John Mulaney hosted Saturday Night Live this past weekend, and in addition to the comedian/former SNL writer’s terrific presence, audiences were also treated to a bit of a cameo by SNL veteran Bill Hader. While Hader left the show in 2013 and has since gone on to create one of the truly great new TV series in HBO’s Barry, it was a joy to see him back on SNL if only for a brief moment or two. Longtime fans of SNL know that Mulaney and Hader worked closely together when they were on the show at the same time, notably creating one of the most memorable characters in recent SNL history: Stefon.
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.
Below we’ve assembled a grouping of the best Stefon sketches from Hader and Mulaney’s time at SNL.