'Better Call Saul' started off as a joke in the 'Breaking Bad' writers' room

“Breaking Bad” spinoff “Better Call Saul” debuted Sunday night on AMC to a bunch of fan favour.

The show centres around Bob Odenkirk’s criminal lawyer, Saul Goodman, in his early days of the profession.

As much as we’re fans of Odenkirk, you may be wondering why it was Saul who received his own spinoff series instead of maybe Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) or even Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul).

“Better Call Saul” has been in the works for a long time, going back to the days of “Breaking Bad.”

However, back then, the Saul spinoff was nothing more than an inside joke in the “BB” writer’s room.

Creator Vince Gilligan (“Breaking Bad”) described how series started off as a joke to a few media outlets including Entertainment Weekly and Hitfix.

Here’s how it’s described in EW:

From the moment Saul Goodman broke onto Breaking Bad in season 2, the writers loved the underhanded jester with his crafty problem-solving abilities and drawerful of burner cell phones. Soon they were cracking wise about a Saul spin-off, perhaps with a lawyer lair featuring secret panels stuffed with cash and a bat phone that rang up Supreme Court justices. ‘They say all great jokes have a kernel of truth to them,” says Gilligan, “and the more we made this joke, the more it became clear that there really was something here.”

Gilligan gave a longer explanation to Hitfix:

It started as a lark, which is another word for joke, in the writer’s room. It started and it really came from the fact that I love working with Bob, just as we love working with really every actor on “Breaking Bad.” But we also loved the character. We love writing for the character. We love putting words in his mouth. And we had so much fun indeed doing that that it started as a lark; we’d come up with some great term or phrase and we’d laugh about it in the writer’s room. And then we’d say, ‘You know, when we’re doing the Saul Goodman show we’ll be able to blah, blah, blah, blah.’ And we made that comment so many times that it started to dawn on us that it wasn’t a lark; there was truth to it. It was not just a joke, but a potentially good idea.

“Better Call Saul” airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on AMC.

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