Quote of the Day: Bill Hader Wanted Stefon's Goodbye to Be Emotional
By Stacy Lambe
Rarely do Saturday Night Live recurring characters last as long as Stefon did. Bill Hader's Weekend Update correspondent first appeared in 2008 and survived five seasons despite giving hilariously unhelpful guides to New York City's party scene.
When Bill Hader made the decision to leave the show this past season, it meant saying goodbye to Stefon.
In an essay for Entertainment Weekly's Best of 2013 coverage, Hader talks about writing Stefon's final moments on the show what it meant to him (and his fans).
It sounds corny, but we wanted it to be emotional. It’s the rare instance where there’s two characters on SNL that you’re somewhat invested in, you know? I would hear that from people: “Man, you and Seth have to get together!” And I was like, “It’s a sketch show. It’s a fake news segment on a sketch show.” I think it was also the way I was feeling because I was leaving. I said to Rhys Thomas, who directed that — who really deserves a ton of credit — “I think it should be cinematic and emotional.” And man, he knocked it out of the park. When we saw it, we all got choked up watching it. We were leaving, and Seth was leaving, and I was leaving… John [Mulaney, a former SNL who helped create Stefon] had left, but he came back to help with this.
Almost everyone who watched Hader's final episode can agree the sketch was the perfect ending to Stefon and Seth's 5-year affair. But the real magic happened off screen.
There was this beautiful moment where we finished it, I hugged Seth, and kind of waved, and got a nice applause, and then walked off. And there was Kristen Wiig. I had no idea she was going to be there. She ran over and gave me a big hug, and she was crying. And then Seth gave me a giant hug, and he said, “Thank you so much for letting me be a part of this.”
Read Hader's full account of the final Stefon sketch on EW.com where he also mentions that Anderson Cooper would make a great host. You hear that? The sound of 'Let Anderson Host' petitions popping up on Facebook!
Rewatch Stefon's goodbye below: