|Saturday Night Live character|
|Occupation||Correspondent for SNL's Weekend Update|
Stefon Meyers (né Zolesky), simply referred to as Stefon, is a character created by Bill Hader and former SNL writer John Mulaney, played by Hader on Saturday Night Live, who appeared as the New York City correspondent for Weekend Update with Seth Meyers. 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 and very specific tastes, 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. One was a club promoter who sent Mulaney an email about a club that "had everything," including "rooms full of broken glass" as one of the highlights. The character's mannerisms were based on a barista at a coffee shop in Chelsea, Manhattan that Hader frequented, whose look and talking style inspired the creation of Stefon. Mulaney decided that Stefon should wear an Ed Hardy shirt, under the assumption that it was made of latex and looked like something out of the Macaulay Culkin and Seth Green film, Party Monster. Stefon's hair was inspired by the characters in that film, "specifically based in popup club culture in New York City circa 2007".
Initially, Stefon appeared in a 2008 sketch with Ben Affleck titled "Movie Pitch with Stefon," with Stefon portraying the outrageous brother of Affleck's more serious character, David Zolesky; however, the idea "barely worked as a sketch," said Bill Hader. "It was a long walk to get to what the sketch was about."
The character was instead introduced as a correspondent on Weekend Update the following season, after an invitation from the head of the segment. According to Seth Meyers, "It was a lot easier to just say, 'Hey, here's Stefon.'" During the production for his first appearance on Weekend Update, on the April 24, 2010 episode, Mulaney assumed it would be cut after rehearsal. He stated, "It was so weird that I so assumed it would be cut, and I said, 'When you cut this, can we try it again?' We just thought it was not going to be liked by anyone." However, the character became immensely popular.
Often Hader can be seen suppressing fits of laughter (known as "breaking" or "corpsing"), as 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 does not see the final cue cards until the live broadcast. Mulaney would deliberately change bits of lines just before Hader went on as Stefon and, 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."
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 briefer than his others, with his appearance only lasting about 30 seconds. According to Hader, it is "completely ironic" that he played a character like Stefon, because he avoids loud places such as clubs.
Stefon's last regular appearance on SNL was on May 18, 2013, due to Bill Hader's leaving the show. When Meyers' Late Night premiered on February 24, 2014, a Stefon matryoshka doll with a veil embellishment, originally hand-crafted by matryoshka artist Irene Hwang and commissioned for a crew holiday gift, was unveiled as part of the decor of Meyers' desk. Mulaney began writing a Stefon feature film before he left SNL. The film was intended to be a mockumentary, showing Stefon visiting different New York hotspots as a correspondent for Weekend Update. Mulaney wanted to cast director Garry Marshall as Lorne Michaels. However, the film never moved beyond an initial writing stage.
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 mentions he has 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, the City Correspondent on Weekend Update, 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 suggestive or nonsensical names (Crease, Gush, Push, Booooooooof ["with nine O's"], Spicy, Kevin?, Whimsy, Your Mother and I Are Separating, PANTS!, etc.).
Security, entertainers, and clientele at the venue are surreal, implied to be from hyper-specific or obscure subcultures, which an impressed Stefon usually introduces by complimenting "this place has everything". Bouncers 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. Passwords for some of the clubs include "My wallet? YEEEEAH, RIGHT!" ("the last words of murdered blues legend Sweet Willie Walker"), "Diabetes" (said in a Wilford Brimley voice) and onomatopeias. When mentioning the club's typical patrons, he lists outlandish characters 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 Yakaguro and 300-pound Chinese baby deejay, DJ Baby Bok Choy.
When describing the club's attractions, Stefon repeatedly uses vague faux pop culture portmanteaux and 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 objects personified by little people ("human fanny packs," "human traffic cones," "human fire hydrants," "human boomboxes," "human suitcases," "human kites", "human R2-D2s", "human piñatas", "human Roombas" (also called "Hoombas") and "human Magic 8 balls."), which he originally referred to as "midgets". 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"; in a 2018 guest appearance alongside Colin Jost and Michael Che, Stefon brought his lawyer Shy (John Mulaney) to the segment to advise him the correct term was "little people". The club owners Stefon describes are almost always malapropisms of famous celebrities' names, e.g., Snoozin Lucci, Jew Diamond Phillips, Tranderson Cooper, Baloney Danza, Fat Sajak, Gay Liotta, Gay Dunaway, Tranny Oakley, D-bag Chopra, and Blow J. Simpson. His style comes close to absurdist humor, mocking New York City's notorious Club Kid scene.
