William Thomas Hader Jr. (born June 7, 1978) is an American comedian, actor, voice actor and writer. He is best known for his work on Saturday Night Live (2005–2013), for which he has received three Emmy nominations, South Park (2009–present), and his parody series Documentary Now! (2015–present).
He is also known for his supporting work in comedy films, such as You, Me and Dupree (2006), Hot Rod (2007), Superbad (2007), Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008), Tropic Thunder (2008), Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009), Paul (2011), Men in Black 3 (2012) and Maggie's Plan (2015). He has also had lead voice roles in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009), Inside Out (2015), and The Angry Birds Movie (2016) as well as lead roles in the dramedy The Skeleton Twins (2014) and the romantic comedy Trainwreck (2015). He has performed voice roles in Pixar films, including Inside Out, Monsters University, and Finding Dory.
Hader was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the son of Sherri Renee (née Patton) and William Thomas Hader. His father owned an air-freight company and worked as a restaurant manager, a truck driver and occasionally a stand-up comedian; his mother was a dance teacher. He has two younger sisters, Katie and Kara. His ancestry includes German, Danish, Irish, and English; his surname originates in Germany.
Hader attended Patrick Henry Elementary School, Edison Junior High, and Cascia Hall Preparatory School. He had "a hard time focusing on class," and was always "joking around." Though he was not hated by classmates, he felt he never truly fit in, and filled his time with watching movies and reading. He appreciated Monty Python, British comedy, and the films of Mel Brooks and Woody Allen, many of which he was introduced to through his father. He made short films with friends, and starred in a school play of The Glass Menagerie.
He was unable to gain admission to top film schools because of his "abysmal" grades, so he instead enrolled at The Art Institute of Phoenix, and later Scottsdale Community College. He worked as an usher at a movie theater in nearby Tempe, which allowed him to see films for free. He was fired for spoiling the ending of Titanic to noisy patrons. At Scottsdale, he met Nicholas Jasenovec, the director of Paper Heart.
Hader's aspirations of becoming a filmmaker eventually led him to drop out of college and move to Los Angeles in 1999. His parents were supportive of his decision to move, and Hader used the money they had saved for college to live on when he arrived in Los Angeles. He found work as a production assistant (PA) while scouring the back pages of The Hollywood Reporter, and he hoped to advance far enough to become an assistant director. He spent much of his young adulthood "lonely and underemployed," filling large amounts of spare time with movie marathons. He regularly worked 18-hour days as a PA, having little time to pursue his creative ambitions. He worked as a PA on the DVD Empire of Dreams: The Story of the Star Wars Trilogy; the feature films James Dean, Spider-Man, and Collateral Damage; as well as a post-production assistant on VH1 television's The Surreal Life. Hader briefly worked as a PA and stage manager on Playboy TV's Night Calls; he quit, as he feared it would disappoint his parents. He quit being a PA after a bad experience shooting The Scorpion King.
He subsequently secured a job working as a nighttime assistant editor at post-production facility Triage Entertainment. He invested money into his own short film, but was too embarrassed to release it. Shortly thereafter, a longtime girlfriend and he broke up. Desperate for a change, he began attending comedy classes with friends at improvisational comedy enterprise the Second City in March 2003. It soon became a creative outlet, and he formed a comedy group named Animals from the Future, alongside Matt Offerman. The group performed backyard shows in Van Nuys. Offerman's brother, the actor Nick Offerman, told his wife, Megan Mullally, about the group. Mullally invited Lorne Michaels, creator and executive producer of Saturday Night Live (SNL), to come to Los Angeles and see a performance. The group later flew to New York to perform once more for a group of SNL producers. As a result of the audition, Hader got an agent and manager. Prior to his audition, he was nervous and struggled to highlight his strengths. Just before he was discovered for SNL, Hader was working as an assistant editor on Iron Chef America.
Saturday Night Live
Hader was hired as a featured player and made his debut on the show on October 1, 2005. His first role was as a psychologist giving his views about life and death during the emergency landing of JetBlue Airways Flight 292. He felt he had gone from "preschool to Harvard." He became the "impressions guy," hoping to fill a utility-player role "like his hero Phil Hartman". Hader has said that he performed impersonations of teachers and friends when he was growing up but did not do impersonations of famous people until his Saturday Night Live audition. His list of impressions includes Vincent Price in the Variety Vault sketches, Harvey Fierstein, Charlie Rose, Al Pacino, Brian Grazer, Rick Perry, John Malkovich, Seth Rogen, James Carville, Julian Assange, Eliot Spitzer, Alan Alda, Clint Eastwood, and Charlie Sheen. On July 19, 2012, Hader received his first nomination for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his work on SNL. He is the first male SNL cast member to receive this nomination since Eddie Murphy in 1984.
