Before 'Breaking Bad,' Bryan Cranston was 'Seinfeld's' dentist

by Andy Edelstein

Newsday (MCT)

21 March 2010


Bryan Cranston has won two best actor Emmys for his intense portrayal of teacher-turned-drug dealer Walt White on “Breaking Bad,” which returns for its third season Sunday on AMC. Walt is a far cry from Cranston’s previous character, befuddled dad Hal on the Fox family sitcom “Malcolm in the Middle” (2000-06).

But we remember Cranston most fondly as one of “Seinfeld’s” better supporting actors. Here are five memorable moments featuring Cranston’s character, Dr. Tim Whatley, “the dentist to the stars,” as George Costanza described him:

—In “The Mom & Pop Store” (Nov. 17, 1994), Jerry was not clear whether he was invited to Whatley’s Thanksgiving party, based on the dentist ambiguously telling Elaine, “Why would Jerry bring anything?”

—In “The Label Maker” (Jan. 19, 1995), Whatley was branded a “re-gifter.” Whatley gave Jerry a label maker as a gift because Jerry had given him Super Bowl tickets. But Elaine realized it was the same label maker she had given to Whatley as a gift for not charging her for dental work.

—In “The Jimmy” (March 16, 1995), Whatley annoys Jerry by having Penthouse magazines in his waiting room (he has instituted a new “adults-only” policy for his office).

—In the same episode, Jerry thinks he was “violated” by Whatley and his dental assistant while he was under the influence of nitrous oxide in the dentist’s chair.

—In “The Yada Yada” (April 24, 1997), Whatley converted to Judaism. A concerned Jerry told Whatley’s priest in a confession that he believed the dentist converted only to have the right to make jokes.

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