How SNL’s Bill Hader creates New York’s weirdest nightclubs

Hader gave Grantland a look at how he creates the character of "Stefon," the Saturday Night Live city correspondent who takes viewers on a tour of a "coked-up gay Candyland."


Jordan Valinsky


Published Nov 20, 2012   Updated Jun 2, 2021, 7:01 am CDT

Fans might know Stefon as the astute nightlife correspondent on Saturday Night Live who can point you to New York’s hottest club, but Bill Hader said there’s a fully functioning brain behind his character.

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Hader spoke to Grantland’s Bill Simmons about how his flamboyantly nervous “Weekend Update” character is created. Hader said he and John Mulaney write Stefon outside of SNL’s offices to stray away from distractions to fully access a weird state of mind.

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In crafting the eccentric Stefon character, who has a knack for outlandish club descriptions like “coked-up gay Candyland,” the guys jot down ideas on a legal pad, make noises and throw out random settings for clubs. Hader also points to the oddball, sidetrack conversations they have as inspiration.

“We kind of sit there and talk about stuff and then John will go off and write it,” said Hader. They write the sketch long so SNL Weekend Update anchor Seth Meyers can provide feedback on what jokes to cut. Hader admits that most of the material that gets cut is “hard jokes,” or punchline-driven jokes.

“The stuff that works is like Furkel’s,” said Hader, referencing a club recommendation that features Fat Urkels, overweight Jaleel Whites.

“It’s the weird stuff that works.”

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Photo via SNL/Hulu

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*First Published: Nov 20, 2012, 5:20 pm CST