Bob Odenkirk and David Cross

Saturday, March 1, 2003

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“Speaking Freely” show recorded on March 1, 2003, in Aspen, Colo.

Ken Paulson: Welcome to “Speaking Freely,” a weekly conversation about free speech in America. I’m Ken Paulson. Our special guests today are the co-creators of “Mr. Show,” Bob Odenkirk and David Cross. Welcome.

Bob Odenkirk: Hey, how are you?

Paulson: Good to have you here. “Mr. Show,” which is now — currently, the complete first and second seasons are out on DVD.

Odenkirk: That’s right.

Paulson: And more to come.

David Cross: Yeah.

Odenkirk: The third season should come out in, like, three months.

Paulson: It’s sort of the show that will not die too, I mean, because it’s been off the air for three years, maybe?

Odenkirk: Yeah, almost four years.

Cross: Four — yeah, almost four.

Odenkirk: Yeah, four years.

Paulson: And it’s really kind of a fascinating story, because there aren’t a lot of shows that sort of maintain and can become a road show, and you’re here in Aspen at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival.

Odenkirk: Yeah.

Paulson: And you did “Hooray for America” —

Odenkirk: Yeah.

Paulson: — which is a rendition of “Mr. Show”? How does that work?

Odenkirk: Well, we took some scenes from the show, and we had this movie script we’d written called “Hooray for America,” and we sort of married the story of the movie and some of the pieces from the movie with some old scenes from the series and some new scenes that we wrote just for the live show.

Cross: And thread it through with video. You know, we had — like in the show, we’d go from stage to video, and we did that in the stage show.

Odenkirk: Yeah, so it’s presented sort of like the TV show, but it is a stage show, and different kinds of pieces tend to work better than — you know, the TV show, you’d build it a little differently. But the story we tell is of David being hired as an actor — we’re a duo in Branson, Missouri, and we’re doing our show, and it’s just a kind of cheesy, hooray-for-America show. And —

Cross: Which is not an indictment of entertainment in Branson at all.

Odenkirk: No, no. I’ve — yeah.

Cross: Yeah, go ahead. I — I’m sorry.

Odenkirk: And then David gets hired by a corporation to run for president. They’re looking for an actor to run for president. And he runs, and he wins, and they proceed to plunder the earth, and then he gets impeached. That’s our show.

Cross: That’s good, yeah.

Paulson: Now people don’t have to come.

Cross: No, they should not come.

Odenkirk: I — I’m trying to keep them from coming.

Cross: It was — the show, the hourlong show is as entertaining as the 30-second synopsis Bob just came up with.

Paulson: So, what is it —

Odenkirk: Except there are swear words in it.

Cross: Yeah, tons.

Odenkirk: If you get off on that.

Cross: And nudity and crudity.

Paulson: What is it about “Mr. Show” that means it has legs when a lot of other shows have been on cable for four or five years?

Cross: Well, I think part of it is just because we weren’t that successful. We weren’t, like, a “Sex and the City” or any of those splashier, you know, “Sopranos” or anything. We were this little cult show that floated around from time slot to time slot. They invented new days and hours for us to, to hide our show within. And, so, nobody really — it grew very slowly. And then when we were off the air, we were done. And it, it reached its zenith way after the show was over and then with the advent of the DVDs and all that stuff.

Odenkirk: You know, also, we never did topical. We did sort of social-themed and political-themed material, but it was never topical to the day or the week.

Cross: Right, right.

Odenkirk: So, it sort of holds together, and some of it — you know, the scene that we’re doing in our live show, the scene about the guy who’s too retarded to die, ’cause he’s on death row, and they can’t execute him ’cause his I.Q. is too low, is — you know, David came up with that idea four years ago, and we started writing it, like, a year and a half ago and did it for the stage show. And then, what was it, last week?

Cross: Yeah.

