's decision to avoid alcohol almost completely. Odenkirk would later say that he grew up "hating" Naperville because "it felt like a dead end, like Nowheresville. I couldn't wait to move into a city and be around people who were doing exciting things." He also attended Columbia College Chicago.

Odenkirk has said his strongest comedic influence was Monty Python's Flying Circus, primarily due to its combination of cerebral and simple humor. His other influences included radio personality Steve Dahl, SCTV, Steve Martin's Let's Get Small, Woody Allen, The Credibility Gap, and Bob and Ray. He also visited Chicago's Second City Theater at the age of 14.

He began his foray into comedy writing as a radio DJ for WIDB Carbondale, IL, his local college station at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He worked at WIDB with newsman Greg Weindorf and traffic man Matt "The Agitator" Helser now of Dirty Laundry Podcast fame. He created a radio comedy hour, sometimes an hour and a half, called "The Prime Time Special" with many recurring characters. "It often had us in stitches" said then WIDB Program Director, Victor Lentini. After three years of college, Odenkirk decided to try writing and improv in the Chicago comedy scene. First studying with the famous improv-guru Del Close (who had mentored the likes of Joel Murray and James Belushi). Odenkirk also attended "The Players Workshop of the Second City" where he met Robert Smigel, and they began a collaboration that would last for years and take Bob to Saturday Night Live.


Work in television

Saturday Night Live: 1987-1991

Odenkirk was hired as a writer at Saturday Night Live in 1987 and worked there through 1991. Working alongside Robert Smigel and Conan O'Brien, he contributed to many sketches they created, but felt uncertain of the efficacy of his own writing at the show. He acted in several small roles on the show, most visibly during a 1991 parody commercial for Bad Idea Jeans.

In Odenkirk's final year at SNL, he worked alongside Adam Sandler, David Spade, Chris Rock, and Chris Farley, but his desire to perform caused him to leave the show. Odenkirk has credited SNL with teaching him many lessons about sketch writing, from senior writers like James Downey and Al Franken, as well as his friends Smigel and O'Brien.

When Saturday Night Live took its 1988 summer break, Odenkirk returned to Chicago to perform a stage show with Smigel and O'Brien, titled Happy Happy Good Show. The following summer he did a one-man show, Show-Acting Guy, directed by Tom Gianas. During his final summer hiatus, he wrote and acted in the Second City Mainstage show, Flag Burning Permitted in Lobby Only. In that particular show, he wrote the character "Matt Foley, Motivational Speaker", for Chris Farley, which would later be reprised on SNL.

Various writing and acting work: 1991-1994

In 1991, Odenkirk was hired to write for the TV show Get a Life, which starred Late Night with David Letterman alumnus Chris Elliott. Other notable writers on the show included Adam Resnick and Charlie Kaufman. The show was short-lived, and in 1992, Odenkirk briefly wrote for The Dennis Miller Show.

Odenkirk's friendship with Ben Stiller, with whom he briefly shared an office at SNL, would lead to him being hired for the cast of The Ben Stiller Show in 1992. Working as both a writer and actor on the show, he created and starred in the memorable sketch "Manson Lassie", and helped the show win an Emmy Award for writing. However, the show had already been canceled by the time it won the award. Odenkirk also met David Cross at Ben Stiller; shortly afterward, the pair began performing live sketch shows, which eventually evolved into Mr. Show with Bob and David.

In 1993, Odenkirk began a recurring role on The Larry Sanders Show as Larry Sanders' agent, Steve Grant. He would sporadically continue the character through 1998. Also in 1993, Odenkirk had brief acting roles on Roseanne and Tom Arnold's The Jackie Thomas Show.

Mr. Show: 1995-1998

See Mr. Show for more information Created by Odenkirk and David Cross, Mr. Show ran on HBO for 4 seasons, over 33 episodes. The show featured a number of comedians in the early stages of their careers, including Sarah Silverman, Paul F. Tompkins, Jack Black, Tom Kenny, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Brian Posehn and Scott Aukerman.

While nominated for multiple Emmy awards in writing and generally well liked by critics, it never broke out of a "cult" audience into larger mainstream acceptance. After Mr. Show, Bob and David and the writers from the staff wrote the movie Run, Ronnie, Run. The film was an extension of a sketch from the first season of the show. However, the studio took production control away from Cross and Odenkirk during the editing stages, and the pair has disowned the final product.

Recent television work: 1999-2012

Since Mr. Show, Bob has acted in numerous television shows and some films. He has written and produced many TV pilots, including The Big Wide World of Carl Laemke and David's Situation, but none have made it to air or been picked up as a series.

