At what point does something go from being a fun joke to being a cry for help? We ask because one aspect of Battle Creek—the new show from Breaking Bad’s Vince Gilligan and House’s David Shore—is getting uncomfortably close to the latter. As we’ve pointed out before, Battle Creek is full of weird names. Josh Duhamel and Dean Winters are starring as guys named Milton Chamberlain and Russ Agnew, while Kal Penn and Damon Herriman are playing detectives named Funkhauser and Niblet.

Now Entertainment Weekly is reporting that Patton Oswalt will make an appearance in the show as Mayor Scooter Hardy. Since it’s clear now that every character will have a funny-sounding name, we can only assume that this is some kind of mask that Gilligan is putting up to hide his anxiety over the fear that he’ll never do anything as good as Breaking Bad again. You’ll be fine, Vince. Keep it together.


Anyway, the series is about a handsome Josh Duhamel-esque FBI agent—played by Duhamel—who opens a new office in the town of Battle Creek, Michigan. With the help of the small town’s local police force, he tries to fight crime while keeping track of everyone’s funny names and struggling to manage the department’s limited resources. Oswalt is set to appear as the town’s mayor in the sixth episode, and EW says his character is “unorthodox.” Also, the episode he’s in is reportedly titled “Cereal Killer,” which is another funny name. Seriously, Vince. Are you gonna be OK?