Sometimes when we’re watching Bryan Cranston being the one who knocks on Breaking Bad we forget about his comedic acting chops, but then old clips like this one re-emerge to remind us. Filmed in in November of 2006 and airing on NBC the following year, the clip below was from the pilot episode of the U.S. version of Thank God You’re Here. Based on an Australian improv show of the same name, guest actors would improvise a scene at the direction of the ensemble cast who had predetermined lines of dialogue.
In this clip, Cranston plays a British metalhead who’s late for a meeting with a record label CEO. What follows is a scene with ensemble players Nyima Funk, Brian Palermo, Chris Tallman, and Maribeth Monroe just trying to keep up with Cranston until the show’s judge (Dave Foley) declared the scene over. Later in the show, Bryan Cranston and fellow guest actors Joel McHale, Jennifer Coolidge, and Wayne Knight improvise a scene where they all play superheroes. Cranston plays the fabulous Commander Lightning Rod, whose superpower is doing everything very, very fast. He quickly stole my heart.
At the end, Cranston was declared the winner among the four guest actors. Where the heck was I in 2007? How did I not know this show ever existed?