Saturday Night Live has featured more than its fair share of classic characters throughout the years, but within the last decade or so none have hit as hard with the mainstream as Bill Hader’s hard-partying, ethereal club monster Stefon. He’s a character who has endured thanks to social media and endlessly rewatchable sketches online, and he was so popular that co-writer of the character, comedian John Mulaney, revealed that he and Hader did, for only a brief moment, consider making a feature-length movie around this absurd individual.
Mulaney was speaking with Seth Meyers of the LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS podcast (via Collider) when the two were reminiscing about their SNL days together. Meyers had a close involvement with Stefon given he was a recurring character during his time as the Weekend Update anchor, and the topic of the movie arose after the late-night host shared a story about him and writer/director/producer Garry Marshall. It was then Mulaney revealed the idea for the movie was to approach it like a narrative documentary, following Stefon around from one ridiculously named club after another.
“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 Garry Marshall. And I think that was non-negotiable. He would say, ‘I’m Lorne Fucking Michaels and I run this town.’”
Meyers then added that he has his own idea for how the movie should go, which involved him being stuffed into a body bag.
“The only thing I wanted to have happen in that movie—and maybe it was Bill’s idea—was I wanted in the first scene to agree to go out with Stefon, and then a super-fast cut of us at all the clubs, and then I was then zipped into a body bag. So that would be the opening, and it would be zipped into a body bag, then it would pan up to Stefon saying, ‘He’s dead.’ And that would be it! Cause obviously Stefon would have to have a love interest, so get me out of the way.”
Stefon always a bit of a thing for Meyers on Update, and though the latter often rebuked his advances, the two ended up together on Hader’s final show. Mulaney said though he would’ve loved for Meyers to end that way in the movie, he always believed “the movie you would fully end up together, as you did on your last show.”
A character made famous for his ludicrous club recommendations and for Hader’s hysterical cracking up at the most insane of dialogue, I don’t know if a Stefon movie would be able to capture the same sort of insane, improvisational magic as the segments did. Part of what made it funny was how Mulaney would often change lines as Hader was on stage, getting him to “break” while reading the new material. Though a movie would be welcome, how do you replicate that in a movie? Eh, I’m sure a movie featuring a club several Roman J. Isreal Esq. impersonators would be amazing.