Bob Odenkirk Gets Literary

Bob OdenkirkEXPAND
Bob Odenkirk
Sharon Alagna

Writer-actor Bob Odenkirk's collection of humor pieces, A Load of Hooey, came out earlier this month. Rather than be the hundredth outlet to ask about his upcoming Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul, we simply asked about the writing life, via our L.A. Weekly author questionnaire.

To promote his book, Odenkirk will be appearing on Oct. 28 at Largo at 8 p.m., Oct. 30 at Skylight Books at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 2 at Vroman’s at 4:00 p.m.

Where do you live?

In Los Feliz somewhere. I can usually find my house, most days. Don’t worry about me, I’ll get there.

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Where did you grow up?

Sadly, I am still working on that. But I am from Illinois, and a town called Naperville, which was small when I was young and is now big. I couldn’t wait to leave there, but now it looks like a pretty nice place.

Favorite book of all time:

Oh, that’s really hard. It’s either The Dog of the South by Charles Portis, or To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

Least favorite book of all time:

The Dummies Guide to Microwave Cooking. I dislike the prose.

Favorite book from your childhood:

Catcher in the Rye and On The Road compete here. Do they count as childhood reading? I was probably 15 when I read both.

Favorite line from literature:

Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Book, Kindle, Nook, audiobook or other, and why:

Book. Mostly because I spend enough time staring into a computer screen – it gets annoying to my eyes, but also I like the feeling of progress as you make your way through.

Favorite literary hangout spot:

Hmmm, Tacos Delta on West Sunset...not that I write there, but I can imagine doing so.

Describe the moment when you first got the idea for your new book:

Never. There is no “idea”. Unbeknownst to me, Dave Eggers got his grubby genius hands on a bunch of my short comic pieces that had been collecting dust (via a mutual friend, Mike Sacks), he read them and called me to say, “We’re putting this out.” I acceded. He is wise.

Dream casting for your protagonist in the movie version, and why:

Steven Seagal. He is an utter mystery.

Dream audiobook reader for your book, and why:

Steven Seagal...he would grind it out slowly, imbue it with undeserving drama, and be an awesome prank. BUT SERIOUSLY, many of my friends helped in performing the Audiobook: Paul F Thompkins, Jay Johnston, David Cross, Megan Amram, Brian Posehn, Jerry Minor...and they are amazingly funny.

Typical writing schedule:

Whenever some shit occurs to me.

Office, home, Starbucks, or elsewhere?

Literally anywhere, in a make up trailer, in the car, outside my house with the dog running around being entertaining.

Favorite piece of music to listen to while writing, if any:

The Replacements LIVE on Youtube

Procrastination technique:

Phone calls, emails, errands (repeat).

Do writers need to drink to be good writers? What kind of drink?

I don’t drink and I’m not a very good writer, so...please ask a pro.

Most embarrassing story or other piece of writing you wrote as a kid, and what it was about:

All of my “journals”. Ten years of me writing about my daily anxieties. Thrown out in one striking moment of clarity.

Your favorite character you've ever thought up, and why:

Matt Foley, the Motivational Speaker. But I must give Chris Farley tons of credit, because his embodying of that voice is more than half of its value.

Sentence, line of dialogue, or other aspect of a book or story you most regret writing:

I always regret writing about religion, because I am skeptical, (possibly even an atheist), and I hate to hurt the feelings of my believer friends – all good people. But I can’t help it, it’s pretty funny stuff.

Book or other work that you'd like to parody, and how you'd do it:

Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters, and I do intend to parody it and make it about the “Los Angeles River” — eulogizing Hollywood types.

What book or other piece of media you've been consuming lately:

The Stone Roses documentary Made of Stone and the books Ghost Soldiers [by Hampton Sides] and The Night of the Gun by David Carr

What book or other piece of media you've been feeling guilty for not consuming lately:

My precious Bible! (Not gonna tell you which one...but it starts with “Bhagavad”!)

What you would do if you weren't a writer:

Sudoku, constantly.

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