The first season of Better Call Saul has been excellent, which has been somewhat of a pleasant surprise because the bar was set so high by Breaking Bad. By making the series a prequel, creators Peter Gould and Vince Gilligan have been able to dig into the past to show us how, exactly, Slippin’ Jimmy McGill ends up becoming Saul Goodman, Albuquerque’s shadiest lawyer. It’s been a fun ride so far, and barring a disastrous Season 1 finale next week, it’s safe to say the whole experiment has been a success.
In watching the first season, however, something else has jumped out at me, beyond all the various bits of foreshadowing: Jimmy McGill has an awful lot in common Lionel Hutz, the huckster attorney/babysitter from The Simpsons. Hell, Bob Odenkirk even kind of looks like Lionel Hutz on the show, between the haircut and his character’s decision to start wearing lighter Matlock-style suits over more lawyerly blacks and navy blues. But it goes further than that. Here are a few other similarities I’ve spotted.
Location of Office
Lionel Hutz works out of an office titled “I Can’t Believe It’s a Law Firm” inside the Springfield mall, and in another episode we learn that you can also get shoe repair done on the premises.
Jimmy McGill works out of the back of a nail salon in what appears to be a New Mexico strip mall.
VERDICT: Pretty Hutzian, especially if you want to connect the foot-care-related dots between on-site shoe repair and pedicures.
Lionel Hutz was spotted by police woman Marge digging around in a Springfield dumpster, an act he immediately declared was covered by the longstanding tenet of the American legal system, “attorney-dumpster confidentiality.”
Jimmy McGill dove into a dumpster outside the offices of an assisted living facility to try to acquire the records he had seen the staff shredding earlier in the day.
VERDICT: Also pretty dang Hutzian.
Lionel Hutz burned all of his personal information in the Simpson family’s fireplace, announcing that they could say goodbye to his previous identity and hello to a “Miguel Sanchez.”
Jimmy McGill eventually changes his name to Saul Goodman. We don’t know exactly why or when, but it’s going to happen.
VERDICT: Jury’s still out. Also, I would watch Better Call Miguel. Also also, I miss Phil Hartman.
Area of Practice
Lionel Hutz specializes in ambulance-chasing personal injury cases, but as you can see in this clip, he also dabbles in wills and estates. He promotes this part of his practice by handing out free cigar-shaped pens with his contact information on them to the residents of an assisted living facility.
Jimmy McGill starts out the series as a public defender, but by the midpoint of the season he has transitioned into elder law and handling wills. He promotes this part of his practice by handing out free Jell-O cups with his contact information on the bottom to the residents of an assisted living facility.