Having escaped an ‘existential lightning bolt’, you might expect the comic actor to be slowing down. You’d be wrong

For at least a couple of weeks after it happened, Bob Odenkirk couldn’t remember he’d had a heart attack. He would wake up, feeling pretty good, and think about heading to work. “And everyone would say: ‘Calm down, you had a heart attack,’” he recalls. There is an absurdity to this daily revelation of bad news that I think Odenkirk – a connoisseur of the absurd – might enjoy.

“Here, let me show you this,” he says. “This is something my daughter made for me because every day was the same thing of not remembering.” He gets out his phone and finds a picture he took of a whiteboard with a timeline of the events of that week or so in July last year – collapsing on the set of his TV drama Better Call Saul, hospital, his family arriving – so that Odenkirk would know what had happened. He holds it up to the screen. On day one, she has written “die” (the quote marks are hers).

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