Odenkirk: In The New York Times was the headline — I don’t know if you remember the guy who is on death row? Do you know what I — I’m talking about? The story —

Paulson: Yeah, I do.

Odenkirk: And they have to give him psychotropic drugs —

Cross: Yeah, medication so, that they can — execute him.

Odenkirk: So, that they can execute him. So, it’s a similar — it’s a — you know, because the things we did — we made a point of not hitting specific events in the news — it still has some meaning, I think, when it is, when it is about something. And sometimes the show is just silly, which is always great.

Cross: It’s less about a person. It’s less about “Let’s make fun of Clinton,” or it’s about what goes on around that. And we didn’t do, you know, parodies of specific people. We didn’t do impressions.

Paulson: Well, you did the rap wars through ventriloquists? Or something like that?

Odenkirk: Yeah, but that was something that was happening —

Cross: Yeah, right.

Odenkirk: Yeah, but — that’s a good point of something that was happening at the time, but I also think there’s —

Cross: But that’s cultural. The joke is a take on something —

Odenkirk: Yeah.

Cross: — culturally, too.

Odenkirk: Yeah, I mean, I guess that’s sort of stuck in time, but I kind of like that, too. I like that you can kind of identify the sort of time period that it was done in, you know? It’s like, OK, that was the late ’90s, but you can’t nail it down to a week or a person —

Cross: Yeah, you don’t have to know Biggie Smalls or Tupac or anything.

Odenkirk: — impersonation — I always liked on “Monty Python,” which we really stole from — I found out later, after many years later, that a lot of the people they were doing were impersonations. Some of their political characters and some of their news hosts and things were impersonations of people on in Britain, but you never knew that or cared. It was still a funny characterization independent of knowing the reference, you know?

Paulson: Sure.

Odenkirk: So, that’s sort of what we tried to achieve.

Paulson: And like “Monty Python,” you have these skits that segue and come back —

Odenkirk: Yeah.

Paulson: — and the same characters reemerge. What else, what else did you pull from “Python,” do you think?

Odenkirk: Well, the mix between live and film.

Cross: The way it was shot.

Odenkirk: Video, and showing all of that to a live audience and taping live laughs only, which is something they did. People sometimes say, “Didn’t ‘Monty Python’ have a laugh track?” But if you see how poorly some of their bits do, you can be pretty sure they didn’t have a laugh track, ’cause they would have hit it, the button, a lot more. But — so we stole their production plan and the way that they wrote an entire show weeks beforehand, everything mixing together so they knew how it fit, and then went and shot pieces.

Cross: Yeah, and you go out, like, with “Python” — like “Python,” with us, you go out and shoot. You have, like, four days of shooting. And you’re shooting, picking up little shots from sketches that are going to be in, you know, shows months apart, you know?

Odenkirk: Also, the British accents.

Cross: Yeah. We kind of stole — splort! — whole cloth.

Paulson: Before, before you created “Mr. Show,” you were a writer?

Odenkirk: Uh-huh.

Paulson: “Saturday Night Live.”

Odenkirk: Well, I wrote — not all the letters. I used 20 of the letters?

Cross: Yeah, that was your challenge to yourself.

Paulson: That’s all anybody needs.

Odenkirk: And I wrote at “Saturday Night Live” for a while, and I was a cast member and writer on “The Ben Stiller Show,” and I wrote on “Get a Life.”

Cross: And you came up with the Chris Kattan character.

Odenkirk: Right.

Cross: The idea of Chris Kattan.

Odenkirk: That they used, now, on “SNL” for years. I don’t get paid a penny.

Paulson: And there was a time in the history of television comedy that “Saturday Night Live” was cutting-edge.

Odenkirk: Yes.

Cross: Yes, I was a baby.

Paulson: That’s right.

Cross: I was just a wee little lad.

Paulson: But I wonder if it — if “Saturday Night Live” grew more tame, of if the other outlets — cable — became, you know, a place you’d go and try things and be more aggressive about it.

