Way Back When: Aaron Paul
Before he was the meth addict with a heart of gold on ‘Breaking Bad,’ Aaron Paul was a face you probably saw on TV a lot more than you realize. On today’s Way Back When, we take a look at Aaron Paul before you knew his name — and guess what! ‘Breaking Bad’ wasn’t the first time he played an addict.
Before he began his long career as an addict, Paul was out for money when he made an appearance on ‘The Price is Right,’ the long-running game show where people vie for the chance to bid on stuff you might find in your grandma’s house, snack foods, household cleaning products, and BRAND! NEW! CARS! You can see below where his trouble began during an interview with Jay Leno on ‘The Tonight Show,’ where they show clips of his ‘Price is Right’ appearance.
In 1999, Aaron Paul was addicted to Corn Pops, the sweet puffed-corn cereal that touted the catchphrase, “I gotta have my Pops!” Paul, desperate for his fix, nods along with his parents so they’ll just shut up and let him get a hit of that sweet, crunchy stuff. Homework? Whatever. Responsibility? Yeah, okay. Just give him the damn Pops already, you heartless monsters.
But he wasn’t just addicted to sugary cereal — Paul was also so compelled by the need for Juicy Fruit gum that he rips off this dude’s shirt with just his mind so he can have the gum from the guy’s pocket in this commercial. Look at that face! That’s the face of a fiend, you guys. He is serious about sugar. Have you ever seen someone go through sugar withdrawals? Clearly you haven’t been watching ‘Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.’
In this commercial for Tombstone pizzas, Paul’s parents return home to find him passed out in a sombrero with donkeys roaming around their living room. Seems Paul got a little too crazy with the pizza and threw a party — or, excuse us, a FIESTA! Also, what the hell did he do with those donkeys? Addicts will go to extreme measures to get a fix and nothing is off limits when you’ve got a craving for pizza, you know?
Back in 2002, Paul starred in the MTV original movie ‘Wasted,’ inspired by the heroin epidemic in Plano, Texas. Nick Stahl and Summer Phoenix also starred in the underrated film, which has long been forgotten by pretty much anyone who watched MTV during that stretch where the network decided to start making its own films for television. Paul plays a heroin addict, obviously, which is the natural evolution for someone who was previously addicted to cereal, gum and pizza. Sugar and grease are the gateway drugs to heroin, kids.