Jonathan Banks’ 10 Best Movies & TV Shows, According To IMDb

Jonathan Banks has been outstanding as Gus Fring’s henchman, Mike, in Better Call Saul and so far, the role has earned him two Emmy nominations for “Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.” Mike, who first appeared in the parent show, Breaking Badhas been described as a much more solid character in the prequel series.

While Mike is the role that fans best know Jonathan Banks for, he has been part of many other projects, having made his acting debut in 1976. With over 100 movie and TV credits to his name, which ones have been the superior ones? Thanks to IMDb ratings, the actor’s best work can be determined.


11 Hill Street Blues (1981–1987) – 8.2

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The criminal, Reggie, argues with police officers in Hill Street Blues

Arguably one of the best procedural crime shows, Hill Street Blues revolves around a group of police officers solving cases in an unnamed city. Banks stars as a criminal with multiple personalities named Reggie.

Since Banks only found fame later in his career, fans that are used to seeing him as an elderly man will have a harder time recognizing him in what is one of his earliest characters. Reggie is iconic because he serves the purpose of underscoring the struggles of mental health. He is quite entertaining too, thanks to his skills as an escape artist.

10 Mike Tyson Mysteries (2014–2020) – 8.2

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Jonathan Banks as a toll station attendant in Mike Tyson Mysteries

Using the same template as Scooby Doo, Mike Tyson and his team solve various mysteries around the country. Banks voices a toll booth attendant named The Wizard, who Mike frequently interacts with while driving.

Fans of the actor will be quick to spot similarities between this particular role and the one he plays in Season 1 of Better Call Saul. In the AMC series, he briefly serves as a courthouse parking lot attendant who clashes with the titular character several times. And for both characters, tolling isn’t the only job they do. The Wizard is a part-time magician whereas Mike ventures into the Albuquerque underground whenever he isn’t dealing with drivers.

9 The Expanse (2015–2022) – 8.5

Stream On Amazon Prime Video

XO argues with fellow crew members in The Expanse

In the future, humans have colonized the entire solar system but this leads to some challenges, including a cold war between Earth and Mars. Banks plays a ship officer named XO.

Like Mike, XO has a fixation with weapons. He not only uses them but dedicates most of his time to studying them. Additionally, the character bears some similarities to the one Banks plays in Hill Street Blues because he struggles with mental health challenges. This happens after he spends too long on the ship without enough light and oxygen. This leads to an interesting development where he begins feuding with plants for not producing enough air.

8 Community (2009–2015) – 8.5

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Jonathan Banks as Buzz Hickey in his office on Community

After a lawyer’s degree gets revoked, he is forced to attend a community college where he makes interesting friends and foes. Banks’ role is that of Professor Buzz Hickey.

Parallels can also be drawn between Mike and the Criminology professor. like the Better Call Saul character, Buzz has a background in military and police work too. Moreover, he is just as assertive and happens to have some incredible quotes. As for his unique mannerisms, Buzz’s frustrations tend to be funny. He won’t stop lamenting about his work at the college because he was only meant to do it temporarily but has ended up teaching for 15 years.

7 Modern Family (2009–2020) – 8.5

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Three California families have a hard time juggling jobs, relationships, and the affairs of their children. In the sitcom, the veteran actor is Donnie, the obnoxious brother of wealthy CEO Jay Pritchett.

Donnie’s feud with Jay makes for great viewing, with the two often arguing intensely to the point of physically fighting. To others, the feud makes little sense but they enjoy it anyway. The sitcom’s writers also do well by not over-relying on this particular feud since the two manage to patch things up in later seasons.

6 Parks And Recreation (2009–2015) – 8.6

Stream On Peacock

Steve Wyatt has a bowl of licorice in Parks and Rec

A bureaucrat tries to help a local nurse turn a local construction site into a park but her efforts are met with extreme resistance. Banks gets cast later in the sitcom as Steve Wyatt, the narcissistic father of the state auditor, and one of the best Parks & Rec character, Ben.

Though he has only one arc, Steve is one of the most hilarious characters. Like Donnie, Steve fights all the time, only that the fight is with his wife and not his brother. In classic sitcom fashion, their fights always cause them to not only ruin gatherings but also the general mood of those close to them.

5 Dexter (2006–2013) – 8.7

4 Stream On Hulu

FBI Deputy Director Max conducts an investigation in Dexter

Dexter, a forensic technician works with the police during the day and murders suspects during the night. Debuting in Season 2, Banks portrays the FBI Deputy Director, Max Adams.

Ordinarily, an FBI Deputy Director shouldn’t be in the field investigating cases so Max appears as a condescending boss by micromanaging his subordinate. Nevertheless, he impresses fans because he comes close to solving some of the murders that are puzzling the junior agents. And since it’s constantly hinted that he has sinister motives, viewers are always left guessing what his next move will be.

3 Better Call Saul (2015–2022) – 8.8

Stream On Netflix

Jonathan Banks as Mike Ehrmantraut in Better Call Saul

Lawyer Jimmy McGill tries to climb the corporate ladder and while at it, he also gets to maneuver the dangerous world of drug trafficking. Banks reprises his role as the henchman, Mike.

Like Jimmy, Mike’s background story is told in a detailed and satisfactory manner. His character development unfolds nicely, with the former beat cop evolving from a parking lot attendant to the chief henchman of one of the most powerful Better Call Saul characters, Gus Fring. Mike also stands out on the show as one of the few well-intentioned individuals.

2 Gravity Falls (2012–2016) – 8.9

Stream On Hulu

A flashback scene showing the father of the twins Filbrick Pines in Gravity Falls

When two siblings travel to the town of Gravity Falls, Oregon, they are met with mysterious occurrences. Banks voices Filbrick Pines, the father of the twin brothers.

Filbrick is the stereotypical touch and hot-headed father. He pushes his children to value money and chase success, something that turns them into heartless individuals. He is extremely impulsive too, never hesitating to make rash decisions such as disowning his children whenever they do things that disappoint him.

1 Breaking Bad (2008–2013) – 9.5

Stream On Netflix

Mike, Jesse, and Gus in Breaking Bad.

After getting diagnosed with cancer, a Chemistry teacher begins cooking meth to leave enough money for his family when he dies. Banks portrays an older version of his Better Call Saul character.

As is the case in the prequel series, Mike stands out as a voice of reason, though his associates here aren’t too receptive to advice. He is extremely meticulous too, always paying attention to little details to avoid tragedy. To date, fans are still unhappy with how he was killed off, with his demise counting as one of the saddest Breaking Bad deaths.

NEXT: The 10 Funniest Characters In Better Call Saul

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