Tragedy + Time = Comedy: Introduction (02:15)
This segment orients viewers to the ancestral search for Bill Hader, Jimmy Kimmel, and Norman Lear.
Jimmy Kimmel (02:38)
Kimmel has hosted his late night show since 2003; his mother's Italian-American family provided comedic material. Kimmel decided to put his family on air when he went into television. (Credits)
Normal Lear (03:00)
Lear redefined the television sitcom and created iconic characters including Archie Bunker. He moved to Hollywood in the 1940s; his big break occurred when he teamed with Ed Simmons.
Bill Hader (02:26)
Hader grew up in Oklahoma and worked odd jobs before joining an improv group; he became a mainstay of "Saturday Night Live." His family encouraged him but he and his father did not always share the same interests.
Kimmel Family Tree (06:52)
Kimmel's great-grandfather Frank changed the family surname from Kümmel. Records question whether Christian Kümmel and Theresa Stockehausen were Frank's parents. Henry Louis Gates Jr. traced Kimmel's past to his ninth-great grandfather, Johannes Kümmel.
Lear Family Tree (07:42)
Lear's father Herman was sentenced to two years in prison; he fought in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. Lear's grandparents Solomon and Anna grew up in the Pale of Settlement and immigrated to the U.S. after a pogrom destroyed half of Elisavetgrad; Solomon's father Jacob later followed. A headstone lists Eleazar Halevi as Jacob's father.
Hader Family Tree (06:47)
Hader's great-grandfather Arthur Hader was stationed behind the lines of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. Thomas Conner, Hader's third-great-grandfather, fought for the Union Army. He developed a respiratory infection that affected his hearing; he became a bartender.
Kimmel's Maternal Family Line (06:58)
Kimmel was close with his grandparents Sal and Edith. Sal's parents Vincenzo and Maria Iacono emigrated from southern Italy in 1903 and settled in the lower east side of New York City; an earthquake destroyed Casamicciola.
Lear's Maternal Family Line (05:16)
Lear's grandmother Lizzie Fish was an important figure in his life. She and her family lived in Elisavetgrad until immigrating to the U.S.; anti-Semitism unleashed serious consequences for Jews. Kirovograd archives contained Fish's birth certificate.
Hader's Maternal Family Line (04:41)
Hader's sixth-great grandfather William Simms fought in the Revolutionary War and owned slaves. His eighth-great-grandfather Henry Brockman lived in Maryland in the 1660s. Charlemagne is Hader's 40th-great-grandfather.
DNA Answers (03:33)
Analysis reveals that Kimmel has European, North African, and Asian descent. Hader has European and Sub-Saharan African descent. Lear's paternal haplogroup reveals the dominant genetic signature found among Levites.
Credits: Tragedy + Time = Comedy: Bill Hader, Jimmy Kimmel, Norman Lear—Finding Your Roots, Season 3 (00:30)
Credits: Tragedy + Time = Comedy: Bill Hader, Jimmy Kimmel, Norman Lear—Finding Your Roots, Season 3
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