After playing the gravitas of slick, moral-shifting attorney Saul Goodman on AMC’s 39-time Emmy nominee Better Call Saul, Bob Odenkirk, is — to use a line from one of his Mr. Show sketches — ready “to blow up the moon” as he pivots back to his comedy roots.
“Guru Nation is ridiculous,” Odenkirk told Deadline at the Season 6 Hollywood premiere of Better Call Saul on Thursday night. “We’re playing multiple gurus, David and I. We tell the story of some young people as they make their way through these cults.”
Odenkirk also is returning to work with AMC, this time on the series adaptation of the Richard Russo novel Straight Man. In the show, eyed for a 2023 debut, Odenkirk plays William Henry Devereaux Jr., the unlikely chairman of the English department in a badly underfunded college in the Pennsylvania rust belt. Aaron Zelman and Paul Lieberstein are adapting the book and would serve as co-showrunners. Odenkirk already read the first script.
“Straight Man is a great script; I love it, I can’t wait to play that part,” said the two-time Emmy winner. “It’s more comical than Better Call Saul. And no guns in it. It’s something I would love to sink my teeth into and do that comedy.”
Odenkirk billed Straight Man as “it’s like if you married The Office and Better Call Saul.”
We spoke with Better Call Saul co-creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould at the Hollywood premiere as well, and they marveled about Odenkirk’s comeback after suffering a heart attack on set in July last year. Odenkirk would later finish shooting the scene he started that summer in September; that sequence to appear in the second part of Better Call Saul‘s Season 6.
Odenkirk teases “this season, Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul are even more intertwined than ever.”
“And don’t forget, we go after Breaking Bad this season,” the actor said about where the Season 6 timeline will go. “We do it every season. There will be more of that.”
The first seven episodes of Better Call Saul‘s sixth and final season begin April 18, then the series goes on hiatus until July 11, when the last half-dozen episodes kick off on AMC and AMC+.