Despite this, Hader suffered from anxiety and sleep problems during his tenure at the program. He never felt "truly comfortable" throughout his first four seasons. He was insecure that he had less comedy experience than his peers. He would often not sleep on Fridays before the show, and would feel light-headed prior to broadcasts. He was neurotic regarding his performances; Hader called his early performances "rigid". On one occasion, he began having a panic attack, live, while impersonating Assange. It was the final episode of 2010, and Hader remembered it: "It felt like someone was sitting on my chest. I couldn’t breathe, I started sweating. I thought, This is not good — abort! abort!" Michaels tried to put him at ease by remarking to him, "You can work here as long as you want," after one show hosted by Seth Rogen.
Hader decided to leave SNL after eight seasons, telling cast and crew in February 2013. He came to the conclusion that he needed to leave when his wife and he were constantly having to travel to Los Angeles for work, which made it difficult for their children. Working on the program had become difficult upon the birth of his first daughter, and even more so when his second child arrived. His final episode was on May 18, 2013. "It was a hard decision, but it has to happen at some point," he told reporters. "It got to a point where I said, 'Maybe it's just time to go.'" On October 11, 2014, Hader returned as host with musical guest Hozier.
Among the characters Hader played was Stefon, Weekend Update's flamboyant New York City correspondent, whose recommendations consist solely of bizarre nightclubs involving nightmarish characters. Stefon is in love with and married to Seth Meyers. He was originally a one-shot character on a season-34 sketch where a screenwriter named David Zolesky (played by Ben Affleck) invites his estranged brother Stefon over to pitch a family-friendly sports drama about a college student who bonds with his grandfather so he can try out for the college football team. He is based on two people SNL writer John Mulaney and Hader met: a wannabe club owner who always invited Mulaney to weird underground clubs and a barista Hader met who looks, speaks, and dresses like Stefon.
After his film debut You, Me and Dupree, Hader had a wide range of roles such as Katherine Heigl's character's editor at E! in Knocked Up, the acid-taking mechanic Dave in Hot Rod alongside SNL castmate Andy Samberg, a recumbent biker in The Brothers Solomon (which featured SNL castmate Will Forte in one of the film's co-leading roles) and, most famously, as Officer Slater in the Judd Apatow produced Superbad. His role in Superbad helped boost his public awareness and allowed him to appear on mainstream programs like Total Request Live, The Tonight Show, and MTV's Video Music Awards.
In 2008, Hader appeared in two other Apatow projects: Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Pineapple Express. He also starred alongside Ben Stiller, Robert Downey, Jr. and Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder. Hader has teamed up with director Greg Mottola for three feature films: Superbad, Adventureland and Paul.
He made a small appearance in the 2009 film Year One with Jack Black and Michael Cera. Hader lent his voice to the critically acclaimed 2009 Sony Pictures Animation film Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, as well as its sequel, playing the lead role of Flint Lockwood as well as his invention in the films, the FLDSMDFR. He voiced a gazelle in Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. Hader appeared in Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian as Major General George Armstrong Custer. In April 2009, Hader was a part of Vanity Fair's list of "Comedy's New Legends".
He provided a voiceover in the 2010 film Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. He portrayed "The Voice", the disembodied voice that pops up during certain moments of the film's video game-inspired fight scenes. He also had a small cameo as the voice of the USS Vengeance computer in 2013's Star Trek Into Darkness. Hader starred in a dramatic role in the 2014 film The Skeleton Twins, opposite Kristen Wiig, with whom he worked on Saturday Night Live. The film won for 'Best Screenplay' at the Sundance Film Festival. In 2015, Hader voiced the character of Fear in the critically acclaimed Disney-Pixar film, Inside Out, and was attached to voice a dinosaur in the Pixar film The Good Dinosaur. However, Hader, alongside John Lithgow, Lucas Neff, Neil Patrick Harris and Judy Greer, left the project after their characters were re-designed.
Most recently, Hader had his first romantic-comedy leading man role opposite Amy Schumer in Trainwreck (2015) and as a former college boyfriend to Greta Gerwig's title character, Maggie's, now stable married best friend in Maggie's Plan (2015). Hader voiced Alpha 5 in the 2017 film version of Power Rangers.
Hader has made several short films, including Back in the Day, Sounds Good to Me: Remastering the Sting, and The Jeannie Tate Show with SNL writer Liz Cackowski and wife Maggie Carey.
