Get the latest from Beat




Miles Allen gets it. The show, about a terminally-ill high school chemistry teacher who uses his knowledge of science to start cooking the best meth on the illegal drug market so he could posthumously provide for his family, triggered obsessive fandom around the world. In Hollywood, Los Angeles, Allen was just as devoted as the rest of us. 

The impersonator and comedian, however, has taken his love of the show a step further and turned it into a live stage show, which will see him performing as part of the 2014 Melbourne International Comedy Festival for the very first time. (“I’m so excited” he says of his first trip Down Under) Called One Man Breaking Bad, Allen has condensed the entire series – that’s more than sixty hours of television – into a one hour show, impersonating all the characters and using original dialogue.  “So many revisions!” he says of how he was able to truncate such a detailed narrative, “killing your darlings!” 

He debuted the show at the Duna Comedy Lounge in Los Angeles last September, meeting with favourable audience responses, but it was his YouTube video, posing as a homeless man doing Breaking Bad character impressions in exchange for food, that garnered him international press attention plus 1.2 million views. Only a few short months later and the self-described fan boy is on a plane to the other side of the world, with AMC’s blessing. He says it was an organic process. “It’s my favourite show of all time and so this was just the natural progression for someone like me, watching a show like Breaking Bad, (to) let’s make a one hour comedy show about it,” he says. 

So why did the show appeal so much to Allen? “I think that Breaking Bad is one of the great works of modern television. It’s honest. Every episode was crafted in a way that you could not not be invested into the characters and love and care about them. Even with Walt getting progressively worse and worse, he’s still your protagonist. Even with Jesse, starting out as a druggie who seems like going nowhere in life but your care about him and it shows that not everything is as black and white as sometimes people try to make it to be.” 

For Allen, who says he is a non-drinking, non-drug taking Christian (“I live a very vanilla life, some would say”) the show also offered vicarious appeal being the complete opposite of life as he knows it. “I’m attracted to it because it is a life I don’t know, it is a life that I would never actually want to live but I love watching it because I want to know happens next,” he says. 

Although Jesse is his favourite character to play, he does them all, Walter White, Jesse, Saul, Skyler, Hank, Walt Junior, Mike and Gus Fring, he brings them all to life. Even if you’ve never watched the show, Allen says it’s worth coming to see the stage version. “Instead of spending however much of your life trying to binge-watch the show, you can watch the condensed version in an hour and you’re going to be laughing,” he says. And he has a special message for viewers of the show. “Even though I haven’t met them yet, I love them and I want them to have an A1 day”. He slips into Walt Junior’s voice, faltering perfectly, “ha..have an A1 day”.