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Episode 119: Nerdist Podcast
Bryan Cranston
Nerdist PodcastNerdist Podcast

Nerdist Podcast #119: BRYAN CRANSTON

Bryan Cranston talks “Breaking Bad,” finding Hal’s center on “Malcolm”, getting a call from Tom Hanks to play Buzz Aldrin, and marketing his exciting new culinary treat. Special unexpected but welcome appearances by Rainn Wilson and Phoenix Jones!

This episode should win a friggin award!!

*sidenote: VERY limited spoilers. Like, maybe one tiny one from Season 3. We skated around plot points in case our listeners hadn’t seen the awesomeness of BB yet.

*update: Here’s the snazzy group photo we took during the podcast

Final Images from Cassini Are Stunning

Final Images from Cassini Are Stunning

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What If THOR: RAGNAROK Were Actually Made in the 1980s?

Stephen King's 8 Favorite Films

Stephen King's 8 Favorite Films



  1. Jared says:

    So happy to find out I’m not the only person who wishes that cool actor-type people could be part of my family. After repeated viewings of Scientific American Frontiers and his guest spots on 30 Rock, my wife and I have decided that we want Alan Alda to be our Uncle Al. Here’s to our dreams coming true, Chris!

  2. Jeff says:

    Much like the movie “Super”, this podcast took a very strange turn…

  3. Sam Vimes says:

    I recent read that Mr Cranston actually did some Anime voice dubbing earlier in his career (On a person favorite of mine, Macross Plus). Did any of the Nerdist crew have interests in anime when they were younger or even now? It’s fandom was linked closely with Sci-Fi between the late 70’s through the mid 90’s. So I thought there was perhaps a slight chance.

    Also, does Phoenix Jones really have a secret identity? Because he doesn’t seem like the greatest guy at keeping it.

    A quick look would probably show his height, eye color, possible age and weight obviously. So that fills in basic description.

    Apart from this he said he was a married, professional fighter from the Seattle area who was been treated with broken ribs (vague), and has named the company that he placed his costume order with, in addition to naming a charity he donates to (Though we can assume this is done anonymously).

    Can’t be that hard, can it?

    Thanks for another great episode!

  4. One of the better episodes so far IMO, enjoyed every minute of it. I must point out, however, that Bryan Cranston was on The Nerdist and there was no mention of his nerdiest role:

  5. Jeremy Nash says:

    Am I the only one who found it incredibly rude of the hosts to completely dismiss Bryan Cranston once they spotted Rainn Wilson. You could tell the Mr. Cranston was uncomfortable with it and so was I. You asked him to do the interview, show interest, and then you completely dismiss him once a “hipper” actor appears in your line of sight. I can’t get over at how rude it was. I have listened to your podcast for just over a year now (I’m still catching up) as well as Sklarlbro Country, WTF with Maron, Comedy Bang Bang, Doug Loves Movies, and Comedy Film Nerds. Besides your podcast and Comedy Film Nerds (I know there’s overlap there) I have listened to every episode of the above list and want to make it clear that I have never found anything as glaringly rude as what you did to Bryan Cranston during his interview. Anywho, keep up the good work and don’t be so frickin’ RUDE!

  6. MissShegas says:

    My delicate lady parts quivered and leapt with nerdy joy at this podcast!!! Cranston! Wilson! Jones! What could possibly better?

    Phoenix Jones was an amazing guest, and what he does gives me hope for humanity. We need real life superheros, and I tell the children about him. Godspeed, man. Godspeed!

  7. rainnisright says:

    rainn called out bryan cranston for his lack of nerd cred but i think it should be more directed to chris for having him on in the 1st place.

    i say more nerds and less non-nerd celebrities. for a site named nerdist, i expect a lot of nerd talk when i listen to the podcast! i mean talking about how great an actor bryan is for an hour or so is nice, but i would be more entertained with nerdier topics

  8. @asandford says:

    I love how Chris always says he’s going to edit stuff out, and then doesn’t. The behind the curtain stuff is always cool. Way to go, Nerdist crew. LOVE all the ‘casts.

  9. robgonzo says:

    Someone help me out. I seem to remember Brian Cranston and Chris Hardwick. Appearing someplace together someplace before the Conan show. Maybe it was another podcast? I remember being impressed with how quickly Brian jumped into the little improv games that Chris plays. I also remember when they were on Conan I thought, oh cool, they were just together on… but now I don’t remember what it was. Another podcast maybe?
    Any clues?

  10. agirlyman says:

    Kick ass podcast people, and guess what I’m “literally” going to enjoy my burrito.

    God Bless Taco Bell

  11. Adam says:

    This episode hasn’t shown up in the Blackberry Marketplace or bTunes or whatever they call it. I know I’m probably the only person in America still using one, but still.

  12. Kaleo says:

    “It’s almost like some weird quantum physics thing”? You mean like a Heisenberg Uncertainty Principal? Three nerd/c0medians in that room and none of you jump on that shit?

  13. jen says:

    Love Bryan Cranston. didn’t see the note about the spoilers; I’m on season 2. My husband refused to listen because he knew there would be spoilers and I tried to convince him otherwise. Spoiler happened, i let out a spontaneous Homer Simpson “D’oh!” It wasn’t much of a spoiler, I saw it coming. But lesson learned!

  14. Wade says:

    I also cracked up heartily at Rainn addressing Bryan as to his nerd cred.

    “Why are you here? You’re not a nerd.”

  15. Wade says:

    I liked how Rainn called back to their the earlier days when he was on (well like a year ago) and how they didn’t seem to know how to work even the simplest recording equipment which was usually sounded like something from an AVclub secondhand reject pile.

    The earlier podcasts are really funny about that, how they’d find weird rooms to record in, or they would frequently bang around the mics or tape recorders. I also liked how they often started out with conversations about whether or not the recording was actually recording – you would sometimes have a few minutes of people talking and not realizing the recording was going – or how they would end with Chris trying to turn the recorder off. Wonderful 20th century techo flobbery. In 2010. I tease, but it was very funny and charming stuff.

  16. The2scoops says:

    Great episode! These random drop-ins are something I’d miss if the guys taped only at Meltdown.

    Particularly trippy: you and Bryan were talking zen and the concept of “Enjoy Your Burrito” and then Rainn walks by. Wasn’t it Rainn’s episode that was the origin of that motto?

  17. Matthew H. says:

    Bryan Cranston is a pretty busy guy. I don’t think he’d have time to sit around passing grapes under his cock. Especially considering that it takes at least 20 mins to get the DICK/ GRAPE ratio just right. Would he delegate to other men named Bryan Cranston or would he get super sweaty and get into a big swimming pool full of undickified grapes?

  18. Drew says:

    here Chris, I made this for you!
    (Chris/Aaron Paul comparison)

  19. Sierra Houk says:

    My addition to the dick grapes party (ignore the fact that Bryan Cranston doesn’t really look like Bryan Cranston).!/SierraHouk/status/108596906510401536/photo/1

  20. Bemopolis says:

    Just came to bring some more love for BB and that ol’ grape-dicker Cranston; it was the first show I burned through when I joined Netflix.

    I find it enjoyable to watch the show in the mindset that the Whites are the parents from Malcolm in the Middle, having changed their name after an insurance scam gone wrong that killed Malcolm and Dewey and left Reese injured. Life is unfai-ai-airrrr, indeed.

  21. Ryan (again again) says:

    @Rob O.

    I agree, Todd really needs more music and jingles on the podcast. Chris, even if you have to scream it at him in private like the angry boss that everybody thinks you are (SARCASM FONT).


  22. Matt H. says:

    I could listen to Bryan Cranston talk about acting for hours. He’s such a cool dude and just fascinating. Great job hosting, guys! Once again, you’ve outdone yourselves.

    I really hope you have him back after Breaking Bad ends so you can ask him freely about all the nuances of his performance. I also really hope you can get Aaron Paul on some time.

    Was it just me, or does anyone else now really want Cranston to be the new boss on The Office (who happens to cook meth on the side)?

  23. Rob O. says:

    Man, that was a fun episode! I really have to get around to watching Breaking Bad. My girlfriend and I just finished Mad Men on Netflix and we’re out of shows to watch!

    I enjoyed the PJ and RW cameos as well.

    Oh, and you should really tell Todd that he needs to play more music on his podcast.

  24. Mandy W. says:

    Big C, MiraBooey and Vajonah
    Great episode and awesome suprise appearances! I love when Bryan Cranston said “You can only focus on what you can control and let everything else go”. So true. Oh and WHERE IS THAT PICTURE?!?

    Mandy W.