In 2004, Bob received an unsolicited package including the work of Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim. Inspired by their unique voice, he connected with them and helped them develop a semi-animated show for Adult Swim called Tom Goes to the Mayor. Bob also assisted Tim and Eric with the development of their second series, Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job.

Odenkirk has had a number of small featuring roles on TV shows, including Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist, Seinfeld, NewsRadio, Just Shoot Me!, Joey, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Arrested Development, Entourage, Weeds, and How I Met Your Mother. He also appeared in Everybody Loves Raymond as Scott Preeman. Odenkirk had been selected to be Michael Scott in the pilot of The Office but the producers' original choice, Steve Carell, became available again and was cast instead. Odenkirk finally guested in the final season of The Office as a Philadelphia manager strongly reminiscent of Michael Scott.

In 2009, Odenkirk joined the cast of AMC's Breaking Bad as the corrupt lawyer Saul Goodman. He appeared as a guest star in three episodes of the second season, and has since become a series regular for the seasons after.

In 2011, Odenkirk wrote and developed "Let's Do This!" for Adult Swim. Odenkirk stars as "Cal Mackenzie-Goldberg, two-bit movie mogul and head of Cal-Gold Pictures as he leads a collection of crazy, fame-hungry strivers chasing Hollywood dreams." The pilot can be seen on Adult Swim's website.

It was announced on September 11, 2013 that AMC has green-lighted a spin-off series for Odenkirk's character Saul Goodman from Breaking Bad. The show will be a one-hour prequel highlighting Saul before he met Walter White.

Work in film

In 2003, Odenkirk directed Melvin Goes to Dinner, which won the Audience Award at the SXSW Film and Music Festival. It was later self-released in five cities, then distributed on DVD by Sundance. Odenkirk directed Let's Go to Prison in 2006, written by Tom Lennon and Ben Garant of The State and Reno 911 fame. Let's Go To Prison starred Will Arnett of Arrested Development, as well as Dax Shepard and Chi McBride. In 2007, Odenkirk directed The Brothers Solomon, written by Will Forte. The film starred Forte, Will Arnett and Lee Majors. Odenkirk was one of the directors of the 2013 anthology comedy film Movie 43.

Personal life

Odenkirk is married to Naomi Yomtov; the couple have two children, Nathan and Erin.



Year Title Role Notes
1993 Wayne's World 2 Concert nerd
1994 Clean Slate Cop
1996 The Truth About Cats & Dogs Bookstore man
1996 The Cable Guy Steven's brother
1996 Waiting for Guffman Caped man at audition
1997 Hacks Cellmate
1999 Can't Stop Dancing Simpson
2000 The Independent Figure
2001 Dr. Dolittle 2 Dog #2 Voice
2001 Monkeybone Morgue surgeon
2002 Run Ronnie Run Terry Twillstein
Wolfgang Amadeus Thelonius Von Funkenmeister the XIX
Daffy Mal Yinkle Yankle
DVD Exclusive Award for Best Original Song in a DVD Premiere Movie
2003 Melvin Goes to Dinner Keith Director
Phoenix Film Festival Award for Best Picture
Phoenix Film Festival Award for Best Ensemble Acting
Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival Award for Best Feature Film
Independent Film Festival of Boston Audience Award
Avignon Film Festival Award for Best Feature "? USA
Nominated - DVD Exclusive Award for Best Director
Nominated - Slamdance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize
2004 My Big Fat Independent Movie Steve
2005 Sarah Silverman: Jesus Is Magic Manager
2006 Channel 101 Terry Wulhulherher Segment: "Your Magic Touched Me: Nights"
2006 Danny Roane: First Time Director Pete Kesselmen
2006 Relative Strangers Mitch Clayton
2006 Let's Go to Prison Duane Director
2007 The Brothers Solomon Director
2009 Operation: Endgame Emperor
2010 Blood Into Wine French winemaker
2011 Son of Morning Fred Charles
2011 Take Me Home Tonight Mike
2012 Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie Schlaaang Announcer
2012 The Giant Mechanical Man Mark
2013 Ass Backwards Pageant Host
2013 Movie 43 P.I. Director, writer
Segment: "Find Our Daughter"
2013 Dealin' with Idiots Coach Jimbo
2013 The Spectacular Now Dan
2013 Nebraska Ross Grant
2013 Hell & Back The Devil Voice


