Bill Hader

The only way you should be allowed to drink soda is if you have perfect rhythm.

Originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma, Bill Hader joined the cast of Saturday Night Live for the 2005–2006 season and over eight years on the show garnered two Emmy nominations for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy.

Hader is currently shooting a lead role opposite Amy Schumer in Judd Apatow’s comedy Trainwreck. He co-stars with Kristen Wiig in The Skeleton Twins, an indie drama that was a hit at the Sundance Film Festival and will be in theaters in September 2014. Also upcoming is The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby with James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain.

His other film credits include Superbad, Knocked Up, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Adventureland, Tropic Thunder, Pineapple Express, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, and Men in Black III. He also lent his voice to the hit animated movie Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and its sequel.

Hader works as a creative consultant and producer on South Park, for which he shared the 2009 Emmy Award for Best Animated Series. His other TV acting credits include Portlandia, The Mindy Project, and Larry David’s HBO movie Clear History. 

Hader lives in L.A. with his wife and kids.


Why are you participating in the Cultivating Thought series?

Seemed like a nice organization, and Jonathan Safran Foer is a good judge of character, so…

Tell us about your two-minute read.

I think the only way you should be allowed to drink soda is if you have perfect rhythm.

Who inspires you? Who are your favorite authors?

George Saunders, Flannery O’Connor, Ambrose Bierce.

What’s the best book you read in the past year?

Black Swan Green by David Mitchell.

Two-Minute Recipe for the Perfect Fountain Drink

by Bill Hader

This is a concoction that my sisters and I have been making since we were kids. We measured each ingredient (soda flavor) by tapping the beat of a song on the soda dispenser. For instance, “Row row row your boat” (5 beats on the soda dispenser) is about a 1/2 cup. We got it down to a science, and now you and your sisters can too!

(Where necessary I’ve included the writers of the songs for posterity and, in my own way, to give thanks; I guess you could say I consider them co-chefs!)

We got it down to a science, and now you and your sisters can too!

Here’s how it goes: 1 “Row Row Row Your Boat” of Coke • 1 “Shave and a Hair Cut” of grape soda • 1 “G.L.O.R.I.A. Glooooorrrria.” of Mello Yello • 1 “Whoo! Whoo! Whoo! Whoo! Whoo! Whoo! (“Jeremy”, Pearl Jam) of ginger ale • 3 “Thank you Japan! Good Night!” (The Carpenters: Live in Japan) of Diet Coke • 1 drum solo from “YYZ” (Rush) of Sprite • 1 oboe solo from “Flight of 200 Bumblebees” (Impossible Oboe Tunes) of lemonade • 1 “Stevie, What Were You Doing in Mick’s Room?” (Fleetwood Mac: The Making of Rumours) of Fanta • 2,000,000 “Hey!” (any Arcade Fire song) of root beer • 1 light splash of Dasani

If your cup is overflowing at this point, you’ve done something wrong and must start over. If you’re able to follow rules, then enjoy a Hader family tradition!!!