Bob Odenkirk Says Failed ‘Mr. Show’ Movie Was ‘Worst Experience’ of Career

‘It’s a very short movie, but it feels really long’
Bob Odenkirk Says Failed ‘Mr. Show’ Movie Was ‘Worst Experience’ of Career

Wait, there was a Mr. Show movie? Yep, but if you’ve never seen the buried Run Ronnie Run, that’s understandable. A parody of reality TV shows like Cops that predates Reno 911Run Ronnie Run was based on a Mr. Show sketch and full of Mr. Show-esque comedy tangents. But according to Bob Odenkirkin a 2004 interview with Chunklet, the movie never had a chance to be good. 

But it coulda, shoulda, woulda. Odenkirk wrote the comedy with David CrossBrian Posehn, BJ Porter and Scott Aukerman, hoping to “very cleverly skip off our little linear story and do little scenic bits that would be more like Mr. Show, and that would hopefully enhance the story, and make the movie a more interesting experience.” So far, so good.

Then there’s that cast. In addition to Odenkirk and Cross as the perpetually arrested Ronnie Dobbs, the movie featured appearances by alt-comedy royalty like Patton Oswalt, Sarah Silverman, Posehn, David Koechner, Doug Benson, Andy Richter, Dave Foley, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, Ben Stiller, Garry Shandling, Jack Black and Mr. Show alums Jill Talley, Tom Kenney, Paul F. Tompkins, Mary Lynn Rajskub, and John Ennis. The names alone virtually guarantee hilarity.

But there was one surefire way to screw it up — locking Odenkirk and Cross out of the editing room. Odenkirk places that blame squarely at the feet of the film’s director, using the name Jack Frost to refer to Troy Miller. Miller had won trust by helming 20 episodes of Mr. Show, where he “had been very cooperative and willing to execute our vision, and pretty much give it up to us at any time in the process,” Odenkirk said. But after Cross and Odenkirk began giving notes during the editing process — a process they believed they’d be intimately involved with — Miller “immediately got really frustrated and angry, and on the second day of our effort at editing, he kicked us out.”

Studio executive and Mr. Show fan Mike De Luca lost his job during filming, so Cross and Odenkirk had no one to fight for them. Miller finished the movie on his own “and just so you know, he still thinks it's a great movie,” Odenkirk said. “It may have some good moments, but it's not a great movie. But he still thinks it's fucking awesome.”

While the pain was still fresh, Odenkirk told interested Mr. Show fans to rent, not buy, Run Ronnie Run. “What you see is a much slower, less focused, much less funny movie in its first edit. We basically polished a turd; we didn't do any alchemy,” he said. “Maybe there's no great movie there. But I can't say that unless I get a chance to edit it first.”

More Odenkirk thoughts on Run Ronnie Run:

  • “It's a very short movie but it feels really long.” 
  • “It shifts gears between being kind of dry and funny and a little bit harsh, which is very Mr. Showy, to being saccharin-sweet and strangely emotionally cloying, and begging for your sympathy.”
  • “It's (considered) this ‘lost gem’ when really it's a lost fucked-up gem.”

Tell us how you really feel, Bob. “It was a horrible, horrible experience,” Odenkirk said. “The worst experience I've ever had in my career by far. It was a nightmare!”


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