‘Breaking’ Laughs


AMC’s “Breaking Bad” (Sun., 10 p.m.), about chemistry teacher-turned meth dealer Walter White, is easily the most tense and shocking show on television. But it’s also one of the funniest, with sharp comedic moments that help cut the dramatic tension. To find out what makes the show funny, I went to the source: comedians and “Breaking Bad” co-stars Bob Odenkirk (Walt’s sleazy lawyer, Saul Goodman, above) and Bill Burr (Kuby, one of Saul’s thugs).

Voyeurism: “My favorite kind of humor is basically, if it was happening to you, it wouldn’t be funny, but to observe it, it’s hilarious,” Burr says.

The Absurdity: “You have to get to where the danger and the horror of what these guys are doing becomes absurd,” Odenkirk says. Then “everything everyone says is funny.”

The Mundane: Some of Odenkirk’s favorite funny moments come when Walt and his wife, Skyler, are at home “talking about stuff,” he says. “It’s like playing house when the house is burning down.”

The Realness: Although Walt finds himself in increasingly dangerous (and often absurd) situations, the show always remains grounded in reality. “It’s really dark humor,” Burr says, “and it comes from a real place.”

Rudi Greenberg is Express' Weekend Pass editor and comedy columnist.
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Christopher Porter · July 17, 2012