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|Saturday Night Live character|
Stefon on Weekend Update.
|First appearance||November 1, 2008|
|Last appearance||May 18, 2013|
|Created by||Bill Hader, John Mulaney|
|Portrayed by||Bill Hader|
|Occupation||City Correspondent for SNL's Weekend Update|
|Family||Ms. Stefon (mother)
David Bowie (father)
David Zolesky (brother)
|Spouse(s)||Seth Meyers (May 18, 2013)|
|Children||Unnamed son (mentioned once)|
Stefon (né Zoelesky), simply referred to as Stefon, is a character played by Bill Hader on Saturday Night Live who appeared as the New York City correspondent for Weekend Update with Seth Meyers, created by Hader and former SNL writer John Mulaney. Meyers introduced Stefon as a guide who knows all about New York and asks him for tips on essential destinations and events for visitors. Stefon recommends unusual clubs and parties with bizarre characters, described as "visions a dying gay man would have if he was under too many blankets", "nightmares of a crystal meth addict", or a "coked-up gay Candyland".
Stefon's segments were inspired by real people Hader and Mulaney had encountered, including a person John Mulaney had met who recommended parties and other points of interest to him, and a barista at a coffee shop that Hader met who looked and talked like Stefon. Stefon's last regular appearance on SNL was on May 18, 2013, owing to Bill Hader's leaving the show. This episode is when Seth Meyers would realize how much he actually loved Stefon and would "marry" Stefon as part of the Weekend Update comedy skit.
Often Hader can be seen suppressing fits of laughter (known as breaking), as if some of the more outlandish descriptions are new to him. Hader, on late-night TV interviews, said that this happens with such frequency because changes are often made to the script up until the live show, and frequently Hader doesn't see the final cue cards until the live broadcast. As a result, some of the more outrageous things that Stefon says are relatively or completely new to Hader. "I have not gotten through a single Stefon update without breaking," Hader says. "Still working on it."
On an episode of Comedy Bang Bang, John Mulaney describes the writing process he and Hader use for Stefon. Mulaney will change the cue cards between the dress rehearsal and live broadcast, meaning Hader has little more knowledge of the script than the studio audience does. Mulaney said that over time, it has become something of a challenge for him to see how much he can make Hader break by changing the jokes.
After being unable to perform the character without breaking for two and a half years, Hader successfully remained in character as Stefon during the season finale of the show's 36th season, with host Justin Timberlake. However, this appearance was much more brief than his others (his appearance lasting about thirty seconds).
According to Hader it is "completely ironic" that he played a character like Stefon, because he dislikes clubs and other "loud place[s]" so avoids them.
Stefon is a flamboyantly gay "city correspondent" for Weekend Update. He appears to be always nervous, as indicated by how he can never keep his hands still and constantly rubs them together. Stefon always touches his face and hair, and it seems like he has frequent anxiety attacks. A possible explanation for this is his excessive consumption of recreational drugs. Stefon is very knowledgeable about parties and nightclubs featuring very bizarre themes and characters, which he recommends when host Seth Meyers asks for suggestions for tourists, much to Meyers' frustration. Stefon is apparently infatuated with Meyers; he expresses disappointment when Meyers mentions his girlfriend, and has stated that he envies Meyers' mother for changing his diapers as a child.
According to the May 7, 2011, episode of Saturday Night Live, his mother is named Ms. Stefon, and his father is David Bowie. In the October 20, 2012 episode, he revealed that he has a son, as well as a dog named Bark Ruffalo. He lives in a trashcan outside the RadioShack at 23rd and 7th.
Stefon wears gaudy Ed Hardy shirts, multiple rings, and an asymmetrical, highlighted haircut.
Stefon, Weekend Update's City Correspondent, is introduced by Seth Meyers and is asked for recommendations for tourists. Stefon’s dialogue always begins with “New York’s hottest club is …” and then he starts listing the outlandish patrons that you can meet at this club. He is frequently interrupted by Seth Meyers, who asks for more family-friendly destinations, but Stefon only continues talking about increasingly ludicrous New York clubs with suggestively descriptive names (Crease, Gush, Push, Booooooooof, Spicy, et al.).
Security and bouncers at the venue are surreal. They include: jacked-up homeless guys in period swimming costumes, Hobocops (homeless Robocops), a bulldog who looks like Wilford Brimley, and a Rabbi who looks like Joaquin Phoenix.