Cross: It’s a combination of both. I mean, it definitely grew tamer. Easily, I mean, you can — and that’s also because they paved the way for a lot of other stuff that their — you know, their — what they did in ’77, I think it started, hadn’t been done before.

Odenkirk: I think, and I — I’m close with people who work at that show, one of things that’s happened to that show is that they appealed to a generation at the time when they came on, and they appealed to young people, and that was OK too, ’cause it was a dead time slot. And they appealed massively to this one generation, and they had a political point of view. They were just coming out of Vietnam, and everybody was still in touch and had strong points of view. Now and for the last ten years, that show has played to people who are 50 years old, you know, all the way — from 12 to 50 years old. And, you know, the writers, too. I mean, they still have three or four original writers on the staff who are 45 years old and are Conservative now. And they’re not Liberal anymore, and they haven’t been for years. And, you know, so they kind of just move everywhere now.

Cross: I mean, but — you can’t deny, though, also — not that you’re not mentioning this, but the you know, the fact that — and it has been for years — you know, you have somebody who’s plugging a movie. You have somebody who’s plugging an alb and you play to that person. It’s not about these interesting people that are coming on anymore, you know, that, these — this wide variety across the, you know, cultural spectrum of America. You don’t have that. I mean, occasionally you get a politician who’s one of the three most well-known politicians, and that’s about it, right? And —

Odenkirk: Well —

Cross: — then, you have the Matthew McConaughey, who’s plugging a movie, or you have, you know, J-Lo, who’s plugging a movie, or whoever.

Odenkirk: Yeah, well, it’s just evolved into a sort of a — commercial? Big commercial.

Paulson: Well, while Bob was writing, you were doing stand-up, mid-’80s.

Cross: Yes, yeah. I did — that’s all I did. And drugs. And I did that until I got my first TV —

Odenkirk: Kick in the pants?

Cross: — writing job. Yeah. Which is where I met Bob, on “The Ben Stiller Show.”

Paulson: And you were co-writers? I mean, you worked together?

Odenkirk: No, no. I worked with him, but he didn’t work with me for the first three years, and then he worked with me for a week, and I didn’t —

Cross: That did not go well. That did not go well.

Odenkirk: And then we started working together. It was very strange. We — somebody would read.

Cross: It was all through telex, all through telex machines.

Paulson: That’s right, Janeane Garofalo originally introduced you.

Odenkirk: Yes, she did.

Cross: No magic there in terms of creative —

Odenkirk: There was no magic in our first meeting. I was sitting in my apartment, and David came over with a basketball.

Cross: You couldn’t ask for more of a, you know — I was new to L.A. and just kind of this “Gee, shucks.” I might as well have been 12, you know, with a basketball in my hand. And Janeane’s like, “I want to play some basketball.” And Janeane’s like, “Oh, my friend Bob, you know, I told you about him. He plays basketball. He’s around the corner.” And then, like, kind of sitting through, like, a screen door — and, like, Bob, like, watching TV and writing with his back to us. “Hey, what — you want to play basketball?” “No.” And then I was like, “Is that guy 80?” No, I I’m kidding. I — I’m exaggerating.

Odenkirk: And then later, we met at “The Stiller Show,” but we didn’t work together there. And then a year after that ended, we — we just connected through a scene that was happening in L.A., and it included a lot of comics, Margaret Cho and Janeane Garofalo and Andy Dick and —

Cross: And we’d go to parties. We’d, like, hang out at parties and make each other laugh and stuff.

Odenkirk: We’d just hang out in this group, and we started doing shows together that way.

Paulson: And you combined your talents with “Mr. Show.” Initially, it was three, three guys in a group before —

Odenkirk: No, no. You mean “The Three Goofballs”?

Paulson: “The Three Goofballs,” right.

Odenkirk: We called it that, but it was us two, and then the third person was always some dead or —

Cross: Something happens that the third person couldn’t make it.

