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

PA'ing on The Surreal Life ruined reality TV forever for Bill Hader

Bill Hader, more than most celebrities, is happy to discuss his past as a lowly PA on low-rent reality TV shows and movies like The Scorpion King. During a recent appearance on Kimmel ahead of Barry’s season two premiere, Hader dug deep into his past to reflect on his work on VH1's The Surreal Life, which he says ruined reality TV for him forever.

The Surreal Life, if you’re unaware, was basically The Real World for D-list celebrities, having featured the likes of Erik Estrada, Vanilla Ice, Ron Jeremy, and Vince Neil. Hader’s season featured one-time child star Corey Feldman, who, to the dismay of a naive, twentysomething Hader, wasn’t being as “real” as one might expect of a reality star. As Hader explains it, one of the editors showed him a clip of Feldman sobbing into the camera, one that lost a bit of its pathos when a producer asked Feldman to work the phrase “this weekend” into his breakdown. “What? Yeah, no problem,” Feldman replied casually before launching back into his sobfest.

Hader also recalls a pitch-black prank involving a Bowie knife, as well as the time an SNL-hosting James Franco remembered Hader as the PA he once was. For a star as big as Franco, that’s impressive in itself.


Watch the full video above.

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter