TV

Bill Hader suffered panic attacks on 'Saturday Night Live'

Aug. 15, 2013 at 2:22 PM ET

Image: Bill Hader
Mary Ellen Matthews / NBC Universal, Inc.
"I was always self-conscious about the fact that I didn’t have as much comedy experience as other people at 'SNL,'" funnyman Bill Hader admitted in an interview with Playboy.

Now that he's left the late-night sketch comedy behind, Bill Hader admits he was filled with fear during his time on "Saturday Night Live."

In an interview in the September issue of Playboy, the actor-comedian explained just what he went through on the air.

"No vomiting, just panic attacks and sweating," Hader recalled. "During my first two seasons I wouldn’t sleep on Friday night. I’d be up all night."

In fact, Hader believes viewers could even spot his terror in certain scenes.

"If you look at the Julian Assange sketch I did when Jeff Bridges was hosting (in December 2010), you can see I’m really nervous," he confessed. "I was covering my face a little, thinking, 'Oh, I’m having a panic attack. Really? Really? Really? Right now? Thanks, comedy gods.'

(Watch the clip and judge for yourself — but we think you'll be hard-pressed to see any panic.)

At the time, Hader was filled with self-doubt. He told the magazine that he felt certain his days on "SNL" were numbered from the start.

"I was always self-conscious about the fact that I didn’t have as much comedy experience as other people at 'SNL,' and I kept thinking they were going to realize they’d made a mistake by hiring me," he said.

Of course, that never happened. Hader, who eventually became a fan favorite for his spot-on celebrity impressions and his over-the-top characters, stayed with the show for eight seasons. But even after the success, he found himself getting a little woozy over the show earlier this year — when he decided to say goodbye.

"When I said the words 'I’m moving to L.A. and I’m going to leave the show,' the room started spinning," he said. "I thought I was going to faint. I didn’t cry — other people have told me they cried — but I got light-headed."

At least now, he can finally relax.

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