Odenkirk: That was just the original conception of the stage show. We would call it “The Three Goofballs,” and then the person who was the third was either gone or —

Cross: Yeah, and that’s back when we were just dicking around without going, “Hey, let’s make a show.”

Odenkirk: We sort of always thought it could be a show, wanted it to be a TV show of some sort. I did.

Cross: You did.

Paulson: The DVD is full of revelations about you. You had alternate titles to the show beforehand?

Odenkirk: Not many. I had — the only other title that I really liked was “Grand National Championships,” but I think David was right to say that’s a terrible idea, and other people also agreed.

Cross: But I — you came up with “Mr. Show,” and I loved that. To me, that’s perfect, doesn’t get in the way. It doesn’t mean too much, doesn’t make you think too much, but it’s also a good name for a show.

Odenkirk: It sounds silly.

Cross: I like it a lot.

Paulson: So, you developed this material working clubs, and how did you get HBO’s attention?

Cross: I owed them a lot of money. Oh, excuse me. I was way past due on bills, and then they, you know how —

Odenkirk: They come around and knock.

Cross: They do. They come around. The president, Jeff Bewkes, when he’s not in his office, will go door-to-door, collecting and soliciting, you know —

Odenkirk: And he caught you.

Cross: — back due stuff. Yeah, I was running out the back door, exactly.

Odenkirk: He slapped you down.

Cross: Yeah.

Paulson: You had the premium service, then.

Cross: Yeah, exactly.

Odenkirk: Well, I had connections there, ’cause “The Stiller Show” was produced by HBO, and so I knew them from there and, in fact —

Cross: You had a pilot the —

Odenkirk: — had done a pilot with them before “Mr. Show” called “Life on Mars,” with me and Janeane Garofalo and Jack Plotnik, who’s also here at the festival. Both of them are here. And Michael Lehamann directed it, who directed “Heathers” and many other movies: “Truth About Cats and Dogs” and stuff. And, that pilot didn’t go, become a series, but, you know, I just — I knew the executives there, and they liked interesting work. And it’s still the same people.

Paulson: “Mr. Show” is a great story, because it, it also says something about the fragmenting of audiences, that you, you can build a core audience that will care passionately about what you’re doing. I mean, I mean, you talk about not a lot of people watched it, but, you know, at its peak, 1.2 million people in the U.S. were watching it.

Odenkirk: Oh, really?

Paulson: Yeah, according to MacLean’s magazine.

Odenkirk: That’s like a drop in the bucket.

Cross: Yeah.

Paulson: That’s still 1.2 million people who are enjoying your work.

Odenkirk: You could fit them in this room.

Cross: We’ve got 290 million people in this country.

Paulson: And you’re not going to be satisfied until you get the other 288 million?

Cross: No, not at all.

Odenkirk: We’ve got to get a few more than one.

Cross: But, but, no, that is — I mean, it’s all relative. Yeah, that’s a significant amount of people, you know, if you live in, you know, New Guinea. That’s great. You’re doing good. But, I think, you know, the, the — we have some really hard-core, smart, rabid fans, and they’re basically, to some extent, some, you know, kind of versions of Bob and I and our, our crazy love for great comedy. Not to be — sound cocky about it, but, like, unique, interesting. I know, I know what they mean, and I know how they feel when they are gushing about having something to connect to that — out of all the crap that’s out there, you know. I — I’m excluding “Kangaroo Jack” in this, but out of all the stuff that’s out there, you know, you find this thing, and you go, “Oh, wow.” Like, the way we would share, you know, like, “I got this tape from, from Britain. It’s this great thing. You gotta see it. There’s nothing like it. It’s so funny.”

Paulson: And you managed to find a way to do it pretty economically.

Odenkirk: Yeah.

Cross: Oh, yeah.

Paulson: I mean, I was struck on listening to the DVD — you shot in a restaurant, initially?

