Hasty Pudding celebrates Man of the Year, 'Better Call Saul' star Bob Odenkirk: 'It’s a crazy honor'

The Associated Press

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Award-winning actor and bestselling author Bob Odenkirk was feted Thursday as 2023 Man of the Year by Harvard University’s Hasty Pudding Theatricals, which included a roast during which he donned a pink dress over his clothes.

Odenkirk, best known as shady lawyer Saul Goodman on “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul,” received his Pudding Pot award at the celebratory roast ahead of a preview of Hasty Pudding Theatricals’ 174th production, “COSMIC RELIEF!"

“I’m thrilled and surprised and I’m knocked out by what’s happening today,” Odenkirk said following the roast. “It’s been fun meeting all these students. It’s a crazy honor.”

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Bob Odenkirk

Bob Odenkirk wears pink dress, sticks hands in butter at Hasty Pudding roast

During the 20-minute roast, Odenkirk was asked to don a pink dress over his clothes.“It fits. It’s nice. It makes me look sharp," he said. “And I like the little bears.”

The student presenters also referenced many of his past roles, including going back to his early years writing for Saturday Night Live. They also repeatedly poked fun at his thinning hair.

“I’ve tried everything. Supplements. Plugs. Devil worship," he quipped during a sketch in which he read cue cards held up by students onstage.

He also read a comedically disjointed acceptance speech: “As I’ve stated repeatedly throughout this speech, comedy and acting go hand in hand like a pendulum swinging up and down like a clock that’s broken but appears to work.”

At the end of the event, he was asked to press his hands into a tray of butter — ala The Hollywood Walk of Fame — as part of new ad campaign “Butter Call Saul." Odenkirk complied and was handed his pudding pot.

During a news conference after the event, Odenkirk said he was looking forward to more comedic roles in the future. “I love doing sketch comedy so much," he said.

Actor Bob Odenkirk acknowledges the audience during a roast while being honored as Man of the Year by Harvard University's Hasty Pudding Theatricals on Feb. 2.

Who has received the Hasty Pudding Man of the Year award?

Last year's recipient was Jason Bateman, and previous honorees include Bob Hope, Dustin Hoffman and Sean Connery.

In the last decade, here's who has been honored with the Pudding's Man of the Year Award:

  • 2022: Jason Bateman
  • 2020: Ben Platt
  • 2019: Milo Ventimiglia
  • 2018: Paul Rudd
  • 2017: Ryan Reynolds
  • 2016: Joseph Gordon-Levitt
  • 2015: Chris Pratt
  • 2014: Neil Patrick Harris
  • 2013: Kiefer Sutherland
  • 2012: Jason Segel 

Last year:'Ozark' star Jason Bateman named Harvard's 2022 Hasty Pudding Man of Year

When was the first Hasty Pudding Man of the Year awarded?

Hasty Pudding Theatricals, which dates to 1844 and calls itself the third-oldest theater group in the world, has handed out a Man of the Year Award since 1967.

The awards are given out to people who have made lasting and impressive contributions to the world of entertainment.

More on 2023 honoree Bob Odenkirk

Odenkirk reprised the role of Saul Goodman, aka Jimmy McGill, in "Better Call Saul," which earned him three Critics Choice TV awards and multiple Emmy, Golden Globe, and SAG Award nominations.

He is also the star and executive producer of "Lucky Hank," adapted from the novel "Straight Man" by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Russo, which is scheduled to premiere on AMC and AMC+ on March 19.

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Some of his other acting credits include "Nobody," "Mr. Show with Bob and David" and "Girlfriend's Day."

He received two Emmy Awards for his comedic writing for "Saturday Night Live" in 1989 and for "The Ben Stiller Show" in 1993.

In 2013 Odenkirk co-wrote The New York Times bestseller "Hollywood Said No!," a collection of unproduced screenplays, and his third book released in March 2022, a memoir entitled "Comedy Comedy Comedy Drama," went to No. 2 on The New York Times bestseller list.

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Is there a Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year award?

Yes. But the Hasty Pudding Theatricals' Woman of the Year Award, which dates to 1951, has not yet been announced for 2023. 

 "Alias" star Jennifer Garner was honored with the award last February, complete with a parade in historic Harvard Square. "This is crazy. This is nuts," Garner said at the time. 

Hasty Pudding organizers said they chose Garner based not just on her career as an actor but also because of her record as a philanthropist and entrepreneur.

More:Jennifer Garner celebrated as Hasty Pudding's Woman of the Year

Who else has received the Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year award? 

The Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year 2021 recipient was Viola Davis, and previous winners include Meryl Streep, Katharine Hepburn, Ethel Merman and Cher.

In the last decade, here's who has been honored with the Pudding Woman of the Year award:

  • 2021: Viola Davis
  • 2020: Elizabeth Banks
  • 2019: Bryce Dallas Howard
  • 2018: Mila Kunis
  • 2017: Octavia Spencer
  • 2016: Kerry Washington
  • 2015: Amy Poehler
  • 2014: Helen Mirren
  • 2013: Marion Cotillard
  • 2012: Claire Danes

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