Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Bob & David interview
Bob Odenkirk & David Cross
January 30, 2012
"People that love Mr. Show, love it so much they watch it real closely and get way into it. So there’s a place in their mind where we’re standing next to each other on stage doing a show." – Bob Odenkirk
"People always ask me, 'When are you and Bob going to do something? Are you ever going to do something again?' There never really is an assumption that we had a falling out or anything. I think people understand we have these two separate lives and we live on two different coasts. But we’re always looking to get together and work again." – David Cross
Publicist: Bob and David are both on the line. I will give you about a three-minute heads-up when you’re almost ready and done.
David Cross: Can you give me a five-minute warning on the three-minute heads-up? Is that cool?
Bob Odenkirk: And I need somebody to call ‘places’.
GM: Places! Here we go.
BO: Okay, I’m here. I’m in my costume.
GM: How are you guys?
GM: I was thinking, all you’ve done as individuals over the years yet you’re still kind of connected. It’s always Bob & David.
BO: Well, I mean legally we are, but is that what you mean?
GM: Yeah, legally. No, with the fans. You’re a comedy team even though you haven’t worked together in years except for occasionally. You’re still that to a lot of people.
DC: You can speak for yourself, Bob, but I don’t think we ever considered ourselves a comedy team in the classic kind of Martin & Lewis, Abbott & Costello, Nichols & May way.
BO: I think myself alone, I’m Abbott & Costello.
DC: I’m actually half of a person so we’re two and a half people, which predates Two and a Half Men by a good decade. But people always ask me, whenever I do any press for anything, or if I’m just in a bar, “When are you and Bob going to do something? Are you ever going to do something again?” There never really is an assumption that we had a falling out or anything. I think people understand we have these two separate lives and we live on two different coasts. But we’re always looking to get together and work again.
BO: Also the people that love Mr. Show, they love it so much that they watch it real closely and they get way into it. So there’s a place in their mind where we’re standing next to each other on stage doing a show.
GM: I read an interview with you two in Vanity Fair. I think it was pretty recent. It really drove home the point that entertainment is so fractured. Because in my world, everybody knows Mr. Show. You guys were talking about how it’s a business and it was a cult show, so you understand why it got cancelled. I turn on a network talk show or Saturday Night Live and I have no clue who the lead guest is. So it’s always a bit jarring when a Mr. Show or Arrested Development gets cancelled.
DC: That’s because you keep watching Mr. Show over and over and over again. Your point of reference is from the mid- to late-nineties. Justin Bieber wasn’t even born yet. You’ve really got to get out there and peruse a couple Us Weekly’s.
BO: I agree, Guy. I think there are so many channels that entertainment itself is split into a million billion pieces and you can just be well known in one and not known at all in the others.
GM: It seems like a disconnect, though. It seems like it’s more popular; it’s not just a cult thing.
BO: You work in the comedy scene. So I don’t know. What’s the biggest thing you’ve done, David? Chipmunks?
DC: Oh, easily.
BO: I’d say Breaking Bad is hugely bigger than Mr. Show.
DC: Oh, by far. Definitely.
GM: But do they know you as Bob Odenkirk or is it, “That’s Saul. That’s that guy.”
BO: They go Saul Goodman. They don’t know me at all.
GM: And by the way, my son loved the Chipmunk movie.
DC: Well, that’s who it’s for. So that’s good.
GM: Your website is gone, you guys. What happened there?
BO: That was my fuck-up. That was my fault. I don’t understand how it works. I don’t know what a server is or why you have to pay somebody for it or where you pay or how you contact them. So what happened was the subscription ran out, I guess. Is that what it’s called? And I guess some companies just buy random sites and then they put their information up. So if you go to bobanddavid.com… I’m going to go there right now and look. They’re selling pharmaceuticals or something. I’m going to go see it. Hold on… (to himself, typing) bobanddavid.com… Something happened to it… Oh, it’s for sale! Holy shit! You guys, it says it’s for sale!
DC: How much?
BO: I wonder how much. You’re right, they’re going to try to get loads of money out of us. So some shitty company did that to us. They just grabbed it up.
GM: Any plans to relaunch another one?
BO: You know, I have a site of my own that I barely keep up. I don’t really know what to do with a website so I just can’t do it.
DC: I think, for myself – and this probably has a lot to do with my age and my background as a stand-up – just writing anonymously in a vacuum where people comment their own stupid bullshitty things where they’re trying to be funny or mean or whatever, is not appealing to me in any way. Whatever I would throw out there on Twitter – and I don’t have a Twitter account or a website or Facebook – I’d rather just say it on stage or write it down somewhere else other than this. It’s just not very appealing to me, the kind of fleeting, empty, not a real kind of interaction. And I think that probably has something to do with my age and [being a] stand-up.
GM: You guys are doing Mr. Show here in Vancouver.
