Hader showed off his frightening skill, summoning both Peter Falk and James Mason; Samberg just said a celebrity’s name, then offered a frat-boy’s wassssssup. Samberg says now that the sketch was “born of my insecurity of realizing that Bill was incredible at impressions” and he was, in fact, not. “I was like, ‘How can I piggyback on how awesome Bill is?’ ” he remembers.
A few weeks later, Sandler called. Samberg still doesn’t know why — maybe because of those interviews in which he’d called Sandler his hero. Or maybe not. But he was his hero. Still is.
“He called me out of the blue to just say, ‘Hey, buddy, I just wanted to call to say congrats on getting the show, you’re doing a great job, and you and Hader, you guys are both killing it,’ ” Samberg says, as that familiar giant, dopey grin spreads across his face. Samberg recalls telling Sandler how much it meant to hear that from his hero. Then Sandler told him: “I just figured our names are so similar I should probably call you.” Samberg has told this story before, but it’s no rehearsed bit. It makes him smile, talking about how Adam Sandler’s his guy.
“It made my life at that moment,” he says. “It’s like, you can’t express to the person what they meant to you in words. You just kind of have to take that moment for what it is, and the fact that it has progressed from that to now — being in a movie where it is really … ” Pause. “Like, it is his movie, but the movie is about our relationship, and … you know … ” Another pause. “I have a pretty good feeling the poster is going to be me and him. If I could tell my 16-year-old self that this was going to happen, I wouldn’t have believed it. I would run into a wall and break my face.”