Hader has been a creative consultant and producer on South Park since the show's 12th season. His involvement in the series stems from his friendship with Matt Stone; the two held a similar sense of humor and Hader began going on writers' retreats with the staff. He began working on the program hoping to learn story structure. Hader is among the series producers to win the 2009 Emmy Award for Best Animated Series. He also appeared on the commentary recorded for the 2009 Blu-ray edition of South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut, and the Comedy Central special 6 Days to Air, a documentary filmed during production of the 2011 South Park episode "HumancentiPad." Hader rejoined the writing staff for South Park for its 17th season. Hader won a Peabody Award for his participation in Saturday Night Live Political Satire, 2008. He has also been on the MTV show Punk'd. Hader voiced an array of different characters on the second season of the Adult Swim show Xavier: Renegade Angel.
Hader and SNL castmate Seth Meyers penned a Spider-Man one-off entitled The Short Halloween. It was illustrated by Kevin Maguire and came out May 29, 2009. It was given three and a half out of five stars by Benjamin Birdie of Comic Book Resources.
Hader took on the voice role of Professor Impossible on the fourth season of The Venture Brothers, a part originated by Stephen Colbert. In the game Grand Theft Auto IV, he played Wilson Taylor, Sr., (on in-game radio show: Pacemaker). Hader appeared on Tim and Eric Awesome Show impersonating the recurring character James Quall on the episode "Jazz".
In July 2008, Hader starred in, and cowrote with Simon Rich, the web series The Line on Crackle. Hader lent his voice to the audiobook of Sarah Vowell's The Wordy Shipmates. He voiced the Pod in the Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode "IAMAPOD", as well as Hitler in the episode "Der Inflatable Fuhrer". Hader played Kevin, Matt Damon's copilot, in the live episode of 30 Rock, recorded October 14, 2010.
He hosted the 2011 and 2012 seasons of Essentials, Jr. on Turner Classic Movies. In the series premiere of The Mindy Project, he guest-starred as Mindy's ex-boyfriend. His character returned later in the first season. Hader voiced Dr. Malocchio in the original Hulu series The Awesomes.
In 2013, Hader replaced Robert Downey, Jr., as the voice of Mr. Peanut. He has a severe peanut allergy.
In 2015, Hader appeared in Brooklyn Nine-Nine as the captain of the 99th Precinct. Also in 2015, Hader reunited with fellow SNL alumnus Fred Armisen for the IFC mockumentary series Documentary Now!, wherein he was an actor and a writer.
Drew McWeeny of HitFix reported in December 2015 that the voice of BB-8 was supplied by Hader and Ben Schwartz, both credited as "BB-8 vocal consultants" in the film. The voice was created by Abrams manipulating their voices through a talkbox, attached to an iPad running a sound-effects app. Hader also voiced multiple characters in YouTube channel Bad Lip Reading's parodies of the Star Wars original trilogy.
In 2006, Hader married writer-director Maggie Carey. They have three daughters together: Hannah Kathryn, born October 6, 2009, Harper, born July 28, 2012, and Hayley Clementine, born November 15, 2014.
|2006||You, Me and Dupree||Mark|
|Doogal||Sam the Soldier (voice)|
|The Brothers Solomon||Recumbent Biker|
|Purple Violets||Bookstore Fan||Uncredited cameo|
|2008||Pineapple Express||Private Greg B. Miller|
|Tropic Thunder||Rob Slolom|
|Forgetting Sarah Marshall||Brian Bretter|
|Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian||George Armstrong Custer|
|Year One||The Shaman|
|Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs||Gazelle (voice)|
|Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs||Flint Lockwood, FLDSMDFR (voices)|
|2010||Scott Pilgrim vs. the World||The Voice (voice)|
|Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil||Hansel (voice)|
|2012||Men in Black 3||Andy Warhol / Agent W|
|This is 40||Man at Store||Uncredited cameo|
|2013||Escape from Planet Earth||Announcer (voice)||Uncredited|
|Monsters University||Referee / Slug (voices)|
|Star Trek Into Darkness||Computer of the USS Vengeance (voice)|
|Turbo||Guy Gagne (voice)|
|The To Do List||Willy Mclean|
|The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby||Stuart|
|Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2||Flint Lockwood, FLDSMDFR (voices)|
