Annoying is the first word that comes to mind when one thinks of Skyler White — the whiny, nagging blond-haired wife of Walter White in Emmy Award-winning American TV series Breaking Bad. Not once do we imagine a man playing that role, till American actor, stand-up comedian and YouTube sensation Miles Allen comes on stage, with that accusatory tone, a blonde wig and a bag full of laughs.
Titled One Man Breaking Bad, Allen brought his popular comedy routine to antiSOCIAL in Hauz Khas Village, Delhi, last week. Apart from Skyler, the 25-year-old also impersonated college professor Walter White, his partner-in crime Jesse Pinkman and lawyer Saul Goodman — the other characters in the meth-centred drama — in the hour-long performance. The show is narrated from the point of view of Jesse (Allen’s favourite character). So as Walter when he boasts, “I’m the one who knocks”, he follows it up with a smug Jesse narrating, “I was the one who knocked, yo!”
Miles, himself, is a huge Breaking Bad fan, with his pick of favourite seasons (fourth) and annoying characters (Marie). “But, as far as TV shows go, it’s the greatest of all times,” he said post the act, which left the audience in splits. In the routine, he covers all 62 episodes of the show.
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On being asked if it gets stressful for him to cover all 30 characters across five seasons in one act, he said, “Not really. The performances aren’t that stressful because the audiences have always been really wonderful and it’s almost like I’m just laughing with a bunch of fanboys of Breaking Bad.” Fortunately for his fans, he is keen on doing parodies of other shows as well, such as Better Call Saul and House of Cards.
It was in 2013 that Allen’s video of parodying an episode from Breaking Bad went viral, fetching him a million-plus views for his hilarious impressions. He has performed in Australia, New Zealand and Scotland, in the last three years. During the Delhi performance, the audience found itself in the midst of a “fan” who dissected their favourite show.
“Not only did he do a whole lot of Breaking Bad impressions, he also did a lot of other characters and shows… he’s a riot,” said Yuvika, a Delhi-based filmmaker who was part of the audience. She added, “that was sick, b***ch!” (the cuss word being a Jesse Pinkman reference). Yuvika was referring to Allen’s artistic liberty with certain characters — like a Nazi rendition of the men who kill Hank, the cop, and abduct Jesse towards the final episodes.
Allen brings to fore the stand-out attributes of each character and presents them as a joke. For instance, he depicts Walt Jr as a breakfast-obsessed 14-year-old (in the show, you’ll mostly see him eating breakfast). The cherry comes when Allen outs him as “Heisenberg” and refers to his breakfast habits as proof of him being a meth-head. He is careful too, as he impersonates perfectly his speech empediment (remember, Walt Jr has cerebral palsy) without ridiculing him.
In India, he also performed in Bangalore and Mumbai, as a part of Stage 42 comedy festival. “I’m addicted to butter chicken almost as much as Walter and Jesse’s clients are addicted to meth,” he said with a chuckle. “I like it spicy, I’m a spicy guy,” added Allen.