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Bill Hader on His Emmy Nomination and What He Learned from His ‘SNL’ Mentors

Bill Hader has been nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Supporting Actor for his work on Saturday Night Live.  Now Emmy nominations for SNL aren’t anything new, but no SNL actor has been nominated for that particular award since Eddie Murphy in 1983.

As a result, Hader didn’t expect a nomination in a category which had eluded so many other SNL superstars since then.  He spoke a bit about the surprise with the Los Angeles Times as well as what he learned from his SNL mentors.

Hader admits that he wasn’t the only one who was surprised by his nomination.  He says, “When people called, it wasn’t, ‘Hey, man, congratulations.’ It was, ‘Holy … , they actually nominated you for an Emmy! How did that happen?’”

Still, it isn’t unprecedented, especially since female SNL stars like Amy Poehler and Kristen Wiig have been nominated in recent years (Poehler in 2008 and 2009 and Wiig each year from 2009 to 2012).  Hader points to them as mentors, saying, “Our quarterbacks these past few seasons have been these phenomenal women. Amy was the person I looked up to when I first got there — how confident and giving she was. My first day at SNL, she took me and Andy Samberg out to dinner and asked, ‘All right, what do you want to know?’”  And what did he ask Poehler?  “How hard is it to work with cue cards? She told me to play to the cards. Don’t memorize anything. More great advice: Don’t do the show for your friends back home. Because before you get to SNL, you have your own sensibility. And when you get to SNL, it’s the show’s sensibility. So don’t worry about what your friends are going to say.”

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