SNL Alumnus Bill Hader Claimed His Emmy-Winning Show Was Inspired By Bryan Cranston’s Breaking Bad Spin-off Due To Its Violence and Humor

SNL Alumnus Bill Hader Claimed His Emmy-Winning Show Was Inspired By Bryan Cranston’s Breaking Bad Spin-off Due To Its Violence and Humor

Bryan Cranston starred in Breaking Bad as Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher who transforms into a ruthless kingpin in the local methamphetamine drug trade. What started as a means to help his family financially after being diagnosed with cancer turned into a hunger for power and control.


The thriller drama quickly became a fan favorite and even led to the spin-off series Better Call Saul, a lighter-themed take on the life of Walter’s hilarious but cunning lawyer, Saul Goodman.

Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad
Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad.

In what could be considered a full circle moment, this spin-off show of Breaking Bad ended up inspiring Bill Hader’s Barry, a show about a hitman who wants to put his criminal history behind him, in contrast to White’s desire to only get deeper into the messed up world of the drug trade.

Read more: “It Was Harder than Childbirth”: Bill Hader Left Rachel Bilson Heartbroken for Oscar Nominee Anna Kendrick

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How Bryan Cranston’s Breaking Bad Spin-off Inspired Bill Hader’s Emmy-Winning Show

Bill Hader who made his name as ‘the impressions guy’ on Saturday Night Live and through cameo appearances in comedy movies like Superbad, finally got the opportunity to realize his full potential in 2018 through the sitcom Barry.

Bill Hader at the 2018 Emmys
Bill Hader at the 2018 Emmys.

Apart from playing the titular character, a mentally unstable yet incredibly sharp assassin who eventually falls in love with acting, Hader also wrote and directed the show. The hilarious take on a criminal’s desperation to get away from his old life earned a staggering 54 Emmy nominations throughout its run.

Interestingly, the inspiration for the highly acclaimed show came after Hader visited the set of Bob Odenkirk‘s Better Call Saul, the show that gained popularity for mixing humor with extreme violence. The main characters of Breaking Bad’s spin-off (Jimmy McGill and his alter ego Saul) and Barry (Barry Berkman) are also eccentric anti-heroes.


While talking about his show, Hader also explained what he was looking to achieve through the show.

“From the start, I said, ‘I want to explore the version of the disease that’s in Barry, that’s also maybe in everybody. That thing that makes us keep making bad choices, so let’s explore that?’ And people would say, ‘OK, but, umm, it’s a comedy, right?’” he told The Guardian.

Apart from exploring the psyche of a hitman, Hader perfectly utilized the platform to showcase his acting prowess, winning the 2019 Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series.


Read more: Star Wars Actor Hayden Christensen’s $225M Movie Co-Star Ex, Who Never Faked an Org**m, Misses Bill Hader’s P*nis: “Anatomy has a little bit to do with it”

Why SNL Alumnus Bill Hader Refuses to Sign Autographs

Thanks to his brilliant comedy sketches and impressions at Saturday Night Live for eight seasons and then an all-round contribution in Barry, Hader has not only become one of the regular names in the nominated lists of sought-after television awards over the years, but he has also enjoyed a significant rise in popularity.

Rachel Bilson with Bill Hader
Rachel Bilson with Bill Hader.

However, fans of Hader have to return empty-handed whenever they approach him for an autograph. Explaining the reason behind the same, he stated on the Happy Sad Confused podcast:


“I used to sign stuff, and then one time I saw somebody and they had their kid come up to me to sign a BB-8 thing and it was three in the morning. I was leaving the Inside Out premiere and then we went to an after-party thing and it was super late and this guy kept his kid up all night. [He] was like, ‘Go over there so he’ll sign it so I can sell it online.’ I was like, ‘That’s f-cked up.'”

After that incident, Hader stopped signing merchandise for fans. Ironically, this is exactly what his character Barry would perhaps love to do after becoming a successful actor.

Read more: “I wanted to strangle her”: Bill Hader Looked Like a Liar to Chris Pratt After His Daughter Tricked Him into an Embarrassing Spot

Source: The Guardian, Happy Sad Confused


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Written by Vishal

An experienced content writer, Vishal juggles his time between analyzing players on the pitch and stars on the big screen.