Humor: Portrait of the Artist

Bob Odenkirk plays criminal lawyer Saul Goodman on Breaking Bad, but he also writes humor pieces for the Shouts & Murmurs column in The New Yorker. Perhaps in response to Lauren Collins’s  skeptical Tino Sehgal profile last week, Odenkirk contributes a waggish essay, “Portrait of the Artist,” to the August 13 issue. 

Here’s an excerpt.
He has never been interviewed. He refused to meet me in person, talk on the phone, or sit still for this profile.

has never made a film or a painting, nor has he written a poem, taken a
picture, or tried to �make� anything. Despite all this, he has
fascinated the art world and captivated New York society for the past
year. He�s been praised as �unfathomable at best� and �bafflingly
circumlocutory at worst� by ArtFinger. He scores twelve out of ten on BaffleMags �Scoring the Downtown Scene,� and has been named a �Notable Nelly� in ArtScrape Magazeens midyear wrap-up three times in the same list.

I was assigned to profile him, all I knew was rumors and scuttlebutt.
But further reporting only caused the rumors to solidify and the
scuttlebutt to harden. Do you know what I mean? You don�t? Read on.

He�s a man of habits, believing that they �simplify life and make room for brainstorms.�…  Read more.


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  1. Ah, this looks great. That Tino Sehgal profile really annoyed me. Sehgal annoyed me, I mean, not the profile itself. This looks like a rare Shouts & Murmurs that is actually funny.

  2. �Notable Nelly� is pure Odenkirk. I've always been a fan. Mr. Show changed the face of comedy in the 90's, or at the very least was the purest harbinger of that change.

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