Though they haven’t been consistently seen together since their cult HBO sketch-comedy series in the mid-’90s, Mr. Show’s Bob Odenkirk and David Cross have since emerged separately as esteemed and deeply influential comedy figures. The Naperville-born Odenkirk has turned his focus toward directing movies, taking small parts on TV shows (including a recent stint on Breaking Bad), and rallying for other up-and-coming comedy teams like Tim And Eric. Cross, meanwhile, regularly spits bile as a stand-up, famously co-starred on another cult hit, Arrested Development and its upcoming movie iteration, and has a collection of satirical essays due out in late August titled I Drink For A Reason. And while last year saw the pair reunite to tape David’s Situation, a pilot for an HBO sitcom that Odenkirk and Cross subsequently chose not to pursue, Chicago-area Mr. Show fans will be treated to a string of genuine reunion shows at the Just For Laughs Festival on June 19 and 20 at the Lakeshore in Chicago. Although it seems that they aren’t completely sure what they’ll be doing at these shows just yet, Bob and David spoke to Decider about their status as a comedy team and what audiences should and shouldn’t expect onstage.
Decider: Are you guys planning to do more together after this, or are you just testing the waters?
Bob Odenkirk: I don’t know. I’m so tired of honest answers. Who wants to hear the truth about comedians? David and I would love to work together again.
David Cross: I got a reality-show thing I’m trying to do in Australia. And in Canada, I’m doing a week-that-was thing.
BO: I thought that was a game show called You Just Won A Million Loonies!
DC: Yeah. But it’s still a very real look at—
BO: At loonies, and winning.
DC: And then South Africa. I got some irons in the fire there.
BO: We would work together again, that’s the answer. But we just have to find the time to do it.
D: How will your onstage roles or chemistry compare to what people are used to?
BO: Well, I’m bald and kind of short and I wear shorts now. David has gotten a little bit taller, about two inches, and he’s got a full head of hair. He’s more handsome, clearly getting laid. So, other than that, it's kind of a switcheroo. The show's called "Switcheroo."
DC: Our stage act is a lot like—did you see 17 Again?
D: Not yet.
DC: Well, the second time you'll see it, you'll know.
DC: You’ll know, exactly. Both Bob and I are the Zac Efron character, and we’re also whoever the gentleman is who plays the older version of him. I believe it’s Jeremy Piven.
BO: So, according to The Onion, which you’re gonna write, we’re gonna make fun of pop culture and social mores. I don’t know how many we’re allowed to skewer. We have to clear that with the festival. I think up to 10, and then beyond that it’s not fair to the culture.
DC: You people like it when we make fun of Chicago hot dogs and deep-dish pizza, right?
D: That’s all we ever talk about.
DC: Oh, I love it. I’m working on some stuff.
D: What Mr. Show sketch has become an unexpected fan favorite over the years?
BO: Well, “The Story Of Everest” to me, is the one. Some people hate it, but I would say a lot of people I’ve talked to love it so much. “Audition?”
DC: People remember really odd, specific things. Not odd, but what at the time seemed fairly disposable.