in conversation with David Owen
Comedy Comedy Comedy Drama
Tue., Mar. 8 • 7:00pm PT
Ticketed Event - $40 • SF Palace of Fine Arts
In this hilarious, heartfelt memoir, the star of Mr. Show, Breaking Bad, and Better Call Saul opens up about the highs and lows of showbiz, his cult status as a comedy writer, and what it’s like to reinvent himself as an action film ass-kicker at fifty.
Bob Odenkirk’s career is inexplicable. And yet he will try like hell to explicate it for you. Charting a “Homeric” decades-long “odyssey” from his origins in the seedy comedy clubs of Chicago to a dramatic career full of award nominations—with a side-trip into the action-man world that is baffling to all who know him—it’s almost like there are many Bob Odenkirks! But there is just one and one is plenty.
Bob embraced a life in comedy after a chance meeting with Second City’s legendary Del Close. He somehow made his way to a job as a writer at Saturday Night Live. While surviving that legendary gauntlet by the skin of his gnashing teeth, he stashed away the secrets of comedy writing—eventually employing them in the immortal “Motivational Speaker” sketch for Chris Farley, honing them on The Ben Stiller Show, and perfecting them on Mr. Show with Bob and David.
In Hollywood, Bob demonstrated a bullheadedness that would shame Sisyphus himself, and when all hope was lost for the umpteenth time, the phone rang with an offer to appear on Breaking Bad—a show about how boring it is to be a high school chemistry teacher. His embrace of this strange new world of dramatic acting led him to working with Steven Spielberg, Alexander Payne, and Greta Gerwig, and then, in a twist that will confound you, he re-re-invented himself as a bona fide action star. Why? Read this and do your own psychoanalysis—it’s fun!
Featuring humorous tangents, never-before-seen photos, wild characters, and Bob’s trademark unflinching drive, Comedy Comedy Comedy Drama is a classic showbiz tale told by a determined idiot.
Bob Odenkirk is an actor, comedian, writer, director, and producer. Odenkirk got his start in improv comedy in the motley Chicago comedy scene of the mid-eighties and went on to write for Saturday Night Live. He has starred in AMC’s Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul and written and starred in the sketch comedy cult hit Mr. Show. He has written and produced a number of television shows, including Tim and Eric’s Awesome Show and Great Job!, and directed three films.
David Owen co-founded SF Sketchfest in 2001 with Cole Stratton and Janet Varney. Along with Stratton, Varney and Gabriel Diani, he was a founding member of the comedy group Totally False People, which was featured at the HBO Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen. Outside of SF Sketchfest he has produced dozens of other festivals and events. He has worked as a Curator for the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival and Outside Lands and as a Festival Producer for the San Francisco International Film Festival, the Mill Valley Film Festival and the Stanford Jazz Festival. At the famed Purple Onion he presented Zach Galifianakis and Mort Sahl, among others. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and daughter.
Bob Odenkirk photo by Sharon Alagna; David Owen photo courtesy of the author