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Funny things about Bill Hader
Growing up in Tulsa as ‘movie nerd' gave comic actor material

By Gene Triplett Modified: August 17, 2007 at 8:25 am •  Published: August 17, 2007
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ommunity College, where he hoped to get his grades high enough to be accepted at either the University of Southern California or the University of California at Los Angeles. But he ended up dropping out and moving with a group of aspiring filmmaker friends to L.A., where they sought any kind of film work they could find.

"It got us working in the industry and kind of realizing some truths about the industry,” Hader said.

He put in time as a production assistant and assistant editor and started taking classes at Second City Los Angeles, where he began honing his improvisational comedy chops in March 2003. He was working with a sketch group called Animals From the Future at a local comedy club when fellow Oklahoman Megan Mullally showed up in the audience one night.

"Her brother-in-law, Matt Offerman, was in our group,” Hader recalled. "After the show, she said, ‘Hey, you're really funny.' I said, ‘Well, thanks.' That was it. That was it. Then two months later, I get a phone call from her, goin', ‘Hey, I just had lunch with Lorne Michaels, and I told him about you, and he'd like to meet you.' I was like, ‘Really?'”

The rest is recent comedy history. Hader passed his audition and has been a regular "SNL” cast member for the past two seasons, which has led to lots of movie work, doing what he's done best since he was a kid growing up in Tulsa — making people laugh.

"I'm really looking forward to getting back to ‘SNL,'” he said. "We had a really good season last year. Kristen Wiig and Andy (Samberg) and Jason (Sudeikis), I feel really lucky to have come in with them because I think the three of them are just so talented. I feel really lucky just to be with this cast, too, because they were all people that I was, like, fans of going in. It was pretty amazing to be, like, ‘Oh my God, Will Forte, Fred Armisen, Amy Poehler, Seth Meyers, oh my God.'

"The first time I did a table read at ‘SNL,' I did my Al Pacino impression, and Darrell Hammond came up to me afterward and said, ‘That was a really good impression.' And I was like, ‘All right, that's amazing. That's it.'”