“Writing forever, I would write screenplays and realize they were about other movies. I’d get inspired and write these cool sequences, but the emotion wasn’t anything personal that I could latch onto and write from. Barry was the first thing I really started to do that with.”
-Bill Hader, episode 272 of Talk Easy with Sam Fragoso
This week, legendary actor and comedian Bill Hader! We discuss the return of Barry (4:57), the thematic evolution of the series (7:02), and how it draws from films like Taxi Driver and Goodfellas (10:36). Then, Bill reflects on growing up in Tulsa, Oklahoma (13:16), the influence of his late grandfather (17:04), his path from community college to his early PA jobs in Hollywood (18:25), landing on Saturday Night Live (21:36), the weekly pressure of the show (26:07), and how he made it through by collaborating with John Mulaney (29:51).
On the back-half, Bill shares a piece of advice from Jeff Bridges (35:14), how Barry came to be (37:27), the personal connection he has with the show (40:07), the enduring power of movies (47:52), and how, after some detours, he’s finally where he’s supposed to be (49:57).
To submit a question, comment, or reflection for our mailbag episode, write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Watch season 3 of Barry on HBO.
- See Bill on Saturday Night Live on NBC.
- Find his films referenced in this talk: The Skeleton Twins and Trainwreck.
- For more talks, hear our conversations with Norman Lear, Carol Burnett, Ted Danson, Nick Offerman, Laura Dern, Larry Wilmore, Alan Alda, Cate Blanchett, George Saunders, Lorde, and Steven Soderbergh.
- Order your Talk Easy mug in cream and navy or our vinyl record with Fran Lebowitz.
Illustrations by: Krishna Shenoi.