  25. Jon says:

    Might possibly be the best show you guys have done. Cranston was great and you all fed off each other perfectly.

  26. Charles says:

    Whoa, whoa whoa… Is Brian Cranston actually Gordon Freeman?

  27. eileen says:

    I agree that Bronson totally rocks.

  28. Jade Gordon says:

    And just like that I have a crush on Mr. Cranston! This episode was SO FUN! I was getting kind of disinterested and desensitized to the too many podcasts I’ve been listening to lately, but this managed to crack me up many times! Oh boy do I wish you would have run around Seattle with Phoenix Jones in a Jimmy Olsen-like fashion. This is already a cartoon in my head.

  29. Karl Savage says:

    Hey Chris, you mentioned you hadn’t seen Nicolas Winding Refn’s Bronson or Valhalla Rising, but were urged to check them out by Matt and Jonah. I third that urging, with an additional three suggestions of Refn’s work— The PUSHER trilogy. They are AMAZING! Three very different, very great takes on characters involved in the Copenhagen criminal underworld. Refn is a great director, and I was o grateful to discover him proper earlier this year (after having watched Bronson last year).
    I cannot wait for Drive to come out, as even in the trailers and clips available online, the legacy of PUSHER is VERY present.

  30. matt says:

    This was such a great episode. Love Bcran, Big C, MiraBooey and VaJonah.
    I mean no harm in pointing this out, it is just an observation: Did anyone else notice when Big C says “it’s Phoenix Jones you guys!” that it sounded as if it were spliced in? Or am I crazy?

    Have I just outed myself as an audio-nerd? I think I did.

  31. Brent Lindquist says:

    @ChrisHardwick, this was my favorite episode of the Nerdist podcast so far. Such a great talk with my favorite actor!

  32. Wesley Marshall says:

    @ChrisHardwick where’s the picture you took? Great episode by the way, you guys always make my day thanks.

  33. Chris Hardwick says:

    Leif: they’re not atomic numbers…119 is the episode number and 2 is season 2 of the podcast…it’s rare that i’m ever arbitrary…but good nerd eye nonetheless!

  34. Nick W says:

    Can we see the picture of the Nerdist Crew,Phoenix Jones, Bryan Cranston and Rainn Wilson?

  35. Leif says:

    Oh and with regard to the graphic looks great but there are typos Ne (Neon) is 10 and Po (Polonium) is 84. Just saying, couldn’t help myself. Sorry, I’m leaving now.

  36. VeronicaM says:

    Great episode Big C. quick Quemment, did you go out and fight crime with Phoenix Jones??

  37. Leif says:

    Fssshhhhhh, Adam Carolla had him on ages ago. Guest Fail!
    But seriously, I can’t wait to listen… no… I mean it… I CAN’T WAIT… why can’t I stop typing. It’s downloaded… ready… right there… (Faint)

  38. Luanne says:

    Can’t wait to hear this one… I love me some Dr. Tim Whatley!

  39. Tiny Donkey says:

    Embrace Me

  40. SHOGUN says:

    Now that Pheonix confirmed he’s a pro fighter by day, if it is whom I think it is, I used to train with this guy!

  41. Ryan (again) says:

    I suppose we can rule out Rainn Wilson, Brian Cranston, Chris Hardwick, Matt Mira or Jonah Ray is Phoenix Jones…

  42. Ryan says:

    Chris, how did your head not explode from having Brian Cranston, Rainn Wilson and Phoenix Jones in the same room!?


  43. SHOGUN says:

    Is “swag” a new meme or something? Starting to hear and/or see that freakin’ everywhere!

    Love me some Bryan Cranston Dick Grapes! And better yet Catherine Zeta-Jones Pussy Jelly!

  44. Dave says:

    Thanks for avoiding spoilers, I need to finish Mad Men before I start BB.

  45. When Matt came back without waters I felt so sad. I wanted Bryan to do that whole knock-them-outta-his-hand bit so badly!

  46. Chris Hardwick says:

    Garrett: Thanks! Actually I made it. Had a free hour yesterday and I always enjoy making the fun graphics when I have time. It’s based on the season 4 BB billboards.

  47. Garrett Boatman says:

    This is fantastic. Also, that graphic is swagsauce. whoever made that is a master.

  48. Joob says:

    That pic you have up looks remarkably like a HALF-LIFE movie poster. Cranston would be a great Freeman.