Widely regarded as one of the greatest television series ever made, Breaking Bad aired on the AMC network for five seasons from January 20th, 2008 to September 29th, 2013. It tells the story of Walter White, a struggling high school chemistry teacher who turns to a life of crime after receiving a diagnosis of inoperable lung cancer. According to creator Vince Gilligan, his goal with Walter White was to turn him from “Mr. Chips into Scarface.” The show has received so many awards, including multiple Emmys and Golden Globes, that in 2013, Breaking Bad set a Guinness World Record as most critically acclaimed show of all time.
Here are some facts you might not know about your favorite show about a chemistry teacher turned kingpin.
35. Art Imitates Life
Although Breaking Bad is really more of a cautionary tale, it wasn’t enough to dissuade several teachers who were hard-up for cash. William Duncan, Iriny Kristy, Marc Hodges, and Stephen Doran are all teachers who ended up either producing and/or selling crystal meth (“crystal”). The most similar case came in 2008, when an Alabama man earned a spot on his state’s Most Wanted list for building a thriving drug empire. Although he was neither a teacher nor had cancer, he was named Walter White.
34. The Kings of Comedy
Breaking Bad featured a lot of comedians because Vince Gilligan was of the firm belief that “If you can do comedy, you can do drama.” Amongst its cast were Bob Oedenkirk, Bill Burr, and Lavell Crawford. Early on in his career, Bryan Cranston also spent a few months as an unremarkable comedian.
33. But Could He Pull Off the Hat?
Walter White first came up with the street name “Heisenberg” in his Season 1 meeting with Tuco. The real Heisenberg was one of the most important physicists of the 20th century, winning a Nobel Prize for developing a theory of quantum mechanics.
32. Zombie Makeup
The makeup depicting Gus Fring’s grisly death was done by the prosthetics team behind AMC’s other hugely successful series, The Walking Dead. Does this mean there’s a chance that Gus could return… as a zombie?
31. The White House
The White family home is an actual home in New Mexico. A woman named Fran has lived there since 1973, and she doesn’t mind the hundreds of cars that slow down in front of her house every month to take pictures. She does, however, take issue with the full pizzas thrown onto her roof because, seriously, what an unoriginal waste of pizza!
30. It’s the Journey, Not the Destination
Charles Baker, who played Skinny Pete, practiced piano three hours a day for a month so he could pull off a virtuoso performance of Bach’s Solfeggietto in the music shop at the beginning of season five. Unfortunately, only the intro made the cut.
29. Still Not Healthy
Julia Minesci, the actress who very convincingly played Wendy, the addicted hooker, has actually run the Hawaii Ironman six times, the Germany Ironman once, and countless marathons.
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