Final regular appearance
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", 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 Marble Collegiate Church on Fifth Avenue only to find out that Stefon is marrying Anderson Cooper. Seth goes in after Stefon and takes him away from the wedding back to Studio 8H, where they proclaim their love for each other.
The guests at the wedding included many of the weird types of people Stefon has mentioned during his Weekend Update segments, including: 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 (fat Steve Urkel), evil chef Wario Batali, Germfs (German Smurfs), Jewish Dracula Sidney Applebaum, 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. After Seth and Stefon return to the studio, various Weekend Update characters gathered to congratulate them, including: David Paterson (Fred Armisen), Jacob the Bar Mitzvah Boy (Vanessa Bayer), Drunk Uncle (Bobby Moynihan), Arianna Huffington (Nasim Pedrad), The Devil (Jason Sudeikis), Jean K. Jean (Kenan Thompson), Ann Romney (Kate McKinnon) and The Girl You Wished You Didn't Start a Conversation with at a Party (Cecily Strong) along with Amy Poehler. Seth refers to them as Seth and Stefon Meyers and closes out Weekend Update.
In his first guest appearance, Stefon returned to Weekend Update in a guest appearance along with Amy Poehler to bid Meyers adieu in his final Weekend Update, as Meyers prepared to become the new host of Late Night. Stefon's jokes included that the world (outside SNL) "has everything...", such as homeless weightlifters that look like The Croods, Japanese daredevil YOLO Ono and human DVRs, to which Stefon replied "It's that thing where a midget sits on your TV and tells you what happened on Scandal. And like a regular cable box, it goes down all the time". Before Seth's final Weekend Update goodbye, he acknowledged Stefon as his husband. In this appearance, Hader again broke character after the human DVR joke.
During Hader's first time hosting SNL, on October 11, 2014, Stefon recommended clubs for tourists interested in autumn in New York. The sketch was co-written by John Mulaney, who worked on it with Hader over Skype and texted new jokes to the writers to once again surprise Hader, who barely began the sketch before having to cover his face from laughing. Hader had particular trouble staying in character due to each club Stefon recommended including at the end of its list of features Dan Cortese (mispronounced "Dan Cortez" due to a misspelling on Mulaney's part). Stefon referenced his now-husband Meyers by explaining that he was at home "practicing sitting behind a desk," and ended the sketch by announcing he was pregnant.
As part of Saturday Night Live's 40th Anniversary Special, Edward Norton appeared as Stefon during the special's 40th anniversary-themed Weekend Update. Feeling like Norton was failing his impression, Stefon appeared to try to guide him into doing the correct hand gestures. After that, Meyers appeared behind both Norton and Stefon and briefly mentioned their unnamed children.
During Hader's second time hosting, on March 17, 2018, three years after his last appearance, Stefon returned to Weekend Update for a St. Patrick's Day-themed segment of his New York City recommendations, which included multiple references to recent Academy Award-winning films, Farrahchauns (leprechauns that look like Farrah Fawcett) and human squatty potties. Stefon, who usually uses the term "midget" to describe his bizarre recommendations, chose not to use it in order to not be insensitive and consulted his attorney and conceptual piss artist named Shy (played by John Mulaney, who co-created Stefon) for a better term, ultimately using "little people". Mulaney caused Hader to break character yet again by whispering into his ear during his brief appearance, "My girlfriend works at Yoshinoya Beef Bowl." Stefon also made a reference to spouse Seth Meyers' A Closer Look segment at Late Night.
