Perhaps Roseanne was the original Breaking Bad prequel. Back in 2009, Bob Odenkirk debuted as conniving lawyer Saul Goodman in the second season of Breaking Bad. He would later reprise that role for six seasons of the prequel series Better Call Saul. Garnering great critical acclaim during its run, the series just wrapped up earlier this year.
The prequel series touches on the origins of Jimmy “Saul Goodman” McGill, revealing that he had lived in Cicero, Illinois, before relocating to Albuquerque where he became an attorney. Better Call Saul also highlights how Saul was known as “Slippin’ Jimmy” when he was younger because of all the scams he pulled. This information lines up with a theory some fans have that the first appearance of Jimmy/Saul was actually in a 1993 episode of the classic sitcom Roseanne, referring to a cameo appearance from Odenkirk with the actor playing someone very reminiscent of the Breaking Bad character.
In the scene, which has garnered more than a million views on YouTube, Odenkirk can be seen having a meal in the diner run by the family with Nancy (Sandra Bernhard). He just so happens to have that familiar Saul Goodman hairstyle, and as he’s wearing a suit, Odenkirk certainly looks a lot like the character. Given his appearance, Nancy figures he’s the health inspector and proceeds to flirt with him before offering a bribe. Odenkirk admits he is the health inspector, though he accepts the money and says they’ve passed the inspection. The character then leaves, and as he’s exiting the diner, Dan (John Goodman) casually asks while passing by, “Hey, Jim, how’s the shoe business treating you?”
At the very least, it’s a remarkable coincidence that this character would also happen to have the same first name as Better Call Saul‘s Jimmy McGill. While Jimmy never mentioned working in the shoe business in the Breaking Bad world, it’s theoretically possible that he could have. While the Conners’ hometown of Lanford is fictional, it has been described as being west of Chicago… as is Cicero, where Jimmy McGill is from, making it possible the future lawyer would sometimes drop by while passing through.
In any case, many fans watching the video prefer to believe this is our first look at Slippin’ Jimmy in action. You can decide for yourself by watching the viral video below.
The Roseanne Revival Might Disprove the Fan Theory
What goes against the theory that Saul Goodman appears in Roseanne is the guest spot of Better Call Saul star Rhea Seehorn in the sequel series. Before killing off the titular character and rebranding as The Conners, Roseanne was revived with an all-new season featuring Roseanne Barr on CBS in 2018. That season of the show also happened to feature Seehorn playing an animal shelter worker named Carrie. How can this be if Seehorn also plays Kim Wexler, the love of Jimmy McGill’s life, in Better Call Saul?
Who knows, but maybe she wound up giving a call to a certain vacuum cleaner repairman to order a new dust filter for her HooverMax Extract PressurePro model 60.