Odenkirk: Yeah, this place that we shot in was a big, old barn. It was a nightclub and a restaurant, and it was just a giant — it might have been a stage from many, many, many years ago in Hollywood. It wasn’t nearly as big as a normal stage, but it was still a pretty large room. And, it was all creaky, and there were crickets in it, and it wasn’t built for — the cameras couldn’t move on the floor very easily.

Cross: Yeah, it really was, like, this space where they — it’s like one of those things in L.A. where it just — every six months, it’s something else. It’s like Velvet or Envy. You know, just every six months, it metamorphoses into something new, and it’s just a space for whoever. So, it was one of those weird little —

Odenkirk: Yeah. So, we were —

Cross: — odd places.

Odenkirk: So we were able to do it pretty cheap, the first four —

Cross: But you can —

Odenkirk: — and then it was always an inexpensive show.

Cross: But you can see the cheapness in the show, which is fine. Comedy doesn’t need to be — have, you know, $100,000 sets at all, you know?

Odenkirk: Yeah.

Paulson: Critical reaction was pretty positive.

Odenkirk: Yeah, well, we didn’t get a lot of critical reaction. In fact, we didn’t even get any mention in Entertainment Weekly until our third season? Or fourth season?

Cross: Is that true?

Odenkirk: Yeah, mm-hmm.

Cross: Really?

Odenkirk: ‘Cause I got the magazine, and I was like, “You know, I got a show on the air. You might want to mention it once.” And — but the little bit that we got was very positive. We didn’t get — I don’t think we got reviewed in a lot of places ‘til our third season.

Paulson: I don’t know what —

Odenkirk: We were pretty much ignored, to be honest with you, and, that was true at — in, in, you know, every established place, you know.

Paulson: Well, we know the feeling. We’re looking for that first million viewers ourselves. The, the show — well, it has to bring back some memories, being in Aspen, because you showcased it —

Odenkirk: Yeah, we did.

Paulson: — here, didn’t you, for HBO executives?

Cross: Yeah, that was miserable.

Odenkirk: Yeah.

Cross: Funny in retrospect.

Odenkirk: And that’s a memory that’s coming back. We perform here now to crickets and coughs and sleeping people who have been skiing all day and drinking all evening.

Cross: That’s what I said when we — backstage. We did our show two nights ago, and, you know, it was like, “Wow, we’ve truly come full circle,” like playing to —

Odenkirk: There was a guy in the front row asleep.

Cross: Same people. A lot of this [leans head back and snores].

Paulson: But these were, but these were people who were going to determine your destiny. They were HBO executives, weren’t they?

Odenkirk: Yeah, but that’s overstated. You know, what happened was, like I said, I had relationships there, and they had come to all our live shows. Carolyn Strauss and — well, Carolyn Strauss had been a huge supporter and fan, and she convinced Chris Albrecht, who I knew and I had met with and done a pilot for. So, on some level, he trusted me, and, and they were interested in what I was going to do next, and they trusted that it would be something good. And they came and saw our shows, and they saw that they were good, so they — and then they took their discretionary funds to, to make our first season. That wasn’t made with, like — the company never approved that money. It was just somebody at — it was Chris Albrecht and Carolyn Strauss saying, “We’ll take the money you gave to us, and we’ll let these guys make a show.” So, we never really won over HBO. I mean, I think in our fourth season — well, we didn’t. That’s why we got put on Monday at midnight. We never really won the corporation over. We won — we had the support of these great executives, Carolyn Strauss and Chris Albrecht, but other than that, we kind of weren’t very well supported. But that’s — you know, that’s just the way it is. I mean —

Cross: HBO Boxing was — really liked us and helped us a lot.

Paulson: Is it true Gary Shandling stepped up at one point?

