The first two episodes of Better Call Saul's second season have been stolen by Daniel Warmolt, aka Pryce, played by actor and comedian Mark Proksch. Pryce is a pharmaceutical company employee who starts supplying drugs on the side, and hires Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks) to provide security for his meetings with gangster Nacho (Michael Mando).
Proksch, whom viewers might have seen before as warehouse staff member Nate in later seasons of The Office, plays Pryce as an oblivious moron reminiscent of Gob Bluth from Arrested Development. In Monday's episode, "Cobbler," he goes to the police after Nacho steals his prized baseball card collection (and also drugs, which Pryce cares much less about). Mike, knowing that the police will use Pryce to get information on everybody, brokers a deal to get the cards back from Nacho and brings in Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) to get the police off of Pryce's trail. Jimmy does this by improvising a whopper about Pryce making erotic "squat cobbler" videos, in which he sits in pie and cries, for a wealthy pervert. Of course, in order to convince the cops, Jimmy and Pryce have to shoot some "squat cobbler" footage, using a different type of pie for each take. It's not in the episode, but creator Vince Gilligan has a history of putting things referenced on his shows online (See: Gale Boetticher's karaoke performance as mentioned in Breaking Bad).
So, will we ever get to see the squat cobbler videos? TVGuide.com went straight to the source.
Let's start with the big question: do the squat cobbler videos exist?
Proksch: It's something I know people will want to see, and Vince [Gilligan] and [executive producer Peter Gould] have hinted on the podcast that you may somehow, some way, at some point, get to see them — if they do indeed exist. I will say this, though: if they do exist, they'll be some of the most disturbing things you will ever see.
I imagine you would not be afraid to make these videos, if they do exist, because you've done things before where you make yourself look dangerously foolish. I heard that you were cast because of the viral videos you've made, where you crash newscasts as a fake yo-yo champion, is that right?
Proksch: Kind of. That's how I got on The Office. For Saul, I auditioned, and later Vince and Peter found out about the videos through Bob Odenkirk, and they loved them. So yeah, those videos have really paid off.
It is a similar sort of character.
Proksch: Yeah, the arrogant idiot, which is my favorite kind of character. It's kind of in the Don Knotts vein, who's one of my heroes. These people who don't have the facilities to know any better. To me, these are the most interesting people that I get to play. K-Strass was exactly that. He thought he was this great yo-yo-ist, and would book himself on these morning shows. And it turns out he's just not that great at all, and then he decides he has to disclose more about his life than anyone asked him.
There's something I find endearing about these types of characters, which is that they're arrogant and they're their own worst enemy, but you still kind of feel bad for them. That to me is what's really funny, that there's something about that character that you feel sorry for. Otherwise they become one-note. With Pryce, you get that, where he's this idiot who thinks he knows more than Mike and can go and do these drug deals alone, and it turns out he's quickly in over his head and, without even knowing, has to go back to Mike to clear it up before he gets himself into more trouble.
This character is funny, because he's sort of impervious to Mike's intimidation tactics.
Proksch: Yeah, it's that nerdy arrogance. Having that type of ego gives him a shield against police and criticism, etc., which I'm sure Pryce has heard a lot of in his time.
What did it feel like being on the other end of Jonathan Banks' steely gaze?
Proksch: Jonathan is a prince. He's accomplished so much in his career that you instantly look up to him, and he'll take you under his wing. He quickly becomes a mentor. You wouldn't necessarily think that, because he is a bit gruff. His onscreen character is not too far off from his off-screen character at times. But he's the biggest pussycat. So, to be on the other side, it's intimidating at first, but after awhile you realize he wants nothing more than for you to do an incredible job. He does what he can to help you get there. The first scene last year I had with Jonathan, I thought, "whoa, I'm acting with Mike from Breaking Bad." But that quickly fades away once you get to know him.
Did you know you were coming back this season when you shot the part last season?
Proksch: I had a clue. Tom Schnauz — who wrote and directed my episode last year — he and I have become friends and he told me that there was a possibility of my coming back for this season. But they really play everything close to the vest. Which is great, because I'm a fan of the show. I wouldn't want to know what's going on with everyone else, and I get to watch all this stuff like a viewer at home does, not knowing where these stories are going.
Will we see more of Pryce this season?
Proksch: It's one of those things I would hate to speculate on, because our fans are so savvy that they may be able to figure it out, and then I would be spoiling something for them. So you'll just have to wait and see.
Better Call Saul airs Mondays at 10/9c on AMC.
Watch a clip from Better Call Saul where Pryce shows Mike his flashy new Hummer.