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Better Call Saul: How An X-Files Episode Led To Carol Burnett Being Cast As Marion

As far as final seasons of a television series go, few have ever been quite as hotly-anticipated as "Better Call Saul," which ultimately tied together the past, present, and future timelines of its iconic predecessor, "Breaking Bad." Despite following a series some rank among the all-time greats, "BCS" arguably delivered a final season every bit as potent, with masterminds Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, and the series' incredible cast, delivering the dramatic goods at every possible turn.

Structured as both a prequel and sequel of sorts to its predecessor, much of the final season's plot on "BCS" unfolds years after the events of "Breaking Bad." Amid the many twists and turns of that timeline, one of the more surprising elements is surely the piercing dramatic performances delivered by legendary comedian Carol Burnett, who played Marion, the elderly Nebraskan who dropped the proverbial dime on Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk).

And as Burnett recently told Vulture, she landed her "BCS" role in part because her daughter worked with Gilligan on "The X-Files" many years prior. "I knew Vince Gilligan," she said, adding, "He wrote on 'The X-Files,' and one week he wrote a thing called 'Monday Monday,' about this girl who had to keep repeating the same day over and over and over and wanted to stop." Burnett continued, "That girl was my daughter, Carrie. He said she was his favorite guest star on 'X-Files,' so that's what we talked about when I first met him."

Burnett would've been happy with even one line of dialogue on Better Call Saul

Vince Gilligan, of course, cut his teeth on "The X-Files" during its network heyday, serving as a writer, and producer on the beloved sci-fi series between its second, and ninth seasons. As for the time-looping episode in question, it aired 1999, and remains a legit highlight for Season 6 of "The X-Files." 

It speaks to Carol Burnett's showbiz savvy that, even a couple of decades after "Monday" aired, she was still quite familiar with Gilligan's name. But as the actor and comedian told Vulture, she was in part aware of that name because she was also an avid viewer of his later hit. "And then I was a big fan of 'Breaking Bad,'" she told the publication, going on to say, "and at one point we were having dinner with him and his wife, Holly. I was telling him how much I love 'Better Call Saul.' And he said, 'I may write something for you.'" Burnett claimed she told Gilligan she didn't care if it was only had a single line of dialogue, she was game.

True to his word, Gilligan wrote a role for Burnett. And it's safe to assume even she was surprised by how juicy that role was. Recounting the experience to Vulture, Burnett admitted, "I was there for two months in New Mexico and just loved everybody. It was a family." She also claimed she made fast friends with one and all, and has even kept up with many cast members since the ending of "Better Call Saul," noting of those newfound friendships, "I'm the luckiest broad around."