Bob Odenkirk Talks with Marcellus Hall on the Talkhouse Podcast

"Let's give the audience that much respect. Let's get a little scared that you're gonna fucking suck."

I’m so excited to to share this week’s episode of the Talkhouse Podcast, which features a fascinating, deep yet kind of low-key conversation between two really talented people that you might not have expected to be paired up: Bob Odenkirk and Marcellus Hall.

I’m guessing most people listening to this podcast will know who Odenkirk is. A longtime comedian and writer, he and his pal David Cross gifted the world some of the funniest TV ever created in Mr. Show With Bob And David, and if that was the only thing Odenkirk ever did, it’d be plenty. But of course the other really huge thing in his career is his portrayal of Saul Goodman on both Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, two dramas that stand among some of the best TV ever. And I haven’t even mentioned his books, the movies he’s produced and directed, or the many things he’s starred in. Without Bob, there would be no motivational speaker Matt Foley from SNL or any Tim and Eric Awesome Show. He’s a legend, and he probably wouldn’t want me saying that, which makes him a legend even more.

Bob has also been a huge booster for things that he loves over the course of his career, including the aforementioned Tim and Eric plus things like the Birthday Boys and the unheralded movie Girlfriends Day, which he also stars in. And Bob has been a vocal fan of today’s other guest, Marcellus Hall, for many years, too. Hall’s music career goes back to the 1990s, when he was the frontman of the band Railroad Jerk, a clattering blues-punk band whose self-titled debut was one of the first albums ever released by Matador Records. Railroad Jerk is one of those bands that never quite hit it big, but those who saw them play live—I did once, in Madison Wisconsin—never forgot it. After that band broke up, Hall started another one, called White Hassle, and eventually started releasing albums under his own name while simultaneously enjoying a career as an illustrator—he’s done a bunch of New Yorker covers and put out a really touching graphic novel a few years back called Kaleidoscope City. But this conversation was inspired by Hall’s return to music after some years away. He just released a brand new album called I Will Never Let You Down. Here’s the album’s title track, which these guys chat about.

In this lengthy and intimate conversation, which took place at Hall’s New York apartment, he and Odenkirk start and end by talking about Jack Kerouac, and in between they go to a ton of interesting places. Sometimes these Talkhouse chats really feel like you’re eavesdropping, and this is definitely one of those. They talk about Hall’s work as well as Odenkirk’s, and they dive into the notion that it gets harder as you get older to find that spark of inspiration. Odenkirk admits to some feelings of imposter syndrome, even after all of his success, and they both come across as guys who are still seeking, even after all these years. It’s contemplative, but I think ultimately inspiring. This may be the last podcast you hear Odenkirk on for a while, as he’s decided to stop saying “yes” to quite as many things as he did in the past. I love that, too. So get yourself some headphones and give this one your full attention—you won’t regret it.

Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast, and thanks to Marcellus Hall and Bob Odenkirk for chatting. If you liked what you heard, please follow Talkhouse on your favorite podcasting platform, and check out all the goodness at This episode was recorded by Mark Yoshizumi and produced by Myron Kaplan. The Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time!

(Feature photo courtesy of the artists, edited by Keenan Kush.)

Your favorite musicians, filmmakers, and other creative minds one-on-one. No moderator, no script, no typical questions. The Talkhouse Podcast offers unique insights into creative work from all genres and generations. Subscribe now, and explore more illuminating shows on the Talkhouse Podcast Network.