“They illegally downloaded it,” Allen says. “That’s the only way they could watch it.”
We have it a bit easier here in the States, where “Breaking Bad” is now available on Netflix and “One Man Breaking Bad” comes to World Cafe Live Wednesday, Oct. 7. Allen promises 60 episodes in 60 minutes, thanks to his impressions of the “Breaking Bad” gang — everyone from Walter to Walt Jr.
On the off chance anyone doesn’t already know, “our protagonist starts out as a meek and mild high school teacher and he devolves into a druglord with an empire created out of the purest meth,” Allen says. “He’s fueled by the thought that he’s the best at what he does and finally people will see that for the first time.
“[It] started out a dark comedy and then the show digressed into a tragedy,” he continues, “with comic relief moments and very interesting and likable characters along the way. It lends itself into a one man show.”
Allen has an eye for detail.
“Walt Jr. and his breakfast, he’s always eating breakfast in almost every scene, Jesse’s always saying the word ‘b—,‘ Saul Goodman was peculiar — there are a lot of quirky characters.”
Playing all of these characters in performances around the world is hard work for Allen.
“I have to protect my voice,” he says. “I’m on stage for an hour, sometimes 80 minutes, depending on the version I’m doing. It’s just me. … The old pipes are very much a muscle that I have to protect.”
We’re not talking about meth pipes. Allen is a native of Illinois who turned to comedy and impressions as a way of dealing with childhood bullying. He moved to Los Angeles and a YouTube of his “Breaking Bad” impressions, performed by Allen as a homeless man, went viral.
He created the one-man show, took it to an Australian comedy fest, which led to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and then parts beyond.
“I didn’t travel before this, I didn’t have any desire to go all these different places but this is awesome,” Allen says. “It’s been an amazing experience this past year. I’ve learned so much, traveled and I’m getting paid to do it.”
Call it Breaking Good.