‘Better Call Saul’: How Guest Star Carol Burnett Fits Into the Series

by Craig Garrett

Comedy legend and classic tv star Carol Burnett finally made her debut appearance on AMC’s Better Call Saul. Burnett’s appearance was announced back in June. Since then, fans have been speculating on what part she would play in the show’s final 6th season. These questions were answered in Monday night’s episode, “Nippy”.

The previous episode caught the series up with Breaking Bad. “Nippy” is set in the unexplored territory of Saul’s life after the events of Breaking Bad. Carol Burnett played Marion, the mother of Jeff, the man blackmailing Bob Odenkirk’s character (at this point in the timeline, called Gene). In order to make an inroad with Jeff, Gene befriends Marion. This involves Gene sabotaging poor Marion’s electric wheelchair, then helping her take her groceries home. All of this after Marion first notices Gene putting up posts for his (made up) lost dog, Nippy. Marion feels sympathy for the dog lover and invites him inside for lunch.

However, Carol Burnett’s character has some grit. It’s clear that even though she relies on a scooter to get around, she is very sharp. She nearly catches Gene in a lie or two. She also clearly runs the life of her son, Jeff. It’s an eye-opening moment for Gene, seeing Jeff pushed around by his mother. He sees a vulnerability in his foe.

It’s not yet known if Burnett will make another appearance as Marion, but it seems likely. Why cast such an icon for one appearance? With only a few episodes left in the season, there’s a possibility the headstrong Marion will cause problems for Gene. Here’s hoping the 89-year-old 6-time Emmy winner gets another episode or two. In a recent statement she said of being on Better Call Saul “I’m thrilled to be a part of my favorite show.”

Burnett wasn’t the only big guest on the latest Better Call Saul

Comedy fans were rewarded with another familiar face on Monday’s Better Call Saul. Jim O’Heir, who brilliantly played Jerry Gergich on Parks and Recreation, guest starred. Even though O’Heir shared no scenes with Carol Burnett, he was beyond excited to share screen credit with the legend.

“I got to the set to get hair, makeup, and wardrobe … and I went over to meet [the director] and she said ‘Do you know who’s here today?’ I hadn’t seen the call sheet and there was no one else I knew besides Bob, O’Heir told the New York Post.

“So I look over and there, and on this little scooter for the scene, is Carol Burnett. I don’t even know how to describe it; according to others who were there, I got watery eyes and stepped away from what was happening. I kinda blacked out in disbelief, in a way. They introduced me and she was so gracious; and [Burnett] told me a Clark Gable story about a party. My brain was spinning.”

Despite his success and high-profile projects, meeting Burnett was a milestone for O’Heir. “I’ve worked a lot and met a lot of amazing people but there are certain people who are above and beyond for me, and she’s at the top of the heap,” he said. “We kind of hit it off, and that makes me more excited than anything. It was personal and it touched my heart.”