Bryan Cranston Once Almost Went to Jail for Murder, All Because of a Joke
He broke bad.
His sense of humor failed him – Bryan joked too much about killing his boss. And when the boss was actually killed, Bryan was first on the list of suspects.
In 1976, Bryan Cranston was living the life of an aspiring, but poor actor. He and his brother Kyle traveled around the country on motorcycles, stopping in various towns, looking for work, and acting in semi-professional productions in their spare time.
One day they found themselves in Daytona Beach, Florida. To make ends meet, Cranston and his brother got jobs waiting tables at the Hawaiian Inn restaurant.
The restaurant was run by a chef named Peter Wong, and as Cranston himself later said, Wong hated everybody, and everybody hated Wong. All of Peter's subordinates liked to joke about murdering him. Bryan was among those who joked about it perhaps too often.
And then Wong was killed, with particular cruelty.
One day, Peter Wong was found dead in the trunk of a car. The police first questioned Wong's colleagues and subordinates. When asked if anyone had talked about killing the chef, everyone honestly admitted that everyone who knew Wong personally had joked about it. Especially the Cranston brothers.
Shortly before the investigation began Bryan and Kyle decided that the tourist season in Daytona Beach had died down and there was nothing left to do there. They got on their motorcycles and left town.
The police put these two facts together – Bryan's jokes and his leaving town – and decided that they had found the prime suspect.
Florida police put the brothers' motorcycles on the wanted list, and the highway patrol soon pulled the Cranstons over for questioning. Fortunately, they were not the only suspects, and soon detectives were on the trail of the real killers.
It turned out that Peter Wong always carried large sums of money with him, and his assistant decided to kill him in order to steal it. Fortunately for Cranston, the investigation took only two weeks and he was soon cleared of all charges.