- Appearances outside Saturday Night Live
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, David Zolesky.|
|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||Sang a Christmas song with David Paterson (Armisen) and Snooki (Moynihan).|
|February 12, 2011||Russell Brand|
|May 7, 2011||Tina Fey||Kisses Seth Meyers for the first time in this episode, on the cheek.|
|May 21, 2011||Justin Timberlake||Only appearance where Hader did not break character; his appearance lasted roughly 30 seconds.|
|October 8, 2011||Ben Stiller||Stefon and Derek Zoolander (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||Makes a cameo during Maya Rudolph's opening monologue.|
|March 10, 2012||Jonah Hill||Kisses Seth Meyers on the lips for the first time.|
|May 19, 2012||Mick Jagger|
|October 20, 2012||Bruno Mars||Also introduced Mars as the musical guest.|
|March 9, 2013||Justin Timberlake|
|May 18, 2013||Ben Affleck||Stefon storms off Weekend Update to get married. Meyers realizes he loves Stefon and flees after him, crashing Stefon's wedding to Anderson Cooper. Ben Affleck makes a cameo appearance reprising his role as Stefon's brother, David Zolesky. Stefon's appearance in this episode marked his last as a recurring character|
|February 1, 2014||Melissa McCarthy||Stefon makes his first guest appearance along with Amy Poehler on Seth Meyers' final Weekend Update.|
|October 11, 2014||Bill Hader||Second guest appearance and Hader's first as SNL host. Stefon reveals he is pregnant.|
|February 15, 2015||SNL 40th Anniversary Special||Appeared alongside Edward Norton, who was dressed as Stefon and doing an impression of him. Seth Meyers mentions their unnamed children.|
|March 17, 2018||Bill Hader||Third guest appearance and Hader's second as SNL host. John Mulaney, the co-creator of Stefon, appears as his personal lawyer, Shy.|
In the November 10, 2012 episode, hosted by Anne Hathaway, Stefon did not appear, but Hathaway made a joking reference to playing him.
- SNL Archives | Episodes | Details Archived 2011-07-26 at the Wayback Machine – 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)
- "How SNL's Bill Hader creates New York's weirdest nightclubs". Daily Dot. November 20, 2012. Retrieved April 17, 2015.
- "Stefon, from "S.N.L.," Is Real and Works in a New York Coffee Shop". The New Yorker Festival. Oct 20, 2014. Retrieved February 23, 2020.
- 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.
- "Behind the Sketch: Stefon with John Mulaney - SNL". Saturday Night Live. April 14, 2018. Retrieved February 23, 2020.
- "Bill Hader on the Origin of Stefon". Late Night with Seth Meyers. September 15, 2014. Retrieved February 23, 2020.
- 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.
- Angelo, Megan (25 February 2014). "The Late Night With Seth Meyers Premiere: Fred Armisen, Amy Poehler, and a Tiny Stefon". Glamour.com. Retrieved 9 March 2014.
- "Live From New York…". WordPress.com. BoBo Babushka. 26 January 2014. Retrieved 9 March 2014.
- Wright, Megh (March 1, 2019). "John Mulaney and Seth Meyers Talk About the Stefon Movie That Never Got Made". Vulture.
- Vineyard, Jennifer (March 16, 2012). "Bill Hader Would Totally Do a Stefon Bit at the CFDA Awards". New York Magazine. Retrieved April 17, 2015.
- 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).
- "DAVID ZOLEFSKY SKETCHES". NBC. Retrieved April 17, 2015.
- Mulaney, John [@mulaney] (October 12, 2014). "Sent to Rob Klein last night. Apologies for misspelling Cortese. They didn't tell Bill about any of it before air" (Tweet). Retrieved April 15, 2018 – via Twitter.
- Gupta, Prachi. "John Mulaney's Dan Cortese line made Bill Hader break character". Salon. Retrieved April 15, 2018.
- Orley, Emily (2015-02-16). "There Were Two Stefons On The "SNL" 40th Anniversary Show And The World Almost Exploded". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 16 February 2015.
- McKinnon, Alex (2015-02-16). "Edward Norton And Bill Hader Are Twin Stefon Doppelgangers For SNL's 40th Anniversary". Junkie. Retrieved 16 February 2015.
- Cantor, Hallie (December 7, 2011). "Stefon Offers Nightlife Advice to Autism Charity Eventgoers". SplitSider. Retrieved October 14, 2014.
- Schreiber, Abby (December 6, 2011). "Bill Hader's Stefon Has Some Christmas Recommendations for You". Vulture. Retrieved October 14, 2014.
- Gajewski, Ryan (October 11, 2014). "'SNL' Recap: Bill Hader's Stefon Is Pregnant". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 12, 2014.