When mentioning the club's typical patrons, he lists outlandish characters that would seem at home in a William S. Burroughs novel, such as screaming babies in Mozart wigs, Puppets in disguise, an Albino who looks like Susan Powter, Puppets practicing Karate, sunburned drifters with soap bubble beards, and groups of guys with afros in graduation caps. Underground celebrities to be found at the venues include Blingo (Black Ringo), Jewish Dracula Sidney Applebaum, nine-year-old Tokyo pimp Ichi Yakagōru  and DJ Baby Bok Choy
When describing the club’s attractions, Stefon repeatedly uses vague faux pop culture slang terms including Jewpids (Jewish Cupids), Furkels (fat Urkels) and Teddy Graham People ("...when a guy has the stumpy arms but with the belly"). Stefon also frequently mentions fetish objects personified by midgets (e.g., "human fanny packs," "human traffic cones," "human fire hydrants," "human boomboxes," "human suitcases," "human kites", "human R2-D2s", "human piñatas", "human roombas" and "human Magic 8 balls."). When Seth Meyers pointed out in one segment that the term midget was politically incorrect, Stefon corrected himself and referred to them as ""Fun-Sized".
The club owners Stefon describes are almost always portmanteaux of famous celebrities' names, e.g., Snoozin Lucci, Jew Diamond Philips, Tranderson Cooper, Baloney Danza, Fat Sajak, Gay Liotta, Gay Dunaway, Tranny Oakley, D-bag Chopra, and Blow J. Simpson.
In the November 10th, 2012 episode, hosted by Anne Hathaway, Stefon did not appear, but Anne made a joking reference to playing him.
Stefon made his last recurring Weekend Update appearance on Season 38 Episode 21 on May 18, 2013. After Stefon's usual comment on "New York's hottest club", Weekend Update anchor Seth Meyers again criticized his recommendations, making Stefon flee out of NBC Studios to get married. Seeing the error of his ways, Seth goes after him to the wedding at the New York Garden Church in Fifth Avenue only to find out that Stefon is getting married to Anderson Cooper. Seth goes in after Stefon and takes him away from the wedding back to Studio 8H and pronouncing their love for each other. Many of the wedding guests included Black George Washington as the minister, a puppet in disguise (ALF in a trenchcoat), human traffic cones and a human fire hydrant, HoboCops, Jewpids, infamous gay running back Blowjay Simpson, a group of guys with afros and graduation caps, grown men in wedding dresses, jacked homeless guys in period bathing suits, Gizblow the coked-up Gremlin, Furkel, evil chef Wario Batali, Germfs (German Smurfs), Sidney Applebaum the Jewish Dracula, a screaming geisha, Hanukkah cartoon character Menorah the Explorer and DJ Baby Bok Choy. Ben Affleck makes a cameo appearance reprising his role as Stefon's brother, David Zolefsky.
Saturday Night Live appearances
|November 1, 2008||Ben Affleck||First appearance as a character in a sketch titled 'Movie Pitch with Stefon', with Affleck playing Stefon's brother.|
|April 24, 2010||Gabourey Sidibe||First Weekend Update appearance.|
|May 15, 2010||Alec Baldwin|
|October 23, 2010||Emma Stone|
|December 11, 2010||Paul Rudd|
|December 18, 2010||Jeff Bridges||Sings a Christmas song with Fred Armisen's David Paterson and with Bobby Moynihan's Snooki.|
|February 12, 2011||Russell Brand|
|May 7, 2011||Tina Fey|
|May 21, 2011||Justin Timberlake||Only appearance where Hader did not break character; Stefon was seen going on vacation with Seth Meyers after Meyers closes out Weekend Update for the summer.|
|October 8, 2011||Ben Stiller||Stefon and Derek Zoolander, played by Stiller, promote a charity to help fat kids.|
|December 10, 2011||Katy Perry||Also appears in promos for this episode.|
|February 18, 2012||Maya Rudolph||Appeared in the opening monologue.|
|March 10, 2012||Jonah Hill|
|May 19, 2012||Mick Jagger|
|October 20, 2012||Bruno Mars||Also appeared introducing Mars as the musical guest.|
|March 9, 2013||Justin Timberlake|
|May 18, 2013||Ben Affleck||Last regular appearance.|
- SNL Archives | Episodes | Details - November 1, 2008
- Season 38 Episode 21 (aired 5/18/2012)
- Season 35 Episode 20 (aired 2/12/2011)
- Season 36, Episode 4; Weekend Update (10/23/2010)
- Potts, Kim (September 24, 2010) "'SNL' Star Bill Hader Talks the New Season, Jon Hamm's Return and His 'Surreal Life' Experience with Corey Feldman". The Huffington Post.
- Statdtmiller, Mandy. Club kidding. New York Post. February 19, 2011. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
- Fallon, Kevin (2013-09-05). "Bill Hader Is Sad to Leave ‘Saturday Night Live’ (and Stefon) Behind". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 5 September 2013.
- Season 35, Episode 20 (aired 4/24/2010).
- "He's a giant 300-pound Chinese baby, who wears tinted aviator glasses and he spins records with his little ravioli hands." Season 25, Episode 20, Retrieved (Jan 25, 2011).