Sunday, December 1, 2013

Birds at Large: Bob Odenkirk

Fans of anything good in this world know Bob Odenkirk from somewhere.  His most visible roles have been as half the titular comedy duo on Mr. Show with Bob and David or as the seedy lawyer "Better Call" Saul on Breaking Bad, but he's also been on a million other shows, comedy podcasts etc.

BUT IS HE ALSO A BIRDER?  No.  No, I don't think so.  BUT MAYBE.  Two recent Odenkirk or Odenkirk-approved shows have featured jabs at birding, more than enough to warrant a mention on this dumb blog.

Here, first, is Odenkirk's appearance on the IFC show Comedy Bang! Bang! as Tommy Shalders, a former prodigy bird-calling champion.

So, there are clearly many, many errors with the songs, the bird names, and the photos there.  All errors.  It's all full of errors.  Still, I get a bit of satisfaction from hearing Odenkirk and Scott Aukerman, two of my favorite comedians, say "White-rumped Sandpiper" on TV.

Lemme get into a bit of the nitty grit on this.  Hit the 2:25 mark on that video when the host, Aukerman, asks Odenkirk to give his best bird call.  Odenkirk says he'll be performing the White-rumped Sandpiper, and sets the stage as May 28 on the shore of Lake Huron.

Okay.  First things first, what are the chances of seeing a White-rumped Sandpiper on the shore of Lake Hebron in May?  You know, it's possible!  Here's the eBird map:

Unlikely, but possible.  Next, how much does the song Odenkirk sings sound like a White-rumped.  About zero percent.  No percent.  Check out the Xeno-Canto calls for a WRSA here (there's a recording from May at the very bottom)(also, damn Xeno-Canto is the best goddamn website).  Sorry.

Himalayan Snowcock?  No.
The second Odenkirk birding clip comes from a new sketch show called The Birthday Boys, for which Odenkirk serves as writer, executive producer and actor.  Check out this sketch, which is a fake "Tips" video that makes the activities look far too easy (the birding stuff starts at the 1:15 mark, but the whole thing is funny):

Okay, they also got everything wrong.  All the birds are fake, as are the noises that go with them.  Also, here's a screenshot of the checklist the guy was marking off at the end.  There are African birds like the Carmine Bee-eater on there and also Indian birds like the Emerald Dove ... so I don't know what that checklist is for but it certainly ain't American birds.

All in good fun, though!  I give props to the troupe for not making birding the butt of the joke.

I saw The Birthday Boys when the live Comedy Bang! Bang! tour swung through DC - they were hilarious and deserving of birders support.  Odenkirk is a comedy legend and I wish him all the best on his Breaking Bad Saul spin-off.  After all this Walter White nonsense, Saul will probably looking for a new, calm activity he can enjoy in his new life in Omaha - how about birding?


ilovesleep said...

Classic jungle bush quail call. Oh Odenkirk!!!

Anonymous said...

So this is what it's like to not understand comedy. Interesting

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