Year Title Role Notes
1987-1995 Saturday Night Live Various Roles Also Writer
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program (1989)
Nominated - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program (1990, 1991)
1991-1992 Get a Life Writer
1992 The Dennis Miller Show Writer
1992 Ben Stiller Show Various Roles Also Writer
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program (1993)
1993 The Jackie Thomas Show Elmer Episode: "Aloha, Io-wahu"
1993 Roseanne Jim Episode: "Tooth or Consequences"
1993-1998 The Larry Sanders Show Steve Grant 11 episodes
1993-1994 Late Night with Conan O'Brien Writer
1994 Tom David Episode: "The Bad Seed"
1995-1998 Mr. Show with Bob and David Various Roles Also Co-Creator, Writer, Executive Producer
Nominated - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Music and Lyrics (1998)
Nominated - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program (1998, 1999)
1996 Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist Bob Voice
Episode: "Fructose"
1996 Seinfeld Ben Episode: "The Abstinence"
1997-1998 NewsRadio Dr. Smith
Episodes: "The Injury" and "Chock"
1997-2001 Everybody Loves Raymond Scott Preman Episodes: "High School" and "Net Worth"
1997-2000 Tenacious D Co-creator, Writer, Executive Producer
1999 Just Shoot Me! Barry Episode: "The Odd Couple: Part 1"
1999 3rd Rock from the Sun Gary Parkinson Episode: "The Fifth Solomon"
2000 Curb Your Enthusiasm Gil Episode: "Porno Gil"
2001 Ed Rev. Richie Porter Episode: "Valentine's Day"
2001 The Andy Dick Show Chuck Charles Episode: "Standards and Practices"
2003 Less than Perfect Colin Hunter Episode: "The New Guy"
2003 Futurama Chaz Voice
Episode: "The Why of Fry"
2003 The Big Wide World of Carl Laemke Carl Laemke Pilot
2003 Arrested Development Dr. Phil Gunty Episode: "Visiting Ours"
2004 Joey Brian Michael David Scott Episode: "Joey and the Nemesis"
2004 Aqua Teen Hunger Force Bean Wizard Voice
Episode: "Hypno-Germ"
2004-2006 Tom Goes to the Mayor Various Voices Writer, Executive Producer
2005 Crank Yankers Droopy Voice
Episode: "#3.14"
2006 Freak Show Half Oldman Half Youngman
Senator Tinkerbell
Episodes: "Pilot" and "Elections"
2007-2010 Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! Various Roles Also Writer
2007 Derek & Simon Various Roles Co-Creator, Writer, Director, Executive Producer
2007 The Sarah Silverman Program Mister Wadsworth Episode: "Maid to Border"
2008-2012 How I Met Your Mother Arthur Hobbs 8 episodes
2008 Weeds Barry Episode: "Head Cheese"
2008 Mike Birbiglia's Secret Public Journal Donnie TV Movie
2009 Rules of Engagement Mike Episode: "Russell's Secret"
2009"2013 Breaking Bad Saul Goodman Main Cast
Nominated - Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2012, 2013)
2009 American Dad! Third Worker
TV Host
Episodes: "Weiner of Our Discontent" and "Home Adrone"
2009 The Goode Family Brian Kennedy Voice
Episode: "Pleatherheads"
2009 Glenn Martin DDS Vince the Circus Owner Voice
Episode: "The Grossest Show on Earth"
2010 The Life & Times of Tim The Interventionist
Bathroom Attendant
Episodes: "Nagging Blonde/Tim and the Elephant" and "London Calling/Novelist"
2010 Check It Out! with Dr. Steve Brule Writer
2010 Entourage Ken Austin Episodes: "Sniff Sniff Gang Bang", "Porn Scenes from an Italian Restaurant" and "Lose Yourself"
2010 Team Spitz Principal Kersey TV Movie
2011 Let's Do This! Cal TV Movie
2011 Jon Benjamin Has a Van Rev. Rocco Janson Episode: "Smoking"
2012 NTSF:SD:SUV:: Aaron Sampson Episode: "Robot Town"
2012 Bob's Burgers Chase Voice
Episode: "Tina-Rannosaurus Wrecks"
2012 The League Miles Miller Episode: "A Krampus Carol"
2012 Comedy Bang Bang Tommy Shalders, Himself Episodes: "Seth Rogen Wears A Plaid Shirt & Brown Pants", "Adam Scott Wears A Red Oxford Shirt & Jeans"
2013 The Office Mark Episode: "Moving On"
2013 Drunk History Richard Nixon
The Guy
Episodes: "Washington D.C.", "Boston"
2013 The Birthday Boys Various Roles Main Cast, Executive Producer
2015 Better Call Saul Saul Goodman Main Role

This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "Bob_Odenkirk" and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.



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