Odenkirk: Yeah, Shandling and Bill Maher, also, talked to — basically, you know, the presidents of the network would have — you know, where — I don’t know; I want to say understandably, would have nothing to do with us. But, I don’t know. They’re 50- or 60-year-old millionaires. I mean, what do they want to talk to us for? And — but, occasionally, they’d want to talk to Gary Shandling or Bill Maher, who were established and power — you know, important in cable, certainly. And those guys told these guys, “Yeah, that one little show you’ve got is pretty good,” and that helped us.

Cross: Yeah.

Paulson: It’s tough to talk about comedy, tough to talk about the show for people who have never seen it. The MacLean’s magazine article I’m — I referred to, they described your show along with “Tom Green” as being the two most daring programs on TV.

Odenkirk: Hmm.

Paulson: If somebody has never seen “Mr. Show” — and if you haven’t, you know, it hasn’t been on the air for four years — how would you say it’s different from what other shows are all about?

Odenkirk: Well, it’s a real — I’d, I’d say, in a very general way, it’s a very pure comic vision. Most shows go through committee and committee and committee, and they get watered down, and they’re made to appeal to as many people as possible. Our show was David and I, and we had writers, and they were great writers, but everything went through that group, and then everything was up to us, finally. So, like “Monty Python,” where it was that group, that group of five guys proving it to each other, you know, and, and because of that, it was a pure vision, and it had — you know, one thing we wanted to do was a show where you kind — there’s nothing — the two scenes don’t share anything, necessarily, but they do share a sensibility somehow. One scene could be broad and comic and loud, and one scene could be dry and shot on film and more about character, but somehow they fit. And I think that’s what was great about “Python” and what we tried to do and what isn’t possible on TV, because you usually have to appeal to a big group of people.

Cross: I think, historically, if you look at sketch comedy in television, it, almost to a, to a show, never works when you — somebody goes, “Hey, let’s make a sketch comedy show, and we’ll get a bunch of disparate writers and some of these performers. We’ll go out and cast them.” Nobody knows each other. Throw these people in a room and say, “OK, come up with an hour.” It’s — I mean, we know each other. We write for each other. You know, we perform our stuff. And, you know, it’s — it makes a huge difference, makes all the difference when you do that — when you do it that way.

Paulson: Were you always free to do what you wanted to do with the show?

Odenkirk: Yeah.

Cross: Yep.

Odenkirk: HBO gave us complete freedom. And, in fact —

Cross: Yeah.

Odenkirk: — before we made the show, they said to us, you know, “If you don’t do something really special, there’s no reason for us to have you,” which is so interesting and cool that their charge, their desire is the same, in a lot of ways, as an artist’s desire. They need to stand out, and so it fits with people who are trying to do something unique. That’s what they need to do. They need to advertise themselves, and they need to look like a place that has something nobody else has.

Cross: Yeah.

Paulson: So, after four seasons, you gave it up.

Odenkirk: Yeah, well, we were pretty disappointed in this — we were given a very poor time slot in our fourth season, which we consider our best season and —

Cross: And we really had worked really hard on it. I can’t underscore that enough, that we — I mean, we were doing everything. You know, I mean, we had tons of, of great people with us, you know, producing with us and writing and, you know, all the — editors and all that. But we had — we oversaw everything, basically. We were the final arbiters of everything, and, and there’s a lot to do on a TV show, a lot to do to make that happen. And, you know, we were getting pretty exhausted, and I think that, in combination — like, finishing that fourth year and then getting relegated to Mondays at midnight was —

Odenkirk: It was completely demoralizing.

Cross: Yeah.

Odenkirk: Everybody immediately went, “Well, I’m out of here.” I mean, the day it happened, you could feel the writing staff was like, “That’s over. That’s the end.” We hadn’t even premiered that season. In fact, we had — they had shown, like, two “Best of’s” in a row at our old time slot, ’cause they thought that’s where we’d be returning. So, they even primed the time slot for us and then went, “We’re moving you to Monday.” And so, it was like people were — you’ve seen these previews, waiting for our show, looking in the same place where it had been, and then the week it was supposed to premiere, it wasn’t there.

