How Jimmy Became Saul Goodman on Better Call Saul (And How You Can Too)

Check out our Better Call Saul name generator.

by | May 16, 2017 | Comments

Bob Odenkirk in Better Call Saul (Michele K. Short/AMC/Sony Pictures Television)
Bob Odenkirk in ‘Better Call Saul.’ (Photo by Michele K. Short/AMC/Sony Pictures Television)

Season 3 of Better Call Saul is speeding towards Breaking Bad faster than ever before. First, they introduced Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito), who will go on to become a big bad for Walter White (Bryan Cranston) in Breaking Bad. It looks like Gus is going to go to war with Don Hector Salamanca (Mark Margolis). Could this be how Salamanca is incapacitated before Walter meets him? But the big question, the very question of the title itself, was answered this week in episode “Off Brand”: Where did Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) get the name Saul Goodman?


Viewers have always known that “Saul Goodman” was not his real name. He confessed as much to Walter White. But for two and a half seasons, fans have been watching Jimmy McGill struggle with his law practice. Necessity is the mother of invention, and this week Jimmy had to create an alter ego for a local commercial. It wasn’t even supposed to be a lawyer name.

Let’s back up. Last season, Jimmy snuck onto a military base to film a TV spot of war hero types looking majestic in front of bombers. Now Jimmy has to take a one year hiatus from law, a slap on the wrist for forging documents that cost Chuck (Michael McKean) the Mesa Verde account. But, Jimmy proved Chuck’s aversion to electronics was all psychological, so the Bar Association believed that Jimmy only confessed to Chuck to make his brother feel better. Still, one year off duty means Jimmy’s got to pull that ad for his legal practice.

Jimmy’s already spent the money on daily airings at 3:20 p.m., so he thinks of a way to make use of that time: He tries to sell local businesses on letting him shoot their commercials to air in the 3:20 slot. To get the word out, he shoots a new commercial for his commercial business. He realizes, however, that he can’t be lawyer Jimmy McGill selling commercials now, so he invents a new character he will play and names him “Saul Goodman.”

Bob Odenkirk, Rhea Seehorn in Better Call Saul (Michele K. Short/AMC/Sony Pictures Television)
Rhea Seehorn and Bob Odenkirk in ‘Better Call Saul.’ (Photo by Michele K. Short/AMC/Sony Pictures Television)

Were you expecting a deep explanation for how he chose the name that would become his persona throughout Breaking Bad? Even Kim (Rhea Seehorn) thought there must be more to it when Jimmy showed her the ad. No, Jimmy just thought Saul Goodman sounds like, “It’s all good, man.”

The commercial is a true Saul Goodman production. Video editing circa 2002 had a lot of cheesy effects, and Jimmy went a bit overboard on the “star wipes.”

It’s as simple as that. That’s how Jimmy McGill became Saul Goodman. He needed a new character, was on a deadline, and made a name out of a common catch phrase. This got us thinking, what other names can be made out of popular expressions? Try out Better Call Saul name generator below.

Better Call Saul Name Generator

Bob Odenkirk in Better Call Saul (Michele K. Short/AMC/Sony Pictures Television)
Bob Odenkirk in ‘Better Call Saul.’ (Photo by Michele K. Short/AMC/Sony Pictures Television)

You too can have a fake name like Saul Goodman. Choose the phrase that best suits your lifestyle, and find out what your shady lawyer name is. Or, if you have your own phrase and corresponding name, tell us in the comments!

Better Call Saul airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on AMC

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