The Emmys don’t air until September, but that doesn’t mean it’s too early to get a little nostalgic — for Variety‘s comedy issue (out now, with Kevin Hart on the cover), Bob Odenkirk gives some behind-the-scenes insight on what it was like to win his very own award.
Though the majority of the TV watching world knows Odenkirk best from his recent roles on Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, he’s been behind some of the funniest shows out there for decades. In the early 90s, Odenkirk was busy, working in writers’ rooms for The Dennis Miller Show, The Ben Stiller Show, Get A Life, and Late Night with Conan O’Brien.
In 1992, during the shows 18th season, Odenkirk joined the staff of Saturday Night Live, where he stayed for three years. During his second season, he experienced one of the highest honors a TV writer can aspire to: an Emmy win for outstanding writing.
Because it was 1992, Odenkirk’s memories from backstage are pretty dated, and very amazing:
You’re waiting till the next commercial break to go back into the auditorium. I used the payphone to call my mom — yes, this is a world before cell phones, imagine! — and tell her we won. She thought that was interesting, she didn’t really care. I ran into Jim Henson, he had received some kind of honorary Emmy that evening. He also did Kermit, if I’m not mistaken, from the podium. I said hi to him, talked to him for a few seconds. That was intimidating, but the best thing about the night. I got to say hi to Jim Henson. And the second best thing was at the Governors Ball — Peter Falk was there and I said hello to him. He was a real hero of mine as a performer as a kid, I loved “Columbo” so much.
Odenkirk relayed the whole story to Variety, along with details of his wins with Ben Stiller Show, Mr. Show, and Breaking Bad.
Of course, what better to follow that story with than Odenkirk’s own explanation of why he ended up leaving the show?
And, just for fun, here’s a clip of the young actor/ writer appearing alongside Lorne Michaels and a very camera-friendly turtle in an ancient episode of SNL: