Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Bill Hader and Seth Meyers talk Barry's return, almost killing Justin Bieber

Seth Meyers, Bill Hader
Seth Meyers, Bill Hader
Screenshot: Late Night With Seth Meyers

There’s sort of a good news-bad news thing for Barry fans, as Bill Hader revealed on his Thursday Late Night With Seth Meyers appearance. The bad news is all too familiar to people who like anything that involves groups of people being within shouting distance of each other, in that the March 2020 table read of the first two episodes of season three was the last time Hader, Henry Winkler, Stephen Root, Sarah Goldberg, Anthony Carrigan, and the gang worked together in any capacity. As with everything else in this pandemic-blasted year past, the good news is of the silver lining variety, in that the forced hiatus has given Hader and Barry co-creator Alec Berg time to write not only the entirety of the third season, but to lock down scripts for the whole fourth season as well. Noting that the season two finale involved the sort of seemingly inescapable, series-imperiling cliffhanger Barry (and Barry) is known for, Hader told pal Meyers that at least this extra time has allowed him and Berg a chance to really figure out how his hitman/actor antihero could possibly get out of [redacted].

Keeping busy writing two entire seasons of your Emmy-winning television is one thing, but Hader also shared with Meyers how his three increasingly restless young daughters are passing the lockdown, in that they finally got around to asking their dad the tough questions. Like, his eleven-year-old emerging from whatever the home-schooling version of the playground is to tell her dad about the scandalous rumor she’d heard that he was on some sort of TV show called Saturday Night Live? It’s true, kid, as Hader shared how some of his carefully curated greatest hits sketches (all written, unsurprisingly, by SNL writers John Solomon and Rob Klein) went over. Puppet class? Sure, what kid doesn’t love to see dad screwing around with puppets? Effeminate firefighter irate at the cancellation of Don’t Trust The B—— In Apartment 23 sketch? Don’t get it. Stefon? “Um, are you gonna laugh in all of these?,” Hader reports his eldest daughter asking with critical skepticism. Tough family room.

With a former SNL veteran in the house (or the home-interview version thereof), former head writer Meyers’ questions invariably led to discussion of those favorite sketches that never made it, for whatever reason. Or every reason, as when another Solomon-Klein-Hader musical sketch called “Song For Daddy,” which, among other catastrophes at dress rehearsal, nearly killed then-emergent teen idol and that week’s host, Justin Bieber. According to Hader that might not have been that big a loss, but all of the shrieking young Bieber fans in attendance for dress probably wouldn’t have been too amenable to the sight of their favorite singer being unceremoniously flattened by the stage set that nearly toppled over onto his frosted tips. “It ate it,” admitted Hader, able to laugh about the trainwreck now that nobody actually died in it.

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Barry will return when we all get our act together.

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.