By Derek Lawrence
July 16, 2019 at 05:45 PM EDT

Shows with Bill Hader‘s name attached to them scored a combined 21 Emmy nominations on Tuesday. And yet, he seemed to be equally excited about two nominations that he had nothing to do with.

“Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy are two of my heroes,” he tells EW, celebrating the recognition awarded to the Schitt’s Creek stars. “I just absolutely love them, not only as performers but people. They are just two of the best.”

While Schitt’s Creek was a surprise winner on Tuesday, Hader’s HBO hit Barry proved to be a force in its own right, garnering 17 total nominations (Documentary Now!, which Hader co-created, landed four), including for Hader and Henry Winkler, who both took home trophies last year.

Aaron Epstein/HBO

“We were shocked,” admits Hader. “I did not expect that. They kind of trickle in, you don’t get them all at once. It’s usually like, ‘Hey, you got nominated’ or ‘the show got nominated,’ and you’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s wonderful.’ I’m just getting texts and then my publicist goes, ‘Wow, you got 17 nominations in total.’ [Laughs] I’m like, ‘Wait, what?!’ And I call [co-creator] Alec Berg and told him and he just couldn’t believe it.”

Hader, Winkler, and the series all seemed like safe bets to once again be honored, but the Television Academy voters made the unprecedented statement of nominating all of Barry‘s main cast, meaning Stephen Root, Sarah Goldberg, and Anthony Carrigan got on the board for the first time.

“I texted Anthony congrats and he goes, ‘For what?'” shares Hader. “I was like, ‘You just got nominated for an Emmy!’ And he wrote back, ‘HOLY SHIT.’ Anthony and Sarah and especially Stephen Root made us very, very happy. With a lot of the characters this season, you just wanted to understand them… Sarah has always been incredibly consistent and consistently amazing, so I’m just happy that she got the nomination, because that is a really crowded field.”

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