Bob Odenkirk is a busy man. The sixth and final season of Better Call Saul is airing now, he recently released his memoir Comedy Comedy Comedy Drama, and he made some time to appear in Beach Bunny’s new video. He was also in NYC on Tuesday night at The 92nd Street Y to talk about his new Audible podcast comedy series Summer in Argyle. Joining him were his son and Summer in Argyle co-creator, Nate Odenkirk, and Bob’s frequent collaborator and Mr. Show co-creator David Cross.
Led by Cross, who is also in Summer in Argyle, the conversation ran an hour and change, including a few questions from the audience. When Cross asked about the initial development of the project, Nate replied that he began writing it with college friends in 2019 and shared the 73-page script with his dad, who encouraged Nate to “rewrite the hell out of it”. Later, Bob described how he was always looking for “tone” in comedy, not just big jokes, adding that he enjoyed working with all the writers on The Ben Stiller Show but lacked a consistent tone, unlike The Birthday Boys or Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, or some other projects he worked on.
Eventually Summer in Argyle found its way to Audible, where they were given a lot of freedom to be creative and a budget to make it sound great. Bob said that Audible’s casual hand was similar to Chris Albrecht’s stance towards Mr. Show when Bob and David began creating that for HBO in the ’90s. On that note, Bob said he often wants to tell graduates that some of them should become executives (as opposed to actors) so that they too can help artists.
Summer in Argyle is a murder-mystery set in a small town that blends comedy and old-fashioned radio theater. Characters are voiced by a bunch of Mr Show regulars, including Paul F. Tompkins, Brian Posehn, Tom Kenny, and Jill Talley, as well as I Think You Should Leave‘s Tim Robinson and more. Bob recalled that one of his own early comedy forays had been a weekly college radio show, “The Primetime Special,” and compared Argyle to Fireside Theater or The Credibility Gap (which included his future Better Call Saul co-star Michael McKean).
A couple of times, Cross had to rope in Odenkirk and bring him back on topic. When responding to one of the audience’s questions about when they were most creative in the day, Bob started to answer when he’s least creative. So Cross gave a deliberate gesture as he picked up and read the question card again, emphasizing “most.”
Another question from the audience asked what music they listened to; Nate couldn’t put a pin on any one name but said he was looking forward to Kendrick Lamar’s new album, while Bob mentioned Nick Drake and The Rolling Stones. For those who were hoping for some insight into where Saul will go in this final season, they left out of luck
Photos from the 92nd Street Y conversation are in this post.