Bill Hader: We probably won't see Stefon again on 'Saturday Night Live'
Eight years, countless strangely named nightclubs and a "human roomba" later, Bill Hader says he doesn't think Stefon will be back any time soon. The "Saturday Night Live" actor announced earlier this month that the season 38 finale of 'SNL' would be his last show, and he sat down with Willie Geist and Megan Colarossi to talk about Hader's fan-favorite character.
Willie: So how does it feel to be done with 'SNL'?
Bill: I feel good. It was more like my wife and I decided we were moving to California because we were flying out there a lot. So it was like, "Can I still do 'SNL' and live in LA?" and it wasn’t going to work out.
Willie: Was there any trepidation about stepping away from 'SNL'?
Bill: No, because to me it was like "I did SNL." I mean, getting "SNL" was pretty amazing so just to be able to have an eight-year career there and be really happy with everything I did, it was pretty big.
Megan: I heard there's an interesting story about you and Andy Samberg auditioning at the same time?
Bill: We both were auditioning at the same time and he was the guy next to me and he had a backpack full of props, not like Carrot Top-style, but people bring props, a lot of people do that. But I looked over and I was going, "I didn’t bring anything, I'm an idiot. Why didn't I think to bring any props or anything?" And he said he was looking at me and thinking, "Oh, he didn't bring any props, why did I?" We were both just wrecks.
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Willie: The big question everyone wants to know, will we ever see Stefon again?
Bill: That might have been it.
Willie: No Stefon movie?
Bill: No, probably not. Lorne (Michaels) talked about (a movie), and me and John Mulaney who I write that with, we talked about it and said, no I don’t really think there’s a movie there. I mean, it barely worked as a sketch! We couldn’t do it as a sketch, that’s why we put it on "(Weekend) Update." I was like, "Unless I break during the movie, I don’t think people are gonna watch."
Willie: The hands coming to the face, did that come from you laughing?
Bill: No, that was a part of the character, him being nervous. And then it helped when (John Mulaney) would start changing the cue cards and I'd laugh. The cue-card changing, it was really only two or three times where they’d change it and it’d be something completely different that I didn’t know about. Most of the time when I would start laughing was something that we wrote that week and I still couldn’t keep it together, like the Human Roomba joke. But sometimes as I’m walking out, John Mulaney would say, "Oh I changed the club promoter to Gay Liotta. Have fun!"
Willie: It seems like there was a competition to see who could come up with the most obscure reference.
Bill: We’d try to take the Stefon pitches to the amazing writing table at "SNL" and we’d say, "OK, what club should this take place in?" and people would say really funny stuff, but then John would go, "A haunted diaper" and I’d agree and say, "Yeah, a haunted diaper." And eventually the writers just said, "Yeah, go away, we can't." And we don’t really laugh that much while we’re writing it. It’s just kind of sitting there, long stretches of silence. Most of the time it was just slamming your head against the wall. I think with that writers' room thing, it was hard to give notes on Stefon as far as what to cut and what not to cut because it was like, "I don’t know what any of this means."