How ‘Better Call Saul’ Creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould Got Carol Burnett in Season 6

Better Call Saul always lands big guest stars. Better Call Saul Season 6 will welcome back Breaking Bad stars Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul. But the guest star who impressed even Better Call Saul creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould was Carol Burnett. Gould revealed how they landed her. 

'Better Call Saul' Season 6: Bob Odenkirk pushes Carol Burnett in a wheelchair
Bob Odenkirk and Carol Burnett | Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

Gould was a guest on the Better Call Saul Insider podcast on July 26. He told the story of meeting Burnett and then asking her to play Jeff (Pat Healy)’s mom in the episode “Nippy.” Better Call Saul Season 6 airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on AMC.

‘Better Call Saul‘ creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould met Carol Burnett separately

Gould first shared how he and Gilligan met Burnett prior to casting her on Better Call Saul Season 6. Both traveled in showbiz circles. 

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“Vince had met Carol at a party and then I met her later at actually the Peabody Awards,” Gould said on Better Call Saul Insider. “I was at the Peabody Awards in New York with [wife] Nora [Doyle]. Somebody came up to us and said, ‘Carol Burnett would like to meet you. I was like holy sh**. So Nora and I went up to her table. It’s interesting because she’s an extremely intelligent person and she is very insightful and she also has a warmth to her that is pretty special and unique.”

They thought of Carol Burnett for the role in ‘Better Call Saul’ Season 6

A prior Gene Takovic flashback showed Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk) abort an extraction request when Jeff (then played by Don Harvey) recognized him. When they came up with the story of “Nippy” to address it, they wondered who could play Jeff’s mom.

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I think the first pitch was Jeff was living with his mom and his sister. Gene kind of put the moves on his sisters but then we narrowed it down to Jeff’s Mom. As soon as we started talking about that, it was like, ‘Wouldn’t it be amazing to get Carol for this?’ Because I’m always suspicious of things that seem too good to be true, I wanted to keep it open. As soon as we offered it to Carol, she really went out of her way. She spent a lot of time during COVID in Albuquerque away from home and was incredibly generous with all of us. She was doing it out of I think sheer love. She did tell both Vince and me separately that this is her favorite show. What can you say? It’s one of those things, and I have to say, these things tend to happen more often since I met Vince Gilligan where it just all seemed too good to be true but it happened.

Peter Gould, Better Call Saul Insider, 7/26/22

Carol Burnett made everyone on set happy 

Gould concluded with the story of how Burnett provided a pick me up for Odenkirk after his heart attack

“We had just come out of this crisis moment when Bob went down,” Gould said. “Carol raised everyone’s spirits. I know she raised Bob’s spirits.”

Burnett extended that warmth to co-star Healy, too.

“I got to Albuquerque and my first thing was I got driven to where they were shooting, at the Cottonwood Mall,” Healy said. “And there were a bunch of trailers and I was kind of out of it, it was an early flight. And there was a bunch of people standing around that I hadn’t met before. Somebody said, ‘Oh, Carol wants to meet you.’ In my mind, I was just thinking oh Carol, somebody, the producer on the show or something. And I heard, ‘Is that my son?’ from a trailer and there she was. She embraced me and it was just so crazy. I just could not even believe. I still can’t believe any of this.”

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