GM: But you’re doing sketches.
DC: It’s important to make that distinction. Bob and I are hosting the gala at the festival. There will be stand-ups. We’ll be fucking around. We’ll be doing some kind of very loose sketch stuff but it is not in any way, shape, or form Mr. Show.
BO: David and I have done a lot of this stuff, too, before we did Mr. Show and during Mr. Show and after. Like David said, it’s loose kind of sketch-like improvisational scenes and some hosting duties that, again, are us goofing around and having a good time. We have ideas and pieces we’re going to do. It’s not like we’re just riffing up there. But yeah, it’s not a constructed Mr. Show. And we have guests who are great. We have amazing guests that Will Davis let us choose. These people are all people that we love and want to share with the audience.
DC: It’ll be great and a lot of fun and people will be happy but they should know they’re not getting a Mr. Show revival at all. We’re hosting, we’ll be doing stuff, and it’s important for people to know that going into it otherwise they’d be, I think, seriously disappointed. But it will be a really fun show.
BO: John Ennis from Mr. Show will be there. And we have Josie Long from England. She’s an awesome comic. And Nick Thune from America. Marc Maron, who’s an old friend of both of ours, will be tearing it up with the introspection. You know who’s on the show?
GM: Who else?
BO: Chelsea Peretti. I thought maybe you had a list. Matt Braunger. David, do you know Matt?
DC: Yes. And these guys will be doing stand-up, you know? And Bob and I will be interacting. It’s that kind of show.
BO: We’re going to heckle. Garfunkle & Oates are on the show, too. You know Garfunkle & Oates?
BO: So it’s a great show. I mean, if it was just those acts it would be an amazing show. But then you add in that David and I are going to be SCREWING AROUND – put that in bold caps – with John Ennis, and there’s a chance, I’m just going to warn you, that there will be a reunion of April Wine.
DC: A slight chance. We’re working on it. Fingers crossed. No guarantees but that’s something we’re working on.
GM: This show is specifically written for Vancouver, right? It’s not something you’re doing elsewhere.
DC: Specifically for Vancouver. It’s a one-off. It’s only for Vancouver. We’ll be doing it in the Vancouverosian language so even people from America won’t understand it. It’s specifically for Vancouver. There will be Jap-a-dogs and Granville Island pops.
BO: And if anybody from outside Vancouver tries to enjoy the show, we’re going to have some surprises for them that aren’t going to be real pleasant.
DC: Yeah, there’ll be an alarm that goes off, too, that will isolate them and highlight them and they’ll be escorted out in a very brusque manner.
"Anybody, your bestest buddy in the world is going to irritate you in some way or fashion. Working on those shows was very, very intense." – David Cross
GM: I heard talk of Mr. Show 2.0. Is that something you’d like to get off the ground?
BO: You know, we don’t really talk about that. We did a show together for HBO three years ago that was kind of neat but it wasn’t really Mr. Show 2.0; it was a pretty different show.
DC: I think you might be referring to our conversation about that experience about how we went to HBO after that. We tried to put that show together and we sort of pitched this idea and we used the term – or somebody else actually used the term – Mr. Show 2.0 because that’s kind of a shortcut to describe what it was, which was Bob and I doing sketches. It wasn’t Mr. Show but I think that’s what you might be referring to.
BO: Oh, yeah, yeah. We did have a pitch to them of a pretty loose kind of sketch show that we offered to do that they passed on. But we still like writing together and performing together so you never know what’s going to happen. But right now if you like us and us working together you gotta go to Vancouver and go to the gala.
GM: Clearly you don’t get on each others’ nerves when you work so irregularly together. But when you were working together all the time, was there stuff about each other that just drove you nuts?
BO: Oh, sure.
DC: But that’s going to happen to anybody. You know, when we’re working together we’re not 9 to 5 and then going home; we were working ten, twelve, fourteen hours a day, sometimes six days a week. Anybody, your bestest buddy in the world is going to irritate you in some way or fashion. Working on those shows was very, very intense. And Bob and I had a lot of roles. It wasn’t just acting or writing and producing and editing; it was all those things all the time. Plus dealing with a lot of kind of precious personalities within our writers and actors and stuff. Including ourselves. But nothing titillating.
GM: You guys are also going to be on the live WTF. I know you’ve been on it individually in the past. And you’ve known Marc for a long time. Are you surprised that he’s the guy to bring the comedy community together?
BO: I’m not surprised. I think Marc has got a good vibe for getting people to sort of relax and talk seriously. As much fun as it is to joke around in interviews and stuff, which is really a lot of fun and a natural thing to want to do, it’s also, I guess, kind of cool for people who are fans of comedy to kind of get to know the comedians as people. And he’s just very good at that. I’m glad people noticed he was good at it. And I think podcasts and what they are and how people enjoy them is particularly conducive to what Marc does, which is taking his time and hanging out. Even a talk show on TV, they kind of rush through their five minutes and they have a job, which is usually to plug a movie or a TV show. You don’t really get to know people. And I learned recently that people who listen to podcasts want them to be longer. They want them to be as long as they can be. A lot of times they’re listening on a drive so it just lends itself to taking your time and having a conversation. And Marc’s great at that. He’s like a therapist but he has no degree.
