Vince Gilligan is hosting a nostalgic night of television this April on MeTV, Weigel Broadcasting Company’s all-classic TV network. “Vince Gilligan’s Island of MeTV” will feature a curated selection of Gilligan’s favorite shows from the channel’s archives, including episodes of The Twilight Zone, The Honeymooners, Taxi, and Columbo. He’ll be joined by Bob Odenkirk, presumably for added wit and panache, though also probably to promote their new AMC series Better Call Saul.
Fans of Breaking Bad, a show that veered pretty far from the midcentury humor of Jackie Gleason and the genre parables of Rod Serling, may be left scratching their heads. But Gilligan is a hardcore fanatic of classic TV. “Shows like The Twilight Zone and The Honeymooners made a big impression on me growing up. Now, decades later, I find myself staying up late into the night re-watching old episodes of those series,” states Gilligan in a MeTV press release, accidentally describing the Platonic ideal of insomnia.
With a little thought, however, it’s not hard to trace the influence of these classic shows on Gilligan’s output. The blue-collar Americana and marriage woes of The Honeymooners are evident in the living room of Walter White (“one of these days, Skyler! POW!”), and Gilligan wrote and produced many episodes of The X-Files, as well as co-creating its underrated, short-lived spinoff The Lone Gunmen. The Twilight Zone lineage there goes without saying. Hopefully he’ll discuss precisely how these programs influenced him during the special, which airs April 5 from 6-10 p.m. ET.