Words & Deeds

Aaron Paul puts McCall, Idaho (and Boise, Oregon) on the map

Aaron Paul, left, and Stephen Colbert in the McCall, Idaho, episode of “Community Calendar” on “The Late Show.”
Aaron Paul, left, and Stephen Colbert in the McCall, Idaho, episode of “Community Calendar” on “The Late Show.”

It’s sure fun watching Aaron Paul share his Idaho roots with the rest of the world.

Best known for his role on the hit TV series “Breaking Bad,” Paul has been shining the spotlight on his old stomping grounds big-time this year. In February, the Emmett-born actor returned to Boise to shake hands with fans at a free screening of “Triple 9” at the Egyptian Theatre. And in the last two months, Paul has drawn attention to the Gem State through entertaining, if not necessarily intentional, media maneuvers.

In mid-May, Paul’s East Boise home was listed on vacation-rental website Airbnb, which caused a miniature online press frenzy. Then nine days ago, Paul spent a notable portion of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” poking fun at his beloved McCall, where he spends summers.

Paul, 36, bought a house in Boise last year. I have no idea how it wound up listed on Airbnb. Was it a publicity stunt, or did he think nobody would discover it was his? (If I ever talk to him again, I’ll ask. A public-relations contact for Paul did not return my emails.) But for $395 a night, you could crash in Jesse Pinkman’s pad. By the way, that’s not a meth lab you smell; it’s sulfur. There’s a geothermal pool inside the house.

Or maybe this isn’t Pinkman’s place. The Airbnb description indicated that hosting a party would not be cool: “It’s a very special home and we would like you to treat it that way.”

The Airbnb listing vanished after media outed it as Paul’s house. But not before hilariously excitable coverage. The New York Daily News noted that “Aaron Paul just went from ‘Breaking Bad’ to making beds.” Meanwhile, the London Daily Mail mistakenly reported that the house is in Boise, Oregon.

It would be easier to forgive a mix-up about the whereabouts of McCall, which got a major shout-out on CBS’ “The Late Show” on June 17. After Paul explained that he grew up “all over Idaho” — and still spends time at his grandma’s cabin in McCall — he joined Colbert for a special “Community Calendar” segment.

Sipping from coffee cups, the two men featured McCall events ranging from dinner at the McCall Senior Center to bingo at seemingly every Valley County business. Colbert highlighted “Girls Night Out Golf” at Jug Mountain Ranch. (The ranch responded with an all-female “Hugs from Jug” photo on Facebook.)

“Personally, I can’t get enough of this town,” Paul quipped.

Colbert told a requisite potato joke and actually made it funny, causing Paul to turn his head away to suppress a laugh.

Near the end of the skit, Colbert shared information about the McCall Improvement Committee’s twice-a-month meetings. “Items on the agenda to improve McCall include — nothing,” Colbert noted, “because McCall is perfect.”

As an ambassador for Idaho, Paul is making a strong case that he’s the same.

Tonight in ‘The Other Studio’

Join Tim Johnstone and me as we talk about the Led Zeppelin lawsuit, the latest Boise concert news, plus play diverse music from acts ranging from the late Ralph Stanley to Electric Six.

“The Other Studio” airs at 8 p.m. Sundays on 94.9 FM The River.

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Michael Deeds: 208-377-6407, @michaeldeeds