|Her||Chat Room Friend #2 (voice)|
|2014||The Skeleton Twins||Milo|
|They Came Together||Kyle|
|Steve's First Bath and Attack of the 50-Foot Gummi Bear||Flint Lockwood (voice)||Short films|
|22 Jump Street||Culinary School Villain||Uncredited cameo|
|2015||Accidental Love||Doctor Turnstall|
|Inside Out||Fear (voice)||Also wrote additional dialogue|
|Riley's First Date?||Fear, Jordan's Joy (voices)||Short film|
|Star Wars: The Force Awakens||-||Vocal consultant for BB-8|
|2016||Sausage Party||Firewater / Tequila / El Guaco (voices)|
|The Angry Birds Movie||Leonard (voice)|
|The BFG||The Bloodbottler|
|Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping||Zippy|
|Finding Dory||Stan (voice)||Cameo|
|2017||Power Rangers||Alpha 5 (voice and motion capture)|
|2005–2013||Saturday Night Live||Various roles||160 episodes; also writer|
|2006||Late Night with Conan O'Brien||Announcer / Vincent Price (voices)||Episode: "The Skeleton Show"|
|2008–2017||Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday||Various||7 episodes; also writer|
|2008–present||South Park||Various voices||8 episodes; also writer and producer|
|2008||Human Giant||Himself / Little Kevin||4 episodes|
|Tim and Eric Awesome Show||James Quall||Episode: "Jazz"|
|2009||Xavier: Renegade Angel||Pavlov / Priest (voices)||2 episodes|
|2009–2010||Aqua Teen Hunger Force||Der Inflatable Hitler / The Pod (voices)||2 episodes|
|2010||Ugly Americans||William Dyer (voice)||Episode: "An American Werewolf in America"|
|30 Rock||Kevin||Episode: "Live Show"|
|Freaknik: The Musical||Tad (voice)||Television film|
|2010–2013||The Venture Bros.||Professor Impossible / Alien villain / Phage (voices)||7 episodes|
|2011||Funny or Die Presents||Athletic Trainer||4 episodes|
|2012–2014||Bob's Burgers||Mickey / Big Bob (voices)||7 episodes|
|2012||NTSF:SD:SUV::||Tad McMilrthy||Episode: "Comic-Con-Flict"|
|The Secret Policeman's Ball 2012||Julian Assange||Television Special|
|2012–2014||The Mindy Project||Tom||5 episodes|
|The Simpsons||Slava (voice)||Episode: "The Fabulous Faker Boy"|
|The Office||Himself||Episode: "Finale"|
|Drunk History||John Pemberton||Episode: "Atlanta"|
|Comedy Central Roast of James Franco||Himself / President of Hollywood||Television Special|
|Comedy Bang! Bang!||Himself||Episode: "Bill Hader Wears A Grey Button Down Shirt & Sneakers"|
|Clear History||Rags||Television film|
|2013–2015||The Awesomes||Dr. Giuseppe Malocchio (voice)||22 episodes|
|2013||Arcade Fire in Here Comes The Night Time||Captain Bill||Television special|
|2014||Saturday Night Live||Host||Episode: "Bill Hader/Hozier"|
|Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja||Whoopee 2 (voice)||Episode: "Whoopee 2: The Wrath of Whoopee 2"|
|2015||Man Seeking Woman||Adolf Hitler||Episode: "Lizard"|
|Inside Amy Schumer||Cliffley Bennett / Doug||Episode: "I'm Sorry"|
|2015–present||Documentary Now!||Various roles||14 episodes; also co-creator, writer and executive producer|
|2015||Brooklyn Nine-Nine||Captain Seth Dozerman||Episode: "New Captain"|
|2016||Silicon Valley||Pipey (voice)||Episode: "Daily Active Users"|
|2018||Barry||Barry||Also executive producer|
|1999||Grand Theft Auto 2||Billy Bob Bean|
|2008||Grand Theft Auto IV||Wilson Taylor Sr.|
|2009||Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian||George Armstrong Custer|
|2013||Grand Theft Auto: V||Chop|
|2014||South Park: The Stick of Truth||Various|
Awards and nominations
|2009||Gotham Award||Best Ensemble Cast||Adventureland||Nominated|
|Primetime Emmy Award||Outstanding Animated Program||South Park for "Margaritaville"||Won|
|2011||South Park for "Crack Baby Athletic Association"||Nominated|
|2012||Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series||Saturday Night Live||Nominated|
|2014||American Comedy Award||Best Comedy Supporting Actor – TV||Won|
|Primetime Emmy Award||Outstanding Animated Program||South Park for "Black Friday"||Nominated|
|Gotham Award||Best Actor||The Skeleton Twins||Nominated|
|Women Film Critics Circle Award||Best On-Screen Couple||Won|
|2015||MTV Movie Award||Best Musical Moment||Nominated|
|Primetime Emmy Award||Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series||Saturday Night Live||Nominated|
|Outstanding Animated Program||South Park for "Freemium Isn't Free "||Nominated|
|2016||Critics' Choice Movie Award||Best Actor in a Comedy||Trainwreck||Nominated|
|Primetime Emmy Award||Outstanding Variety Sketch Series||Documentary Now!||Nominated|