(photo by Malerie Marder)
Hader does something alchemical in the scene: you feel that Barry is drowning in a black lake of yearning and self-hatred. To convey that despair, Hader said, he borrowed the way his high-school friend Duffy Boudreau, who writes for the show, holds his breath when he’s nervous, as well as Alec Berg’s wide-eyed look of shock. When pressed, he acknowledged that the moment also reflected high-school memories: “Being heartbroken by my first girlfriend. And Scholastic Night, when me and this other kid were the only two kids out of seventy not invited, because you had to have a C average—and I just felt like a dummy.” His sister Kara told me that she was startled by that scene: “I couldn’t believe that Bill was finally showing himself, finally being vulnerable to being denied and having his heart broken. I was almost brokenhearted watching it.”
[thank you to reader Lisa! Read the rest at NewYorker]
Indeed, Mulaney and Hader co-wrote each Stefon appearance on Weekend Update. While the character in and of itself is memorable thanks to Hader’s performance, each Stefon appearance was made unforgettable by little additions that Mulaney would throw into the script at the last minute, without Hader’s knowledge.
Since SNL runs off cue cards, many times when Hader was performing as Stefon, he’d be hit with truly insane references he was forced to say as Stefon, thanks to Mulaney’s handiwork. While breaking at SNL is something none of the performers like to do (executive producer Lorne Michaels is notoriously not a fan), Hader cracking up while repeating the name “Dan Cortes” in a Stefon sketch is undeniably hilarious.
So with Mulaney currently one of the best and most popular standups on the planet, and Hader winning a bevy of awards for starring in, writing, and directing Barry, now seems as good a time as any to look back at some of the more memorable Stefon sketches these two comedy powerhouses created during their tenure at SNL—specifically ones in which Hader was thrown for a loop.
[See the List at Collider]
“Bill Hader and I once had a discussion, only once, about making a feature film involving the character of Stefon. We avoided talking about it because we just avoided talking about it, we weren’t sure about it, but the one thing we were sure about was that the film would be kind of like 24 Hour Party People, so like a narrative documentary where he is the correspondent on Saturday Night Live Weekend Update, and the thing we were sure about was that Lorne would be played by Gary Marshall. And I think that was non-negotiable. He would say, ‘I’m Lorne Fucking Michaels and I run this town.’”
Taking on the role of Wolfhard’s Richie Tozier as an adult is Bill Hader, who the young actor trusted to honor what he established of the character in the first film and to also depict who Richie would evolve into.
“Bill is a genius and I certainly wouldn’t give him any advice unless he asked,” Wolfhard confessed. “But we had some great discussions on set when our days were overlapping. He’s obviously a great impressionist and mimic and I actually can’t wait to see the film to see what he’s done with adult Richie.”
[Via Comic Book]