5 'Breaking Bad' Actors Whose Early Roles Now Look Hilarious
The last episode of Breaking Bad, a beloved dramedy about an unhip dad who takes an edgy new job to impress his teenage son, airs tonight. To commemorate such, we're celebrating the show's actors, who were so crackerjack at playing engrossing sociopaths that a lot of their past roles now look really damn funny.
Take Bryan Cranston. Before he lived in a ziggurat made out of Emmys, the future Walter White paid the bills starring in Preparation H and Atari commercials and voicing monsters on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
In Japan, the Breaking Bad finale will be edited to literally reflect the theme "Walter White turns into a monster."
But Cranston was on Malcolm in the Middle for years, so it's not impossible to mentally disentangle him from Heisenberg's pork pie hat. But how about the rest of the cast? Well, it's a little bit harder.
Gus Fring Was Big Bird's Camp Counselor
On Breaking Bad, Giancarlo Esposito played Gustavo Fring, a polite and amiable drug kingpin who rewarded incompetence with stab wounds. So it's chilling to see Esposito as Mickey, Big Bird's incredibly patient camp counselor in a few 1982 episodes of Sesame Street.
It's a harrowing watch. Big Bird fumbles mess hall etiquette, pokes fun at Mickey's name, and, worst of all, splashes his exasperated counselor with a cannonball. The audience knows in their bones that Mr. Snuffleupagus received a bloody bowling-ball-size gizzard in the mail shortly after Labor Day.
Walt Jr. Went to High School With Miley Cyrus
We now have a reasonable explanation for Miley Cyrus' recent erratic behavior. According to this 2007 episode of Hannah Montana, she went to school with Walter White Jr. -- aka actor R.J. Mitte -- which places her at the epicenter of the Heisenberg methamphetamine empire.
His breakout role was "Ogler #2."
That's right: She's likely been tweaking (not twerking) for half a decade. If so, Miley's got the constitution of a rail yard vagabond with broom handles for legs. (Expect her teary-eyed confessional, Hannah Montana Was My Faces of Meth, sometime around 2014.)
Jesse Pinkman Was Addicted to Junk Food
Before Aaron Paul won accolades for his portrayal of Jesse Pinkman -- Breaking Bad's ex-junkie meth cook with a heart of gold -- he harbored much darker cravings. Namely, Corn Pops, Juicy Fruit, Vanilla Coke, and Tombstone Pizza.
In all of these commercials, Paul was cast again and again as a rebel with a cause (high fructose corn syrup and/or triglycerides). Perhaps that's why Korn tapped him to spew impossible gallons of vomit all over a prom in a 2002 music video.
Incidentally, we have the same exact reaction when we hear Korn.
People Have Made Romantic Fan Videos about Todd
On Breaking Bad, few characters are as vile as Todd Alquist (Jesse Plemons), an aw-shucks neo-Nazi man-child with soulless porcelain doll eyes. On a show mostly populated by shit sandwiches, Todd is a shit triple-decker, and nobody wants to cuddle up with a mountain of shit with coleslaw on rye.
This makes all the sexy fan-made music videos starring his character from Friday Night Lights totally hilarious.
We're sure Plemons is a pleasant guy in real life, but seriously, Breaking Bad gave Todd zero redeeming qualities. So when we see him, say, performing with his folk band, tarantulas caper under waterfalls of hydrofluoric acid in our brains.
Mike Ehrmantraut Is Confused by Menstruation
Throughout his career, Jonathan Banks -- aka Breaking Bad's avuncular hitman Mike Ehrmantraut -- has depicted a lot of tough guys unafraid to get blood on their hands. But in one of his first roles, blood terrified him.
Why's that? Banks played a seemingly 10,000-year-old teenager in the underappreciated 1974 educational flick Linda's Film on Menstruation. His reality is totally shattered when his girlfriend yells "It means that blood is flowing out of my uterus!"
The poor guy never had a time when he enjoyed a decent hairline.
Unlike Breaking Bad, Linda's Film on Menstruation ends on a happy note. In the final moments, Banks' character proudly admits that he can "purchase sanitary napkins without flinching." Of course, he probably murdered a dozen men with those napkins once the cameras stopped rolling, but at least he now knows how fallopian tubes work.
Cyriaque Lamar is a senior editor at Cracked. You can find him on Twitter.