AUSTIN, Texas — Bob Odenkirk and his son, Nate, in conversation with Zola Mashariki of Audible on Friday at South by Southwest 2022, talked about their new series, “Summer in Argyle.” The audio-based project, an episodic story that features Odenkirk, as well as some of the comedy luminaries with whom he has worked in the past, is the first such collaboration between the father-and-son team to be released on a major platform.
Nate wrote “Argyle” while in college, as a way to have some fun with his funny friends. After a time, though, he gave the script to his father for some notes, which consisted, according to the elder Odenkirk, of “adding a murder,” and the production got underway. Aside from the chance to work with his son, Bob was attracted to the old-time radio vibe of the script, which, he says, has a similarity in tone to classic radio comedies created by teams including Firesign Theatre and Bob and Ray.
The cast, aside from Odenkirk, features his “Mr. Show” collaborator David Cross, as well as Jill Talley, John Ennis, and Tom Kenney, who were members of that same ensemble. In addition, the show features such notables as John C. Reilly, Stephanie Courtney (Flo from the Progressive commercials), and Tim Robinson, recently of “I Think You Should Leave.”
Part of what drew them to create the show was the element of improv within, in which they felt like they were encouraged to follow the concepts wherever they led, which is, according to Bob, a rare experience in today’s content creation market.
“No one’s done anything like this, as far as I know, in decades,” he said.
Also rare for Odenkirk’s oeuvre, there are no curse words in the entire run of the show.
“I wanted to make something that families could put on on a road trip and the kids would enjoy,” said Nate of the decision to keep things clean.
All of this comes at a time when Bob is in the center of the public consciousness, having just released his memoir, “Comedy Comedy Comedy Drama: A Memoir,” and as the sixth and final season of the wildly popular “Better Call Saul,” in which he starts, premieres on April 18.
As for “Summer in Argyle,” now available on Audible, the future is a little less certain. “Give people a chance,” says Bob, of the potential for more. “You might just have to simmer down while it plays.”
However, he acknowledged a desire for at least the spirit of the show to continue, saying, “I would like it to live on in many more iterations.”