In 2013, YouTube went crazy over a shirtless homeless guy in LA doing spot-on impersonations of the Breaking Bad cast in exchange for a sandwich. It garnered more than a million views, and had people curious about the identity of this bearded, blonde man. Turned out, he was a struggling actor looking for his big break. Since then, Allen’s One Man Breaking Bad: 60 Episodes in 60 Minutes, a hilarious rendition of Walter White, Jesse, Saul, Skyler, Hank, Walt Junior, Mike and Gus Fring has been a sellout at comedy festivals in Melbourne and Edinburgh. And today, Allen will perform this parody in Mumbai for the first time at the Canvas Laugh Club.
The one-man show covers all the main plots from the series and is Allen’s tribute to all fans who lived through the meth and tears of one television’s greatest shows. "It all began as a joke between my friends and I while watching Breaking Bad at my place. Seeing my mimicry, one of them suggested we make a video, and I readily agreed since I had nothing better to do," he laughs, adding, "I had no clue this goofy idea would go viral." Our conversation with Allen is interspersed with him taking on the avatars of a Bryan Cranston or Aaron Paul.
It took the 25-year-old months and months of watching the show to get the voices right. "I would play it on loop, and keep going back to get not just the voice but even the mannerisms right." The toughest character to nail, he says, was Walter Junior, Walt’s son, who suffers from cerebral palsy. "A lot of people are culturally sensitive. I admit I was worried about impersonating him, but thought it would be outright discriminatory to leave him out," says Allen. However, his fears were assuaged when a woman with the disability, who watched the show, reassured him that she wasn’t offended.
With this being his visit to India, Allen is looking forward to getting a taste of the multi-cultural cuisine. "I had idli sambar while in Bangalore. And also ate my food on a banana leaf, using only my hands and my mouth," he jokes. Allen says he has tweaked his script for the Mumbai audience, but prefers to keep it a ‘secret.’ "For now, I’m having lots of tea with lemon and honey to keep my vocals from folding in," he smiles.
Where: Canvas Laugh Club. 3rd Floor, Palladium Mall, Phoenix Mills, Lower Parel
When: JAN 31, 10.30 PM
Entry: Rs 1,000