GM: Yeah, he’s like the modern-day Dr. Katz.
DC: I agree with everything Bob said. I might be a little surprised – I don’t know if that’s the right word – that he took the mantle and ran with it, but he’s kind of the perfect guy for it. That makes total sense.
GM: I agree. I haven’t missed a show since the beginning. But what I mean is you’ve known him from when he was more of a prickly character and if you were thinking of him back then…
DC: No, for sure. Before he sobered up and everything, but that was a long, long time ago. I never would have guessed in a million years first of all that podcasts would be invented – I would have had to be very prescient for that – that he’d be the guy. But once he sobered up and everything, yeah, it makes total sense.
"Dennis was a very early supporter of the show. There were a handful of guys – Garry Shandling specifically, and Bill Maher and Dennis Miller – who went into HBO and said, 'This show is great. You gotta pick it up. You gotta keep it on.'" – David Cross
GM: I saw a video of you guys when Mr. Show was first coming on the air and you were on the old Dennis Miller show. David, you’ve talked about him since. You seemed to get along so well back then. Have you run into him since?
DC: Dennis was a very early supporter of the show. There were a handful of guys – Garry Shandling specifically, and Bill Maher and Dennis Miller – who went into HBO and said, “This show is great. You gotta pick it up. You gotta keep it on.” I don’t really know Dennis personally beyond that world. And I’ve really met him maybe three times. Whatever my feeling about his politics and his stance, that’s separate from those other things. But I haven’t seen him in a long time. Also, I live in New York and he lives in Santa Barbara. Bob might have run into him since then, I don’t know.
BO: Yeah, I don’t know. I don’t see Dennis. I did actually listen to his radio show but he was talking to a bunch of Saturday Night Live people that I knew. So that was neat. But I guess he’s like a right wing guy now. I don’t really know.
DC: Who did he endorse? He came out and endorsed Cain. Herman Cain, with literally zero ideas; just a bunch of silly rhetoric and blustering. So, yeah.
BO: I don’t know what’s happening with him. I can’t really comment on him. He was always very nice to me and gave me opportunities to perform on his talk show. Before I was even at Saturday Night Live, he would do jokes that I sent to him, which was really cool and meant a lot. When you’re waiting tables it’s neat to see your stuff make it on the air.
GM: A couple years ago I saw his stand-up and it was refreshing to see that in his whole hour-long set maybe only five minutes was political. So what we see on the talk shows is horrendous but…
DC: He has a radio show, too. A syndicated, five days a week radio show and the majority of it is political so it’s out there. Again, you can agree with it or not or think it’s funny or not, it’s all subjective.
BO: I like listening to Glenn Beck.
DC: They have a country & western duo.
BO: Have you ever listened to him, David?
DC: Not on his radio show, no.
BO: It’s the best. It’s so funny. It’s craziness.
DC: Personally I’m a Mark Levin fan because of the way he talks…
DC: Because of his faux-quick to anger, his righteous indignation. He ramps up. He goes from zero to a hundred in seconds. He’ll hang up on a caller and just go off and it’s all kind of premeditated. Or if not premeditated, he’s just putting on a show. He cracks me up. Mark Levin is I think my favourite of all those guys.
GM: And before we get hung up on, is the large part of the draw in coming to Vancouver the other guests Will brings in? It’s a nice hang for you guys.
BO: It’s a great hang, yeah. I’m going to bring my daughter with me. We love that city. And then of course these comics. Yeah, it’s a big attraction for us. I haven’t seen Josie Long since I saw her in Montreal about nine years ago. Or maybe it was about six years ago. I don’t even get to see a lot of these comics regularly. I see Nick Thune at the UCB. So yeah, getting to see the acts that we love and the fact that they let us choose who’s on the gala was a great plus for us. For me.
DC: Not for me. I’m just about Japadog and that’s it. That really is all I’m interested in. And, I don’t know, there’s an okay poutine place in the West End. That’s about it.
GM: I heard Japadog has expanded to New York.
DC: Yeah, St. Mark’s.
BO: What is it?
DC: Japadog, I think I might have told you this, is the best hot dog you’re ever going to have. They just have a few carts and then there’s that one small place where you walk through a door. It’s the best hot dog you’ll ever have. And they just opened one up here in New York on St. Mark’s.
BO: Okay, I’ll check it out.
DC: The end.
GM: The end. Thanks a lot, guys.
BO: Hey, Guy, thank you.
BO: See you at the show.