Before Better Call Saul, before Breaking Bad, even before Mr. Show with Bob and David, Bob Odenkirk worked as a writer on Saturday Night Live. He was hired in 1987 and stayed on the sketch series until 1991 when he departed to write for Get a Life (an all-time comedy classic) and The Ben Stiller Show (ditto), where he met David Cross.
In a recent interview with PeopleTV‘s “Couch Surfing,” Odenkirk was asked what goes through his mind when he sees footage of himself from his SNL days (he occasionally appeared on camera, like during Catherine O’Hara’s monologue in a 1991 episode). “I was such a prick back then,” he answered. “I was so opinionated. I was a very opinionated comedy writer. I was a writer on the show and Lorne [Michaels] would sometimes have me do a part in the scene, a small part like that. And of course I was starstruck at Catherine O’Hara, who was just the best.” Still is the best.
Odenkirk has expressed regret with the way he acted in the early 1990s before, although last time, the soon-to-be action movie star used “dick” instead of “prick.” Same difference, I suppose. As he said on Michael Ian Black’s podcast back in 2015:
A big part of the challenge I had at Saturday Night Live was my own immaturity. I brought a lot of challenge to the show just because I was a person who was confrontational and suspicious of the establishment. When I was there I treated Lorne like a boss, like the boss of some dumb job I had. Only after I left did I go: the guy’s a creative guy and he created that show and he oversees the creative side of it, and he does overall a pretty damn good job… but I was like, ‘Who the f*ck is this guy to tell me who’s funny, f*ck him.’ I was a dick.
That’s good advice from Bob: don’t be a prick. Or a dick.