Saturday Night Live movies based on characters from the show have been fewer and further between than in the 90s and early 2000s, but that doesn’t mean the prospect wasn’t at least discussed when it came to one of SNL’s biggest characters of the 21st century: Stefon. Bill Hader and John Mulaney created the character of Stefon as a Weekend Update correspondent who would come on the show and offer the most random and salacious “tips” of where to go in New York City. The result was hilarious, as not only would Hader routinely break thanks to surprise jokes Mulaney snuck on the cue cards, but Hader and then-Weekend Update host Seth Meyers had tremendous chemistry, building to a genuinely emotional farewell during Hader’s last show.
Mulaney recently went on the Late Night with Seth Meyers podcast with Meyers to talk about bunch of different things, but during the discussion, the writer/comedian revealed that he and Hader had one single discussion about a potential Stefon movie, and teased the idea they came up with:
“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.’”
Meyers had his own idea for the Stefon movie, and it involved his death:
“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.”
The idea makes Mulaney laugh in the podcast, but he follows up by saying he always felt Stefon and Seth would end up together in a Stefon movie:
“I had no problem violating your real life, as an individual who was engaged and married, and you had a girlfriend and fiancé, we paid no mind to that. I believe in the movie you would fully end up together, as you did on your last show.”
That last show, of course, went out with a bang, and Meyers reveals on the podcast that during filming, he and Hader were holding hands and getting genuinely emotional as they waited to run out on stage as a married couple.
While the idea of a Stefon movie is fun to think about, I do think Hader, Mulaney, and Meyers made the right call in not trying to make a film out of the character. There are some ideas that translate well to film (see: the comedy classic MacGruber), but I’m not sure Stefon could hold a full 90-minute runtime. Then again, given the talent involved, they no doubt would’ve surprised us.
Listen to the full podcast interview below, in which Mulaney and Meyers wax nostalgic about SNL and tell some really terrific Lorne Michaels stories, followed by that iconic Stefon farewell.