Fred Armisen, Bill Hader Goof on Silly TCA Question

TCA 2016: “Documentary Now!” stars answer when they first knew they were funny

Last Updated: July 31, 2016 @ 12:37 PM

Don’t ask Bill Hader and Fred Armisen a silly question if you want a serious answer.

That’s a lesson one media member (hopefully) learned Sunday during the Television Critics Association (TCA) Summer Press Tour panel for IFC mockumentary series, “Documentary Now!”

Asked to explain when they first knew they were funny, Hader opened the comedic door: “My mother, folks,” he said, referring to the questioner.

He then gamely answered the question genuinely, sharing a story of making his (real) parents crack up way back in the day.

“I grew up in Tulsa, Okla., and there was Oral Roberts University … [which] had these huge praying hands in front of it,” Hader began. “My grandmother from Chicago was in town, and she was very suspicious of this. We’d drive by and she’d go, ‘What the hell are those?’ And I said, ‘Oh, at midnight they clap.’ I was four.”

“And then they put me on the road, and I made no money for years,” he lightened it all back up.

“I grew up in a very rough part of Brazil,” Armisen quipped for his turn. “We would attack each other. You’re two years old and you’re just beating each other up for food.”

Armisen joked that he’d impersonate the then-President to escape the mean streets, eliciting laughter from the notoriously tough Beverly Hills International Ballroom crowd.

“So, yeah, I got a little ribbon. A little sort of ‘Funny Kid’ ribbon,” he continued, before dropping a great callback: “No, it was a praying hands similar thing.”