Mr. Show costars David Cross and Bob Odenkirk reunite at Vancouver ComedyFest
No matter what individual successes Bob Odenkirk and David Cross have had, it seems they’ll always be thought of together. Odenkirk, a respected writer, producer, and director, currently plays Saul Goodman on the hit Breaking Bad; Cross is perhaps best known for his role as Tobias Fünke on Arrested Development, is one of the top standup comedians working today, and is known to children everywhere as Ian Hawke in the Alvin & the Chipmunks movies. But to comedy enthusiasts, they’ll forever be Bob & David of Mr. Show fame.
That may not be how they see it, but it’s how we see it.
“I don’t think we ever considered ourselves a comedy team in the classic kind of Martin & Lewis, Abbott & Costello, Nichols & May way,” says Cross, on the phone to the Straight with his long-time partner. “But people always ask me, ‘When are you and Bob going to do something? Are you ever going to do something again?’ There never really is an assumption that we had a falling-out or anything. I think people understand we have these two separate lives and we live on two different coasts. But we’re always looking to get together and work again.”
Adds Odenkirk: “Also, the people that love Mr. Show, they love it so much that they watch it real closely and they get way into it. So there’s a place in their mind where we’re standing next to each other on-stage doing a show.”
That place in our minds is now reality, as Bob & David will be hosting the Vancouver ComedyFest’s closing gala at the Centre in Vancouver for Performing Arts on Saturday (February 25). With former Mr. Show regular John Ennis in tow, it might seem to be a reunion or remounting of the classic sketch program. While sketches will be involved, Cross and Odenkirk want you to know it is in no way Mr. Show 2.0.
“There will be standups,” says Cross, of guests Marc Maron, Nick Thune, Chelsea Peretti, Matt Braunger, Josie Long, and Tim Heidecker. “We’ll be fucking around. We’ll be doing some kind of very loose sketch stuff, but it is not in any way, shape, or form Mr. Show. It’ll be great and a lot of fun and people will be happy but they should know they’re not getting a Mr. Show revival at all. It’s important for people to know that, otherwise they’d be, I think, seriously disappointed.”
With that roster of talent, and new sketches written specifically for Vancouver, it’s doubtful anyone will be disappointed. Unless, of course, you come from outside the city proper.
“It’s a one-off; it’s only for Vancouver,” says Cross. “We’ll be doing it in the Vancouverosian language, so even people from America won’t understand it.”
“And if anybody from outside Vancouver tries to enjoy the show, we’re going to have some surprises for them that aren’t going to be real pleasant,” threatens Odenkirk.
“There’ll be an alarm that goes off, too, that will isolate them and they’ll be escorted out in a very brusque manner,” says Cross, continuing with the riff.
So why Vancouver? What did we do to deserve this extra-special show? There’s the chance to work together again, sure. But beyond that, there’s the chance to hang with colleagues they respect.
“It’s a big attraction for us,” says Odenkirk. “I don’t even get to see a lot of these comics regularly. So getting to see the acts that we love and the fact they let us choose who’s on the gala was a great plus for me.”
As for Cross, he’s got his own reasons. “I’m just about the Japadog and that’s it,” he says. “That really is all I’m interested in. And there’s an okay poutine place in the West End. That’s about it.”
The Bob & David Gala takes place as part of the Vancouver ComedyFest on Saturday (February 25) at the Centre in Vancouver for Performing Arts.