Bill Hader Felt Pressured to Do ‘SNL’ Stefon Movie: ‘It Didn’t Work’ Outside Weekend Update

"It didn’t work as a sketch! That’s why it was on Weekend Update. And the reason people liked it is because I kept laughing."
Bill Hader at the "Barry" Season 4 premiere
Bill Hader at the "Barry" Season 4 premiere
The Hollywood Reporter via Getty

Bill Hader knew the post-“SNL” club had everything — just not a Stefon movie in the works.

The “Barry” creator admitted to “a hundred percent” feeling pressure to pursue his standout “Saturday Night Live” character Stefon in a spinoff movie, in the veins of “Night at the Roxbury” and “MacGruber.”

“It’s this weird combination of being open, but also clearly knowing what you don’t want,” Hader told The New Yorker. “Like, nah, I don’t want to do a Stefon movie. It didn’t work as a sketch! That’s why it was on Weekend Update. And the reason people liked it is because I kept laughing.”

Hader departed “Saturday Night Live” in 2013.

“I’d just had a second child, and I just was kind of burnt out, and I knew I wanted to live in Los Angeles. I love New York, but it was that thing that happens when you live in New York, like, ‘Oh, we need more space. Do we do the house upstate?’ And then it was just, like, ‘Maybe we should go back to L.A.’ It’s an instinctual thing,” Hader recalled. “I remember leaving ‘S.N.L.’ and doing some press for this animated movie I was in, and most of the press was people going, like, ‘All right, well, you’re leaving “S.N.L.” It was nice knowing you! We might never see you again!’ I remember feeling like I just needed to stay busy.”

He added, “I went and worked at ‘South Park’ for a bit, and then I got cast in ‘Trainwreck.'”

Hader noted that he also penned two feature scripts, one of which led to the Emmy-winning HBO series “Barry,” which concludes this year with its fourth and final season. Hader recently reopened the conversation about potentially reprising his role as Stefon after returning in 2018 to “SNL” for a cameo.

“I’ve never had any gay man come up to me and be offended that I [played Stefon],” Hader said, citing he also played a queer character in Craig Johnson’s “The Skeleton Twins.” “I’ve always had people come up and say how much they love those roles.”

Hader previously told The Guardian that he was concerned Stefon would be “seen as a stereotype, and that really hurt.”

Now, Hader said, “Honestly, I don’t know why I said that. I probably would play him. I think just being asked the question at that point in time kind of made me anxious.”

Daily Headlines
Daily Headlines covering Film, TV and more.

By subscribing, I agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

PMC Logo
IndieWire is a part of Penske Media Corporation. © 2023 IndieWire Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved.