When we learned of Bill Hader’s departure from Saturday Night Live last May, we mourned the loss of Hader classics like Herb Welch, James Carville and of course, a little New York club-hopping aficionado named Stefon. And we’ll only continue to mourn his exit as SNL comes back on air.
But in the meantime, we can accompany Hader on his trip down memory lane in his latest Q&A with The Daily Beast. In it, the SNL veteran shares some of his favorite moments from his eight years on the show, from meeting Kanye West after his first show to rehearsing late into the night on Fridays. Here are our top 10 revelations from the interview:
1. He submitted the season premiere for this year’s Emmys (Hader’s nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy) because Lorne Michaels told him, “I think you had a perfect episode.” Later, he realized Stefon wasn’t even in the episode.
2. But Hader admits he probably got the nomination because of Stefon’s popularity. “I think everyone knows someone like that in real life,” he says.
3. He never watches the show, so when fans quote sketches to him, he usually has no idea what they’re talking about. In fact, he has never seen his Stefon sketches except in short clips before talk shows. “I don’t watch them,” he says. “My wife does, and I’ll hear them in the other room. And I’m just like, can we just fast-forward, please?”
4. Hader is terrified of clubs. (Insert Stefon gasping in shock here.) When he was 21, he went to one in a basement in Mexico while shooting Collateral Damage and was “terrified.” “I thought I was going to die,” he says. “I stood in the corner like the kid at the end of The Blair With Project, just terrified.”
5. He also hid in the corner during a visit to the Playboy Mansion, “drinking coffee and talking to Akiva Schaffer [of The Lonely Island] about what aspect ratio he was going to shoot Hot Rod in.”
6. He always cracked up during Stefon sketches not because of the jokes, but because he and writer John Mulaney’s “super-inside jokes.” For example, the Jewish Dracula named Sidney Applebaum line broke Hader easily on air because “that name is from one of our favorite jokes in the Woody Allen movie Love and Death, where a guy is talking about how history will mark his name, Sidney Applebaum, and it’s just the lamest name. It just made us laugh.”
7. He’s going to miss rehearsing for SNL the most, and particularly during what he and Kristen Wiig liked to call the “Friday Night Crazy,” when the cast and writers would work well past midnight and “just go crazy and get really punchy.”
8. On the other hand, he won’t be missing pitch meetings, because he says he “was not very good at it.” “Some people have really funny, inventive pitches and mine are just like, ‘Uhh…so we go to Starbucks together…” he says. “My pitches always brought the room down.”
9. Steve Carell was the host and Kanye West was the musical guest on his first show. West congratulated him after the show, which threw Hader off guard because “he was so normal. I was like, oh, this is Kanye West here congratulating me. It was great.”
10. His favorite memory isn’t Stefon or his celebrity impressions–or any of his sketches, for that matter. Instead, he chooses ice skating with the cast for the Christmas show as his most cherished moment. “It was very special, to be there with those people you genuinely cared about and who always made you laugh,” he says. “That’s one of those moments when it really hit home: ‘I’m really luck I’m here.’”
So, PopWatchers, what’s your favorite Bill Hader sketch? Not that he’d remember what you’re quoting, of course, but feel free to share below.