Bill Hader Didn’t Know Carol Burnett Was His Cousin Until She Emailed Him
While digging into her family ancestry, Carol Burnett discovered a range of surprising connections. Her episode of PBS’s Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. traced her lineage all the way back to the American Revolution and the Civil War, before discovering that she had a familial connection in Hollywood, too. Bill Hader, the Saturday Night Live alum and star of HBO’s Barry, is her distant cousin.
And while Burnett was filming a television special when she uncovered the news, Hader was simply checking his inbox. “She emailed me,” he recently told Entertainment Tonight. “Yeah, she emailed me and said, ‘Hey, we’re related.’ And I went, ‘What?’”
Last week, Burnett and Hader both appeared as guests on separate episodes of Jimmy Kimmel Live. The 89-year-old actress and comedian didn’t have much to say about the connection, adding that she’s “very thrilled that we’re related” and mentioning the Hader-Burnett family reunion her cousin pulled together.
Hader, on the other hand, excitedly recalled breaking the news to his kids, saying: “I turned to my daughters, I’m like, ‘We’re related to Miss Hannigan!'” He also was a guest on Finding Your Roots in 2016, but all his episode uncovered was that his sixth great-grandfather fought in the American Revolution in 1775.
Kimmel’s grace was saved only for Burnett because once Hader was on his couch, he whipped out an old interview clip during which the comedian gushed about his crush on the woman he now knows shares a bloodline with him. “Hey, you can take the boy out of Oklahoma, you know what I’m saying,” Hader joked. “I knew there was something about her.”
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