In season one of Better Call Saul, we hear James Morgan "Jimmy" McGill, Esq. say "'s all good, man" to another person as a joke. While this seems to be the origin, is it ever hinted at on Breaking Bad or known if this was planned all along as the name's origin?

I guess I'm asking if Vince Gilligan or someone else planned this or was it discovered that Saul Goodman could be said/heard as "it's all good, man?" I'm hoping it was mentioned in an interview or commentary or at a convention or something. Do we know? (Either way, it's pretty clever and caught me off guard.)


1 Answer 1


Saul Goodman character made his appearance in Breaking Bad's Episode 8 of Season 2 named "Better Call Saul". In the "Insider Podcast" of the episode, Vince Gilligan explains that he came up with the name "Saul Goode" (it's all good) one day as he was showering and that it was later changed into "Saul Goodman" (it's all good man) after the suggestion of one of the other writers, J. Roberts.

Here's the Podcast where Gilligan tells the story (circa 1:25 into the clip):

So, to answer your question, yes, the joke on the name was completely intentional and, while in the same episode of BB Saul explains to Walter that he chose the name in order to sound "jewish":

“My real name's McGill. The Jew thing I just do for the homeboys. They all want a pipe-hitting member of the tribe, so to speak.”

in Gilligan's intention the play on words was meant to appeal to the criminal clients that Saul's law firm is targeting.

As you pointed out in your question, the "fictional" genesis of the name might be explained in Episode 4 Season 1 of Better Call Saul ("Hero") where a younger James McGill (not yet Esq. and known at the time as "Slippin Jimmy"), introduces himself (for the first time?) as “Saul” ... “S’all good, man.”

  • Any overlapping with the Homeland series? Season 5 has an episode called Better Call Saul ...
    – nilon
    May 26, 2016 at 12:57
  • It might be a reference but that's all I guess ...
    – Pesetas74
    May 30, 2016 at 15:05
  • I'm amazed at the patience involved before revealing the joke. YEARS... Thanks, Vince and gang. Apr 15, 2017 at 2:11
  • >! Spoiler Note that in Better Call Saul ep. 6 of season 3 JMG starts calling himself (in an ad.) SG and gives the (same) reason.
    – Déjà vu
    May 17, 2017 at 8:36

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