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Better Call Saul has brought back a bunch of Breaking Bad characters (and the actors that played them) for the Saul Goodman-centric origin story, and the upcoming El Camino movie will reveal what happened to Aaron Paul's Jesse Pinkman following the Breaking Bad finale. Sadly, we now have to rule out the return of one Breaking Bad character: Kuby, played by Bill Burr.
The actor himself confirmed that he won't appear in Better Call Saul or El Camino during an appearance on The Rich Eisen Show. Bill Burr shared why he won't be around and how close he came to rejoining to Breaking Bad universe:
I was supposed to be on it, and unfortunately I had somebody who was dying, and I knew if I did it, I was going to miss. I had to visit him, I had to say goodbye. It sucked. The whole thing sucked. Because Vince Gilligan is the reason why I have an acting career.
Apparently, Bill Burr was slated for an appearance back in the Breaking Bad universe, but the timing didn't work out for personal reasons. If he had appeared when Kuby would have fit into the story, then he wouldn't have been able to say goodbye to somebody in his life who was dying. Who can blame him for making the choice he did, as nice as it would have been to see Kuby in the flesh again on Better Call Saul?
That said, Bill Burr was clearly sad that he wasn't able to join another Vince Gilligan project. Gilligan created and executive produced Breaking Bad and then went on to create and executive produce Better Call Saul. Breaking Bad was a very high-profile show for an actor who hadn't done much to land him in the spotlight as a serious performer.
While star Bob Odenkirk once suggested the spinoff shouldn't last longer than Breaking Bad, perhaps it will, and perhaps that would give another opportunity for Kuby to appear! We can always hope. When asked if he considered Vince Gilligan the reason for his acting career because Gilligan cast him in Breaking Bad, Bill Burr went on to say this:
Yeah. And people always say 'Oh my God you were so great in Breaking Bad.' I always want to say, 'YOU would've been great in Breaking Bad.' That's how good they were. All you have to do is say what they wrote and stop on the piece of tape and they're gonna shoot it and they're gonna make you look good. People still think I know how to act because of Vince Gilligan.
Breaking Bad was quite celebrated by fans, critics, and major awards shows throughout its five seasons on the air, so it's understandable Bill Burr believes Vince Gilligan is credited for Burr's acting career.
The show is responsible for proving Bryan Cranston is a skilled dramatic actor after his years on Malcolm in the Middle, more or less launched Aaron Paul's career, and showcased Anna Gunn in a new way, not to mention push Bob Odenkirk into the spotlight with a role that would result in Odenkirk starring in his own series.