Cross: And —

Odenkirk: In fact, we had people come up to us for months saying, “I thought you guys did another season? I saw promos and everything. What happened?”

Cross: And there was this whole thing Fridays at midnight that they were building, this “Comedy Midnight Hour,” whatever it was called. You know “The Midnight Comedy Express.” Whatever it was. And, and, you know, it was us and “The Chris Rock Show,” and —

Odenkirk: It was just —

Cross: — then we were just mysteriously gone —

Odenkirk: It was just demoralizing, that’s all.

Cross: — and, Monday at midnight.

Odenkirk: And we just all sort of said, “Well, that’s enough of that.”

Paulson: So, when you walked off the set —

Odenkirk: Well, we finished the fourth season.

Paulson: But did you think, “That’s the end of ‘Mr. Show’”?

Odenkirk: Yeah.

Cross: Uh-huh.

Odenkirk: For sure. The day we were told, “It’s Monday at midnight,” we said, “That’s the end of ‘Mr. Show’.”

Paulson: And, and then, it comes rising again. What happened?

Odenkirk: Well, they had — HBO expanded into many channels a few years ago, and a lot of cable operators have done this. Showtime and all those places have multiple channels, and they need to fill them with something. So, so I would guess, they just had to scrape the bottom of the barrel, and we got back on. And, and as a result, you know, people got a chance to see us, because it was run so often on HBO comedy. And, and then —

Cross: And I think, also —

Odenkirk: — a couple years of that.

Cross: I think, also, there was a huge underground videotape trading circuit going on.

Odenkirk: Yeah, I don’t know if that really —

Cross: I think —

Odenkirk: — resounds with the top echelon.

Paulson: So, where do you take “Mr. Show” from here? The stage show?

Odenkirk: Well, we had a really good time doing this tour, and, we, we sort of — we’re writing a movie, a feature that’s a sketch feature movie. And, and we also sort of want to do this tour again and maybe even do it closer to the next election, ’cause it’s about an election for president, and maybe write some new scenes for it. Aything else? — I mean, one thing about the tour is, David and I had a great time working together, so it made us want to work together again. So, maybe some TV show or something will happen.

Paulson: Great.

Cross: And movie, the movie.

Odenkirk: Yeah, and the movie, which is really funny.

Cross: And — yes. Yeah.

b>Paulson: And when will people see the movie?

Odenkirk: Oh, jeez, I don’t know. We haven’t finished writing it. We’re just —

Cross: Today? What’s today, March 1st? So, it’ll be June —

Odenkirk: March 1st of next year —

Cross: — June, mid-June.

Odenkirk: — we’ll be shooting it.

Paulson: Well, in addition to the fact that it was on the air for four years and then recycled for four years and got DVD, you’ve, you’ve got a — that generation that has loved your comedy is growing larger.

Odenkirk: Yeah, that’s true.

Cross: Definitely.

Odenkirk: Well, we always hoped that would be the case.

Cross: It’s always — I think, I think about this every once in a while. Like, the people who — and this is almost nonstop, constantly happening. There are new people coming to it that haven’t heard of it or heard of it but didn’t even know that we’d been off the air. This happens all the time.

Odenkirk: Oh, yeah.

Cross: People don’t know we’ve been off the air, ‘cause it’s re-run —

Odenkirk: “Are you still doing the show?”

Cross: You know, they got the DVD, and, you know, it’s now 2003, and we started that thing in ’95? What was our first — I mean, I I’m eight years older-looking, so I wonder if people are shocked when they see some of those early things and think that they might have been done, like, a year ago. And I’ve, like, aged tremendously.

Paulson: Well, there, there are a lot of “Mr. Show” fans out there. Great to visit with you here today.

Odenkirk and Cross: [Said together] Thanks.

Odenkirk: Oh, thanks.

Cross: Thanks for having us.