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Still of Michael McKean and Bob Odenkirk

For those of you that know me, you know I love AMC’s Breaking Bad. However, it may surprise you to know that I actually enjoy the spin-off, Better Call Saul even more. Everyone’s favorite crooked lawyer has a criminally underrated story that Vince Gilligan has successfully brought to life.

But what you may not know, is that the show simply started as a running joke. According to The Wrap, Bob Odenkirk (Saul Goodman/Jimmy McGill) and Vince Gilligan (creator) spilled the beans while at the ATX festival on Sunday. Odenkirk explained to the audience that the inception of the show started when a cameraman suggested a spin-off while filming the Breaking Bad episode, “Better Call Saul”. The episode saw Walter White (Bryan Cranston) meet a criminal lawyer, Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk), to help with finances.

Gilligan went on to explain that he wasn’t thinking about creating a spin-off until the second season had started filming. “It was a joke, and then we joked about it so often in the writers’ room we thought maybe it’s not a joke,” Gilligan explained. “By the time ‘Breaking Bad’ wrapped up, we started talking to Sony.” And from there, the rest is history: sort of. Fans of the popular character, Saul Goodman, almost got a sitcom. “We thought it might be a half-hour sitcom. We thought about ripping off ‘Dr. Katz.’ Week in and week out famous comics would come in with their legal problems. But we knew nothing about writing straight-up comedy.”

Would the show have been as effective with a sitcom format? I’m not so sure about that. While Better Call Saul doesn’t have the same stakes as say, Breaking Bad, it does deliver some thrills and gut-wrenching moments; not to mention the cast list is filled with extraordinary actors and actresses. Which route would you have preferred? The one that was chosen or a more comedic, sitcom approach? Let us know in the comments below.

“Better Call Saul” Season 4 premieres August 6 at 9/8c on AMC

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