Malcolm In The Middle: 15 Behind-The-Scenes Facts

Life is unfair...but these facts help.
Malcolm In The Middle: 15 Behind-The-Scenes Facts

Malcolm In The Middle should be regarded with the same level of esteem as, Seinfeld, Friends, and The Office in my opinion. Few shows have the hear that comes with Malcolm, while still letting us watch Bryan Cranston dance in his underwear. Here are 15 facts that even Malcolm doesn't know.

Malcolm In The Middle Was Used For An Alternate Breaking Bad Ending

Breaking Bad Alt ending


As a fun alternate ending to the serious Breaking Bad series, the creators pitched the idea that it was all a dream in Hal’s head all along, resulting in him waking up safely next to Lois in their bed. It’s the nostalgia blast we all needed.

Frankie Muniz CAN Remember His Time On The Show

Frankie Muniz Malcolm in the Middle


Somehow, a rumor began that Frankie Muniz had so many concussions that he could no longer remember being a part of any Malcolm in the Middle episodes. In reality, Muniz was just saying that he doesn’t remember too many specifics because he was an incredibly busy child actor, but he still remembers much of the show.

Guest Stars

Jim O'Heir Malcolm in the Middle


Malcolm in the Middle had a lot of guest stars throughout the years, including some celebrities before they got their big break. Some notable guests are Ashley Tisdale, Hayden Panettiere, Jim O’Heir, Busy Phillips, Bea Arthur and George Takei, Christopher LLoyd, Jason Alexander, Betty White, Andy Richter, Emma Stone and Octavia Spencer.

Bryan Cranston Auditioned On The Set

The show creator Linwood Boomer says that the role of Hal originally was supposed to be a very distant father, always looking to escape his family. The part was so underwritten that the auditions for Hal were an afterthought, with Cranston’s audition taking place on the set while it was still being constructed. Cranston's audition made Boomer laugh so hard that he fell out of his chair, because instead of being distant from his family out of disdain, Cranston played it like he was too busy “building a rocket ship in his head.” Cranston was hired on the spot.

The Family DOES Have A Last Name

Wilkerson Malcolm in the Middle


A running theme in the show was that the audience was supposed to be unaware of the family’s last name. Hence why the finale episode includes the mic cutting out when the principal announces Malcolm’s full name. Luckily, in the pilot episode, Francis can be seen wearing a nametag that says “Wilkerson.”

Sorry Linwood Boomer, you’ve been outsmarted. Who’s the krelboyne now?

The Origin Of The Word Krelboyne

Ever wonder where the term “krelboyne” came from? The term is used to describe the kids in Malcolm's advanced program throughout the entire series and actually comes from Seymore Krelboyne, the main protagonist of Little Shop Of Horrors.

Cranston Did His Own Stunts

Bees Hal Malcolm in the Middle


Cranston often preferred to perform his own stunts on the show so he could ensure they were as funny as possible. The most surprising instance of this has got to be the full bee suit Hal wears after misfiring his murder bot at himself. No, it’s not CGI, Cranston is literally covered head to toe in live bees.

Some Of The Actors Directed Episodes

What happens when your actors know the show so well that the story lines are second nature? They move to directing, at least in the case of Chris Masterson, who played Francis, and Bryan Cranston. Masterson directed the episode “Hal Grieves,” and Cranston ended up directing seven episodes over the course of the series, including a personal favorite “Vegas.”

An 11-Year-Old Pitched One Of The Best Episodes

If boys were girls Malcolm in the Middle


Alexandra Kaczenski, the 11 year old niece of the show’s costume designer, gave Linwood Boomer a 2 page outline of the episode “If Boys Were Girls” as a pitch for the series. Linwood immediately ran the idea up to the writer’s who all loved the idea, and ended up buying it from Kaczenski.

Famous Family

Christopher Masterson is actually the younger brother of Danny Masterson, who played Sam Hyde on That 70s Show. Chris Masterson even appears in a couple episodes of That 70s Show.

Bryan Still Calls Frankie Muniz Every 2 Weeks

Frankie Muniz has said that he feels incredibly grateful that Bryan Cranston still treats him like they are actually related. Cranston checks in on Frankie with a phone call every 2 weeks according to Muniz. “He’s literally a Hollywood God, and he calls me. He’s the best.”

Why Lois Disappears In Season 4

Lois disappears for a chunk of episodes in season 4, due to the actress actually being pregnant with her 3rd child at the time. Jane says one of the tricks they used to hide her belly early on were cutting holes into laundry baskets, so her stomach could hide inside.

The Origin Of The Opening Credits

Malcolm in the Middle anime


Some of the hardest clips to track down from the opening credits of Malcolm in the Middle were the anime clip and the clip of a flaming skier. Fans scoured for the origins of these clips for years. Eventually super fans figured out the anime clip is from a 1998 single season anime entitled “Nazca.” The Ski clip is footage of Glenn Wurtele, from a 1974 film called “The Color Of Skiing.

Cranston Says Fear Drove Hal’s Character

Malcolm in the Middle Hal Scared


In an attempt to give body to the character of Hal who was originally a much smaller part in the show, Cranston said he latched on to Hal’s fear to drive the character’s motivation. Cranston says, “He was afraid of being a bad parent, afraid of losing his job, afraid that his wife may leave him… then he was afraid of heights, afraid of spiders, afraid of loud noises. It gave me a lot of room to create comedy from a legitimate place because people are afraid of things.”

Malcolm In The Middle Popularized The Single Camera Sitcom

Malcolm in the Middle Uncle Sam


At the time of its release, Malcolm in the Middle’s single camera style was in the deep minority. Three camera sitcoms like Seinfeld and Friends with audience laughter were the standard form of comedy television. When Malcolm in the Middle gained traction, several shows followed suit, making the single camera sitcom the most popular today.

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