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Conan O’Brien welcomed the entire cast of Breaking Bad, along with creator Vince Gilligan, to his TBS show Monday night.
In honor of the occasion, he opened his late-night show with a spoof of AMC’s hit series, which was named best drama at Sunday night’s Primetime Emmy Awards.
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In the spoof, a car is seen driving through the desert — and out steps O’Brien in leather jacket and shades. After digging in the dirt, an exhausted O’Brien uncovers a buried barrel. He takes off the lid to reveal … Andy Richter.
“What?” Richter asks him, to which O’Brien replies: “It’s time for our episode with the cast of Breaking Bad.”
Richter asks for five more minutes underground, to which O’Brien agrees — and then replaces the lid on the barrel, at Richter’s request. (Watch the video at the end of this post.)
The show’s opening credits also took on the Breaking Bad theme and were jokingly referred to as “Mr. White Meets Mr. Extremely White.”
O’Brien also dedicated his monologue to Breaking Bad, quipping that his own show had been named “It’s Conan, Bitch!” He also noted that his interview with the cast and Gilligan was likely to be awkward considering “I’m only halfway through season one. I’m told it gets dark.”
Referring to the show’s record ratings, O’Brien quipped that the show also has prompted a larger number of high school students signing up to take chemistry.
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And noting that Sunday’s episode marks the series finale, O’Brien said: “From now on, if you want to see psychotic murderers attack each other, you’ll have to watch the NFL.”
On the episode, O’Brien welcomed onto his couch Gilligan along with stars Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt, R.J. Mitte, Bob Odenkirk, Jonathan Banks and Anna Gunn, who carried out her supporting actress Emmy statuette that she won Sunday night — along with a surprise guest: “the severed head on the tortoise.” This marked the first time the group has appeared together on a talk show.
Los Cuates de Sinaloa, which has performed on the AMC show, also sang a Breaking Bad-themed tune on Conan.
While O’Brien wasn’t able to get much scoop from the group about Sunday’s series finale, Cranston did quip: “The only one who stays alive is [baby] Holly. Holly White — The Story Continues. She has little guns,” he said, making tiny trigger-finger gestures.
Paul admitted that he’s been telling anyone who asks that “everyone dies. It’s the easy way out.”
Cranston and Paul also talked about reading the last script together, which was filmed for a documentary to be included on the DVD.
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“It was a very emotional experience for sure,” Paul said. “When he read out loud ‘end of series,’ there probably was a good 10 to 15 seconds of just …”
“…sitting quietly like, ‘We’re never going to read that first episode again ever,'” Cranston finished.
Cranston also read a letter that he claimed was “honest to goodness” real in which a viewer claimed to have “holed up” inside her apartment and watched all of the episodes.
“‘After I’m done with all the episodes and have watch the interviews … right now I’m fantasizing about having sex … with Aaron Paul,'” Cranston read. “‘And for you to be there watching. … I’m not sure what your role would be, but I think I want you there.'”
Gilligan, meanwhile, said that in the beginning, he found chemistry teacher-turned-drug dealer Walter White to be a “likable” person.
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“I found him to be a very likable fellow who was put upon by his life and married to a wonderful woman but having difficulty,” Gilligan said.
He also admitted: “It was just kind of an experimental TV show. I wanted to see how dark I could take him. In the early days, before the show turned into a hit, I was interested to see how many viewers we could shake off in the process of making this guy darker and darker. Sociologically speaking, the thing that surprised me was that people came along for the ride. They’re hanging on no matter what this guy does.”
He also said he’s had somewhat of a weird premonition that he would die before the series ended.
Joked Cranston: “Next Monday — wait until next Monday.”
Conan airs at 11 weeknights on TBS. The Breaking Bad series finale airs at 9 p.m. Sunday on AMC.
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