‘Better Call Saul’ Creator Vince Gilligan Opens Up About That Carol Burnett Appearance

by Suzanne Halliburton

Carol Burnett joined the cast of Better Call Saul because she said it was her favorite show. But when you’re part of a fictitious crew of criminals and creeps, sometimes that splashes back on you.

So there was Bob Odenkirk, as Saul Goodman. He’s seething as he pulls a phone out of the wall. As he twists the cord, he’s thinking about using it to kill Burnett’s Marion. But she used her Life Alert to call for help.

Better Call Saul co-creator Vince Gilligan talked about how difficult it was for Saul to be so sinister to one of America’s sweethearts. Sure, she’s playing a fictitious character. But no amount of makeup or lighting can hide the fact she’s still Carol Burnett, or as Gilligan calls her, an “American treasure.” Saul really pondered using the phone cord.

“I don’t think he was kidding around,” Gilligan told Variety in an interview about the Better Call Saul episode. “Waterworks.

“I think he was ready to do something awful. And oh my God, how can you do that to Carol Burnett? An absolute American treasure. He has turned into such a monster. A couple of people who watched the episode have asked me, “What do you think made him step back from the edge here in this final moment?” I say, the bigger question is, “What got him here in the first place?”

As Gilligan pointed out, “a little moment of sanity prevailed, hopefully at least for a few minutes here. ” The episode ended with the scene, so who knows.

“My God, how did he ever get to the point he was going to kill Carol Burnett in the first place? I’m glad we don’t have too much left because I don’t want to see too much more of him being a monster. It was tough in Episode 12 watching him be so unpleasant and unlikable. My god. This is not what I want to see as a fan of the show. I think it’s important stuff and we feel it’s necessary plot wise, but man, what an unpleasant thing.”

After Saul negated the use of Marion’s phone, she pushed her Life Alert button to summon help. Valerie answers the call and asks her if she’s OK.

“No, Valerie, I’m not OK,” Marion says of the man she first knew as Gene. “There’s a criminal standing in my kitchen, threatening me. He’s a wanted man and his name is Saul Goodman.”

Bob Odenkirk and Carol Burnett from Better Call Saul. (ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

The Better Call Saul scene stunned fans on social media. But it was all cool with Burnett. She pitched the idea of joining the show four years ago. It seems that she and Gilligan shared the same driver. His name is Jason. So Burnett asked Jason to tell Gilligan that she’s a huge fan of the show.

Burnett spent two months in New Mexico late in 2021 to film her Better Call Saul scenes. Does she think Saul could kill her?

“He looked a little threatening, but she knew he wasn’t going to kill her,” Burnett told AMC.com. “She wasn’t going to go down not fighting and that’s why she yells into the Life Alert and turns him in. And he, true to form – Gene doesn’t have it in him to really harm anybody physically, to kill her or even hit her or anything like that. So, I don’t know?”