Bob Odenkirk Introduces His Abdominals

He co-created "Mr. Show," he brought Saul from "Breaking Bad" to conniving life... and in his new humor collection "A Load of Hooey," he reveals the secret to a ripped six-pack.

You are probably wondering where I got these amazing abs. They’re so ripply and rock hard, they’re difficult to fathom. If I were a character on a reality show about me and my middle-aged acquaintances, I might be nicknamed The Conundrum, in reference to these abs of mine. See, the abs don’t match the visage. hooey_cover_FINAL_PRMy perturbed, puffy face sets you up for a blubbery gut. But then you see these abs, stacked like bricks, clearly delineated, and you have to ask, “Does he work out for two or three hours a day, or does he just work out all day?” Or perhaps you think I purchased them from a plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills. My secret is simple: dynamic tension! Constant dynamic tension. Tension that is tense, and dynamic, and never ending. The best kind of tension there is! I have analyzed each ab and where it draws its tension from so that you, too, can get the abs you’ve always dreamed of!

The ab on the upper right is taut and sinewy thanks to middle school. Specifically, the effort of trying to get my two kids placed in a top-notch middle school. Filling out forms, attending open houses, prepping for interviews, taking the entrance exams. It’s a lot of work, and I am there every step of the way, standing behind them, leaning over their shoulders, looking down (that’s what tightens the ab), swallowing hard (also good for the ab), and clenching and unclenching my fists (good for the fists). Thanks, kids, Dad loves you and Dad loves the ab you’ve given him.

The middle-right ab bulges handsomely thanks to talk radio. I simply tune in to conservative talkers when I am driving, and my screaming at the host tightens this ab for an extended, uninterrupted rep. Plus, disagreeing with someone on the radio gives me that powerless, overwhelmed feeling I’ve become addicted to. It’s better than a drug, because you get the abs!

The upper-left ab pops out impressively from the effort of lugging five-gallon water jugs into our kitchen. Actually, the lugging does nothing for the ab; it’s the part where you have to tip the full jug and place its spout into the dispensing reservoir, without spilling, that strains and sculpts this beautiful ab. The short moment of dread focuses tension on this ab like a ray gun. Afterward, slipping on the spilled water can be great for a whole-body clench.

The middle ab on the left (not my left, your left, if you are looking at me) is called Terrence. It’s a dignified ab. It tenses each time I read an op-ed article about global warming. The article’s point of view is immaterial; simply being reminded that I can do nothing to stop the horrific future of floods and catastrophe gives this ab a taut yank that lingers, burning calories in my well-creased forehead at the same time. Best to do right before bed, as the accompanying nightmares keep those abs pumping into the early-morning hours!

The bottom-right ab, the biggest of all the abs — and therefore the most impressive — is from not having sex. This ab is always quietly tensed. Has been for years now. Can you imagine the Dalai Lama’s lower right ab? Must be huge. I, however, did not take a vow of chastity, so it would be a sad situation, if it didn’t yield such an amazing ab.

The bottom ab on the left is harder to explain, but I believe that this ab is simply self-aware. It quivers with tension at all times, even more so when I am supposed to be relaxing, and I believe it is searching for a sense of purpose for itself and no answer is forthcoming. Nothing works this ab like a vacation. The aimless uncertainty, the absence of all deadlines, tightens sculpts like nothing else. After ten days in Hawaii, this ab looks amazing.

Finally, you’ve got to appreciate my extra abs. That’s right, I have two abs more than most people. They are in my lower back, and, I’ll admit it, they were put there by my Beverly Hills plastic surgeon. I was told that they are the latest thing. God, I hope so. They hurt like hell.