Several notable actors from Breaking Bad also had appearances in Dan Harmon’s NBC comedy, Community, though the shows aired on two separate networks and were belonged to drastically different genres. AMC’s award-winning series Breaking Bad was created by Vince Gilligan and debuted a year before Community started in 2009.
Community ran for five seasons on NBC before airing its sixth and final season on Yahoo! Screen. The series focused on seven students from different walks of life who came together as a study group at Greendale Community College. As Jeff, Annie, Shirley, Pierce, Troy, Abed, and Britta tried to make it through their classes, they also got swept into the various campus-wide shenanigans. Breaking Bad‘s run overlapped with Community, and Harmon took notice.
Characters in Community mentioned Breaking Bad‘s existence a few times in the series. In fact, Star-Burns, a known drug dealer, tried to partner with a science professor as a nod to Breaking Bad. The series then took its fandom a step further by borrowing several faces from Breaking Bad. Here’s every actor from the AMC show that worked on Community.
Matt L. Jones
Breaking Bad fans will recognize Matt L. Jones as the actor who played one of Jesse Pinkman’s most reliable friends, Brandon “Badger” Mayhew. The actor appeared in every season of the AMC series and reprised his role for the sequel film, El Camino. After joining Breaking Bad, Jones appeared in three episodes of Community season 1 as the coffee delivery guy. He was also shown to be a stoner that loved playing hacky sack on campus, and was a friend of Vaughn Miller.
Giancarlo Esposito spent three seasons of Breaking Bad as one of the show’s most compelling antagonists, Gustavo Fring. He teamed up with Walter White in the meth-making business before the two became enemies. Walt finally got the best of Gus in the season 4 finale when he killed him with a pipe bomb. Following Esposito’s exit, the actor joined Community as Gilbert Lawson, the personal assistant of Pierce Hawthorne’s father, Cornelius. It was later revealed that Gilbert was Cornelius’ illegitimate son. Esposito is currently reprising his role as Gus in the Breaking Bad prequel series, Better Call Saul.
Jonathan Banks joined Breaking Bad in season 2 after the character of Mike Ehrmantraut was created due to Bob Odenkirk’s commitment to How I Met Your Mother. He was a private investigator and an associate of both Saul Goodman and Gus Fring before getting involved in Walter White’s business dealings. Following his time on Breaking Bad, Banks was cast as Buzz Hickey, Greendale Community College’s criminology professor in Community season 5. His character was implied to have died off-screen after the season due to the fact that Banks got a starring role in Better Call Saul to reprise his role as Mike.
Technically, Vince Gilligan isn’t a Breaking Bad actor but considering he wrote the hit series, he deserves a spot on the list. Gilligan’s idea for Breaking Bad stemmed from a joke, but the show went on to become one of the most critically acclaimed series in history. In Community season 5, Gilligan made an on-screen cameo as Devon, the cowboy host of the VCR game, “Piles of Bullets.” The episode ended with a flashback of Devon from 1993 when he was offered the acting gig on the game and was encouraged by his wife to leave his job at Apple Computers for the opportunity.