Have you ever listened to the podcast, By the Way, In Conversation with Jeff Garlin? I love it, though I’m not entirely sure that I’d recommend the show to everyone. Garlin (Curb Your Enthusiasm, the fall TV series The Goldbergs, etc.) is LOUD and OBNOXIOUS but also LOUD and funny. He talks way too much, often to the detriment of his guests, and he has a tendency to ramble, sometimes in weirdly personal and uncomfortable ways. But it works, because when his guests do get a chance to speak, they generally open up. Amy Poehler was on a few weeks ago, and she was terrific, and Garlin kind of embarassed himself slobbering all over her. But it’s endearing when it’s not obnoxious.
Anyway, to get to the point: He had Vince Gilligan on this week, which made it a double must-listen episode. But Garlin being Garlin, Gilligan didn’t really get an opportunity discuss Breaking Bad in depth; in fact, when he had the opportunity to speak, it was mostly personal anecdotes. At some point, however, Garlin and Gilligan begin discussing the fact that, in television, the budgets on single episodes are often as much or more than most indie films, and the conversation naturally turned to the very lavishly produced Game of Thrones. That’s when Jeff Garlin hilariously blew a gasket.
I’ve transcribed the conversation below, which you can also listen to around the hour and 20 minute mark in the podcast. If you’re just reading along, however, imagine Vince Gilligan sitting and mostly shaking his head and saying, “Uh huh. Uh huh,” during most of the exchange.
GAME OF THRONES SPOILERS BELOW
Jeff Garlin: “I’m not going to watch it anymore. Don’t get me started. It pissed me off. I loved that show up until the second to last episode. It made me angry … I’m done. I don’t trust them anymore. I don’t trust the Game of Thrones people. I don’t care when people die. Do what you want. But DON’T stab a pregnant woman in the stomach. That’s all I ask of you. AM I WRONG? A character who doesn’t DIE IN THE BOOKS. Not only does she die, but BRUTALLY.
[To a Game of Thrones director who is in the audience]
“You didn’t direct that episode, did you?” (No). “Will you go back and tell them that, I don’t care about the other characters dying. They died in the books. Why not? BUT A PREGNANT LADY. STABBED IN THE STOMACH. F*CK YOU. That made me NUTS. That was the most violent thing I’ve ever seen. I saw Drive. That’s way more violent than anything I saw in Drive. It made me NUTS. F*CK HBO.”
Gilligan: “Wait a minute, don’t you have some pull with those people.”
Garlin (exasperated): “I don’t have any pull to control Game of Thrones. I mean, I love HBO, and they’ve been great to me, and hopefully there will be more Curb Your Enthusiasm … but, but AAAAccccHHHH. That’s all I’m saying. It’s a big bowl of wrong.
(To Gilligan) “I’m just telling you here, you could’ve done anything you want with those (Breaking Bad) characters. You didn’t stab Skyler when she was pregnant. We’re you tempted to?”
Garlin: NO. EXACTLY. Breaking Bad, A VIOLENT F**KING SHOW, would’ve NEVER stabbed a pregnant lady. I’m sorry. I just get so angry.
I think it translated OK in print, but for the full hilarious effect, you really have to listen to the podcast. I should also note that it’s not the first time in recent weeks that Garlin has gone on a tirade: Last week at the TCAs, he held the television critics hostage during the Q&A and berated them for Twittering, while two months ago, he was arrested for smashing a guy’s car window in a dispute over a parking spot.