WARNING! This article contains SPOILERS for It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia season 16, episode 5, “Celebrity Booze: The Ultimate Cash Grab.”The gang continually references Aaron Paul as the star of Malcolm in the Middle during the actor’s cameo in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia season 16, but was he actually involved in the sitcom? Breaking Bad stars Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston cameo on It’s Always Sunny’s season 16 episode “Celebrity Booze: The Ultimate Cash Grab,” in which the former costars promote their real-life liquor brand Dos Hombres. However, not only is Breaking Bad never once mentioned in It’s Always Sunny’s episode, but the gang exclusively refers to Cranston and Paul in relation to the early 2000s sitcom Malcolm in the Middle.
Before going on to star in Breaking Bad, earn an Oscar nomination, win six Emmy Awards, and garner two Tony wins, Bryan Cranston was most notable for portraying Hal, the immature yet well-meaning father on Malcolm in the Middle. Despite the fact that Breaking Bad has doubtlessly become the more acclaimed and culturally relevant role of Cranston’s career, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s characters imply that Malcolm in the Middle is the actor’s real claim to fame. Additionally, the gang refers to Aaron Paul simply as “Malcolm” throughout the episode, causing some confusion in regard to whether the Jesse Pinkman actor actually starred in the family sitcom alongside Cranston before Breaking Bad.
The Gang Thinks Aaron Paul Is Malcolm In The Middle’s Frankie Muniz In It’s Always Sunny Season 16
Although the gang continues to incorrectly call him Malcolm, Aaron Paul never appeared in the show Malcolm in the Middle. Rather, Charlie, Dennis, and Mac have Paul confused with actor Frankie Muniz, who portrayed the titular son of Cranston’s character on all seven seasons of Malcolm in the Middle. Since Muniz and Paul are relatively close in age, it hilariously does still track that the gang would mistake Cranston’s younger costars, especially considering they don’t know Aaron Paul or Bryan Cranston’s names. Instead, the gang only calls Paul “Malcolm” and Cranston either “Malcolm’s dad” or “Mr. Middle.”
The gag of only referring to Paul and Cranston as characters from Malcolm in the Middle suggests that It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s characters have never seen Breaking Bad, and likely don’t even know that the show exists. Considering the gang was already in their late-20s when Malcolm in the Middle was on the air, their obsession with the sitcom and ignorance of Breaking Bad is even more ironic. However, after the gang kidnaps Cranston and Paul on Frank’s private plane, they’ll hopefully have corrected their pop culture mistakes.
Aaron Paul’s It’s Always Sunny Cameo Has Been 10 Years In The Making
In a 2014 AMA on Reddit, Dennis Reynolds actor Glenn Howerton revealed that Aaron Paul nearly appeared on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia around season 10. According to Howerton, Paul is a friend of the cast and “loves the show,” so they actually wrote a role specifically for him. However, the cameo didn’t happen because Paul was filming the movie Need for Speed at the same time, with his appearance finally coming to fruition a decade later. While it’s still intriguing to wonder what fictional character Paul would have played in his unrealized cameo, his appearance as himself in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia season 16 turned out to be a satisfying inclusion.