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Bill Hader and Seth Meyers talk the Barry finale and getting loopy at 4 a.m. on SNL

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

Bill Hader’s been making the talk show rounds in preparation for the Sunday season finale of his Emmy-winning black comedy Barry. With his signature blend of unassuming midwestern amiability, roster of at-the-ready impressions, and general storytelling acumen, Hader always makes a great guest, no matter what show he’s doing. (He told Seth Meyers on Tuesday’s Late Night that he finally met Dateline’s Keith Morrison, whose delighted singsong narration of horrific true crime stories Hader memorably imitated on SNL. It went . . . fine.) But as much fun as it is watching Hader make a humor-impaired morning show crew laugh despite themselves, he’s never better than when hanging out with a former SNL comrade like Meyers, their shared time in the Saturday Night Live all-night trenches invariably providing some delightfully inside anecdotes about, well, screwing with each other.

Meyers and Hader shared one such prank—courtesy of SNL pal and occasional Late Night drummer Fred Armisen—whose penchant for finding just the right time and manner of sleep-deprived fuckery Meyers described admiringly as “delightfully crafted nonsense.” Hader, as is his way, broke throughout at the memory of Armisen calling then SNL head writer Meyers at home after a 4 a.m. writing session and employing Hader to convince their nominal boss that Armisen had just accidentally given out eyers home phone number on a local morning zoo crew radio show. With Hader’s infectious giggle-fit chiming right along, Hader also told how Armisen’s other favorite target—then-novice writer Colin Jost—bore the brunt of a long-running joke whereby each week’s host became convinced that Jost was super geared-up to write a hilarious sketch about the week’s most wrenching national tragedy. Fun times.


As for what Hader’s doing now, the Barry star told Meyers that, yes, he is grateful that his show’s second season has been running right after that other HBO show. Noting that Barry’s first post-Game Of Thrones episode suddenly picked up an additional 2.5 million viewers, he speculated that that’s just how every show’s season two, episode three trends, historically. He also said that GOT co-creator David Benioff was freaked out about how dark Barry was when Hader showed it to him, with Hader exclaiming, “You eviscerated a baby!” in rebuttal. Fair point. He also did a quick visual impression of how viewers are likely to react as the credits roll on Sunday’s finale that suggests some even more shocking than usual plot twists are a-coming.

Zooming back to SNL, however, Meyers and Hader goofed around with Meyers recurring segment with former Saturday Night Live castmates, as the pair sat in a candle-strewn set and sincerely forgave each other for being such dicks over the years. Especially but not exclusively at 4 a.m.

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About the author

Dennis Perkins

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