That Time Bob Odenkirk Got Screamed At By Jeremy Irons Over SNL Monologue

Bob Odenkirk in Nobody and Jeremy Irons as Alfred in Justice League
(Image credit: (Universal/Warner Bros))

Believe it or not, Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul actor Bob Odenkirk got his start as a writer on Saturday Night Live at the side of Conan O’Brien, Mike Myers, Rob Schneider and Adam Sandler. Odenkirk has admitted before that he doesn’t think he was cut out for the job before and hey, nowadays it’s no secret he’s more of an actor than comedy scribe. And apparently what came with the job was getting Justice League’s Jeremy Irons super angry.

A big part of one’s job as a writer on Saturday Night Live is to pen jokes that each week’s host will be telling. While on the Howard Stern Show, Bob Odenkirk reminisced on his time on the show, revealing a funny story about working with Jeremy Irons:

Do you know who really yelled at me? Jeremy Irons because Rob Schneider and I had written this monologue, I think and it wasn’t great. He was right. He was really mad, he was so mad. [Goes into Jeremy Irons’ voice]: ‘You have me doing this? I can sing, I can dance, I can juggle, I’m a Shakespearean-trained actor and you have me doing this?’ He was really mad.

That’s not all. Bob Odenkirk told the radio show that he also recorded the interaction with Jeremy Irons yelling at them and he has shown quite a few friends over the years. It’s almost like an odd proud moment for the former SNL writer, to be yelled at by someone as talented and well-loved as Jeremy Irons.

Jeremy Irons hosted Saturday Night Live once in his illustrious 50-year career and it doesn’t sound like he was impressed with Bob Odenkirk or Rob Schneider. Back in 1991, Irons was up for Best Actor at the Oscars when he delivered his monologue. It’s unclear if Bob Odenkirk and Schneider were asked to change it, but here’s how it turned out:

Hey, people laughed didn’t they? The joke is pretty much just that Jeremy Irons really had an Oscar on his mind, and well… he did end up taking home his Best Actor Oscar for Reversal of Fortune just days after delivering that monologue. All that Oscar talk may have helped him somehow? They can’t all be winners, but I’d imagine if you took a job like that too seriously and agonized over the perfect sketch everytime, SNL wouldn’t be able to air every week.

Bob Odenkirk was in his 20s at the time of his Saturday Night Live run, and has described himself as kind of a “jerk,” especially to Lorne Michaels, who was giving him a major opportunity as a writer on the show. The Better Call Saul star remembers being that guy who would snicker and crack jokes in the back of the room while Michaels was conducting a meeting. Nowadays, he believes he was quite immature at the time.

It’s a funny story and imagining Jeremy Irons blowing up at a not-yet famous Bob Odenkirk is just wonderful. Along with his recurring Better Call Saul role, Odenkirk stars in the new action movie Nobody, which is currently racking up some numbers at the box office. Saturday Night Live will be hosted by Daniel Kaluuya this weekend.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.