How Much Gene Takavic Makes at Cinnabon in ‘Better Call Saul’ Compared to Saul Goodman in ‘Breaking Bad’

Gene Takavic (Bob Odenkirk), formerly Saul Goodman, formerly Jimmy McGill, works for Cinnabon as a manager. He has Ed “The Disappearer” Galbraith (Robert Forster) from Breaking Bad to thank for his new life, which we learn more about in Better Call Saul. Here’s Saul Goodman’s estimated earnings working under Heisenberg (Bryan Cranston) and how that compares to being a Cinnabon manager.

Cinnabon manager Gene Takavic (Bob Odenkirk) in 'Nippy,' 'Better Call Saul' Season 6 Episode 10
Bob Odenkirk as Gene Takavic | Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

Bob Odenkirk knows how to make Cinnabon ‘to spec’ 

“From here on out, I’m Mr. Low Profile,” Saul tells Heisenberg in the final season of Breaking Bad. “Just another douchebag with a job and three pairs of Dockers. If I’m lucky, a month from now, best-case scenario, I’m managing a Cinnabon in Omaha.” 

That ultimately became his fate at the end of the series. Ironically, behind the scenes, Odenkirk knows how to make the beloved confections. He revealed on The Late Late Show With James Corden, how a Cinnabon representative taught him how to make Cinnabon. “You put me in front of a bunch of margarine, I can make one to spec,” Odenkirk said. 

He added: “I know how to run the machine and plop it out and roll it out and put the margarine on and the various ingredients — which are all bad for you! But you know that.” According to Cinnabon’s nutritional information, one classic roll is 880 calories and 37 grams of fat.

Gene Takavic earns significantly less as a Cinnabon manager than he did as Saul Goodman

Throughout Breaking Bad, Saul Goodman earned a lot of money working with Heisenberg. Fans on Reddit estimate Saul earned about $9 million based on Walter and Jesse’s estimated $90 million in earnings and Saul’s “standard 10% fee “to still be able respect himself.” Another Redditor rounded Saul’s earnings in Breaking Bad up to $15 million based on Walter and Jesse’s combined earnings. 

Either way, going from a “friend of the cartel” lawyer to a Cinnabon manager, Gene Takavic takes a massive pay cut. According to Glassdoor, “the estimated [median] total pay for a Manager at Cinnabon is $52,147 per year.” The site also says Cinnabon managers can earn up to $9,567 per year in additional pay, including bonuses, tips, and profit sharing. 

Cinnabon plays a big part in ‘Better Call Saul’ Season 6 episode ‘Nippy’

In Better Call Saul Season 6 Episode 10, Gene uses his employment with Cinnabon to help pull off a con with Jeff (Pat Healy, who replaced Don Harvey) the taxi cab driver. For Jeff, pulling off the con is about making a few thousand dollars. For Gene, it’s about protecting his new identity — Jeff ID’d him as Saul Goodman earlier in Better Call Saul

A big part of the con in “Nippy” was befriending and distracting the Cottonwood Mall’s security guards, which Gene did with freshly prepared Cinnabon for nights on end. First, Gene brought Cinnabon to Frank (Jim O’Heir) and timed out how long it took him to consume the confection — which he did with his back to the security TV monitors. Then, Gene came up with an elaborate rhyme to help Jeff move through the department store and grab merchandise within the time limit. 

Gene Takavic (Bob Odenkirk) swirls frosting on a cinnamon bun working at Cinnabon in 'Better Call Saul' Season 6
Bob Odenkirk as Gene Takavic | Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

Finally, on the night of the con, Gene distracted Frank with Cinnabon, but a minor snag presented itself when Jeff slipped on the floor. To keep the con going and Frank distracted, Gene blurted out the truth about the loss he experienced in his former life.

“I have no one,” Gene admitted. “My parents are dead; my brother is dead. I have no wife. No kids. No friends. If I die tonight, no one would care! What difference would it make?”

“Nippy” presented the alternate version of Jimmy McGill that Odenkirk teased previously. Will this version of Jimmy/Saul/Gene appear in episode 11? 

Tune in to Better Call Saul on AMC Mondays at 9 p.m. ET to find out. 

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