Bob Odenkirk Recalls Getting Yelled at by Jeremy Irons over Bad SNL Joke
During an appearance on The Howard Stern Show Wednesday, host Howard Stern asked Odenkirk, 58, about comments Conan O'Brien previously made about the pair getting yelled at by the late George Steinbrenner while working as writers on Saturday Night Live. But according to the Better Call Saul star, he once got an even worse earful from Irons, 72.
"Rob Schneider and I had written this monologue, and it wasn't great," Odenkirk, who wrote for the NBC show between the late 1980s into the 1990s, told Stern. "He was right. He was really mad. He was so mad."
The Nobody star went on to do his best impression of Irons in that particular moment, saying, "I can sing. I can dance. I can juggle. I am a Shakespearean-trained actor. And you have me doing this?!"
Little did Irons know, Odenkirk secretly recorded the exchange. "I had a little recorder, and I taped it because I loved it so much," he said. "And he was right, God bless him. It wasn't a great monologue, but he's a trooper."
"I played it for many people," Odenkirk added of the recording. "I don't know where it is now. It's at the bottom of a bin somewhere. It exists."
When Stern, 67, asked Odenkirk if he takes "pride" in being "yelled at by some of the best" in the business, the answer was a resounding "Yes!"
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In 2019, O'Brien opened up about the time Steinbrenner went off on him and Odenkirk over an SNL monologue he didn't want to do.
"When you're dealing with someone who is a civilian [who isn't used to the show's format], they don't know that the monologue is important," the Conan host, 57, told Stern at the time. "They also don't know that no one's thought about it and they're going to get jerked around all week until the last second. [The non-comedic hosts] assume falsely that these are professionals, they're going to take care of me. When I was at Saturday Night live, we didn't take care of people."
O'Brien said the SNL staff was "terrified" of the former Yankees' owner, but he and Odenkirk were tasked with sharing a monologue idea that was previously pitched to Steinbrenner. After their initial attempt didn't go well, the sketch series' creator, Lorne Michaels, made O'Brien and Odenkirk pitch the concept again, resulting in the businessman yelling at them once more.
"Odenkirk and I s--- ourselves and disappeared from the room," he recalled. "We literally went right through the wall like ghosts, and I don't think we spoke for a week."