What do you get when you combine Edwardian-era high society and crystal meth trafficking? As viewers of Thursday night's episode of "The Colbert Report" learned, the answer is "Breaking Abbey"-- a cross between "Downton Abbey" and the AMC drug war drama "Breaking Bad."
Stephen Colbert began the segment by expressing his outrage that First Lady Michelle Obama, -- or "Lady Michelle Antoinette," as he called her -- received advanced screeners of "Downton's" upcoming season from the show's creators. (Though anyone with internet access who doesn't mind a little online piracy has been able to view "Downton Abbey" season 3 illegally since it began airing in the UK in September, ahead of it's Jan. 6 premiere on PBS.)
The Comedy Central host struck back at "her heiress" by presenting his audience with something that not even Mrs. Obama has seen---scenes from season 5 of "Breaking Bad"… as performed by the men of "Downton Abbey."
The hilarious parody, which features the show's stars Hugh Bonneville (Lord Grantham), Jim Carter (Mr. Carson) and Rob James-Collier (Thomas), begins with "Downton's" melodramatic opening credits intercut with shots of meth being cooked.
As Thomas attempts to snort the contents of a tea bag, he is informed that Lord Grantham has sunk to "brewing the black chamomile crank" in order to save his family's fortune. The Lordship's dealings with Earl Blue has earned him the title of "the tea kingpin of Yorkshire."
Actor Mark Consuelos, aka Mr. Kelly Rippa, makes a cameo as Mr. Spider, a yellow-toothed tea addict who knows too much.
"Breaking Abbey" is one of several thoughtfully produced spoofs of the drama. "Saturday Night Live" famously aired a commercial for the series as it would appear on Spike TV while "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" released the addictive "Downton Sixby." A slew of web parodies have also gained a following, including "Downton Arby's," "Dollhouse Downton," and "The Fresh Prince of Downton."
The cast of "Downton Abbey" have been heavily promoting the series in the U.S this week -- making appearances on "The View," "Today Show," and "Nightline."
Released in 2010 on Britain's ITV, the series follows the upper crust but progressive Crawley family and the servants that tend to them. Created by Julian Fellowes, the Emmy-winning series is currently broadcast in 100 countries. On Thursday, it was announced that the series is up for several Golden Globe awards, including Best Drama Series.
"Downton Abbey" season 3 will air on Jan. 6 on PBS.