Bob Odenkirk refused to kill Carol Burnett’s character on ‘Better Call Saul’

Bob Odenkirk refused to kill Carol Burnett’s character on ‘Better Call Saul’

“I’m your real friend and Vince Gilligan is not,” joked the actor.

Author Maureen Lee Lenker


Burnett, who joined the sixth and final season of the AMC series as Marion, the mother of a cab driver who Saul (Bob Odenkirk) develops a complicated relationship with in his attempt to run a scam. Creator Vince Gilligan has previously discussed why he had Saul pull back from killing Marion in their final scene together, but it turns out that her reprieve was also partly due to Odenkirk. Or so he tells it.

“They rewrote this scene exactly how I wanted it, but not how your so-called good friend Better Call Saul executive producer Vince Gilligan had written it,” Odenkirk told the audience during Carol Burnett: 90 Years of Laughter Love on NBC Wednesday night.

The actor, who was just one of Burnett’s numerous costars to appear on the special to celebrate her life and career, then pivoted to a more joking approach. “Carol, there’s something that you should know,” he said. “Vince wanted my character to kill you in that scene. Look at him, he’s shaking his head. His exact words to me were, ‘Saul ends up killing Carol Burnett.’ And if I remember correctly, he didn’t say, ‘Kill Carol’s character,’ he said, ‘Kill Carol Burnett.’ But I refused, and I told him I’d walk.”

Bob Odenkirk and Carol Burnett on ‘Better Call Saul’

Bob Odenkirk and Carol Burnett on ‘Better Call Saul’

| Credit: Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

He continued: “Carol, I was willing to risk my career and never working in this town again. Because I didn’t want little children who watched our show — and I hope many of them did — to see me on the street and say, ‘Mommy, that’s the man who killed Carol Burnett.’ That’s all I wanted to say. That I’m your real friend and Vince is not. And one more thing, Vince and I, and everybody on our show, we think you’re the greatest.”

When the episode in question, “Waterworks,” aired last summer, Gilligan spoke to EW about the scene and Saul’s moment of reckoning. “It’s a moment where the clouds parted and sanity returned,” he said. “It looks like sanity prevailed there for a moment. And really, how could you seriously think you’re going to menace and hurt Carol Burnett? Marion has been nothing but kind to him.

“As a viewer, I’m just watching this thing and I’m thinking, ‘God, when is sanity going to prevail here?'” he added. “When is this guy going to snap the hell out of it and become a normal human being again? Because I don’t like this guy at all. I want nothing to do with this guy. He’s a bastard!”

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