The Brilliance of Bill Hader’s Stefon Character

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[The Stefon Catalogue: 1-4, 5-67]

Last night we were treated to a fourth appearance of Bill Hader’s “Stefon” on Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update. Stefon is flamboyantly gay and into “dungeon culture,” but his gayness is thankfully not the joke (how refreshing for SNL)—it’s the ridiculously bizarre clubs he promotes. Not unlike when Stephen Colbert lists the side effects of Prescott Pharmaceuticals on The Colbert Report, Stefon’s club descriptions are hilariously absurd, and like Colbert, Hader often corpses throughout the bit. (“Corpsing” is when the actors laugh at themselves out of character.)

It occurred to me that there is actually a consistent list of features in the Stefon bits, so I thought I would write about it. Here is a recipe for Stefon’s club recommendations followed by everything he’s listed from all his bits with hulu links. Enjoy!

» Names that have “trans” or “gay” in them.
» Retro and pop culture references.
» Things that are fat.
» Toys and puppets.
» Homeless people (“hobos”) in unusual roles.
» Black versions of famous white people.
» Portmanteaus.
» Answers to vague questions.
» Human ____ (Objects made up of midgets).

First Appearance – April 24, 2010

First Club: Crease

» Club promoter: Trannie Oakley.
» Lights.
» Psychos.
» Furbies.
» Screaming babies in Mozart wigs.
» Sunburned drifters with soapsud beards. (“When a hobo becomes a rich man so they take the big bubble bath.”)

Second Club: Wesh

» Club promoter: 9-year-old Tokyo pimp (whose name sounds like “Itchiako Guru”).
» Answers the question: “WHAT?
» Trance.
» Stilts.
» Throw-up music.
» An albino that looks like Susan Powter.
» Teddy Graham people. (“When a guy has the stumpy arms but with the belly.”)

Third Club: Twice

» Rabbi that looks like Joaquin Phoenix.
» Club owner: Robert Blake.
» Goths.
» Carnival barkers.
» Groups of guys with Afros in graduation caps.
» Human fire hydrants. (“When high-waisted midgets have the red pants and the big ass.”)

Seth’s assessment: “Visions a dying gay man might have if he was under too many blankets.”

Second Appearance – May 15, 2010

First Club: Slice

» Club promoter: Gay Leoda.
» Twinks.
» Gypsies.
» Grown men in wedding dresses.
» A cat from a bodega.
» Puppets in disguise. (“When Alf wore a trenchcoat so he could go out into public.”)

Second Club: Taste

» Nightlife designer: Tranny Griffith
» Answers the question: “HUH?
» Bouncers: 10 jacked homeless guys wearing old-fashioned bathing suits.
» Ice sculptures.
» Winos.
» Germphs (German Smurphs).
» A Teddy Ruxpin wearing mascara.
» An old lady with Kid ‘n Play hair.
» DJ Baby Bok Choy. (“A giant 300-pound Chinese baby who wears tinted aviator glasses and spins records with his little ravioli hands.”)

Third Club: Slash

» Glass.
» Steam.
» Bear traps.
» Black George Washington.
» Human bathmats. (“When midgets have dreadlocks and they lay face down on the floor.”)

Seth’s Assessment: “Nightmares of a crystal meth addict.”

Third Appearance – October 23, 2010

First Club: Trash

» Pierre, the Muslim Elvis impersonator.
» Clones.
» Freaks.
» Sneezing.
» A Russian man on a pre-paid cell phone.
» At the door, do the Cosby face.

Second Club: Gush

» Club owner: Gaye Dunaway
» Answers the question: “NOW?
» Geeks.
» Sherpas.
» A Jamaican nurse wearing a shower cap.
» Broken mirrors.
» Mick Jagger? No. A fat kid on a slip-n-slide. (“His knees look like biscuits and he’s ready to party.”)

Third Club: Push

» Ghosts.
» Banjos.
» Carl Paladino.
» A stuck-up kitten who won’t sign autographs.
» Furkels. (Fat Urkels: “After you’ve been with one of those guys, you’ll ask yourself, ‘Did I do that?'”)

Seth’s Assessment: “A tour of a coked-up gay Candyland.”

Fourth Appearance – December 11, 2010

First Club: Ounce

» Located in the middle of the East River.
» Cholos.
» Puke people.
» A sheepdog that looks like Bruce Vilanche.
» Puppets doing karate. (“When someone calls Miss Piggy fat and she goes ‘Hiiiiiya!'”)

Second Club: Oonce

» Club owner: Tranderson Cooper
» Answers the question: “DO I HAVE TO?
» Schizos.
» Kite enthusiasts.
» Blingo (Black Ringo).

Third Club: Blitzen!

» 12 jacked albinos.
» 11 Little Richards.
» 10 pierce-eared babies.
» 9 Asian Balkys.
» 8 gay Aladdins.
» 7 psychos swearing.
» 6 Puerto Screeches (Puerto Rican Screeches).
» 5 homeless Elmos.
» 4 coked-up frogs.
» 3 French hens.
» Taylor Negron.
» Human parking cone. (“When two jacked midgets paint themselves orange and you have to parallel park between them.”)

Seth’s Assessment: “Don’t you want to just have a normal Christmas?”

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There are 8 Comments to "The Brilliance of Bill Hader’s Stefon Character"

  • So it’s not funny because he’s gay, but because he gets to poke fun at transgender people, non-whites, and the poor while getting laughs for his fem presentation. Wow, serious advancement for SNL.

    • ZackFord says:

      I understand your concern, but I think he gets laughs for being naive to what Seth is asking of him and for not being able to keep a straight face, not so much for his fem presentation.

      Further, while I certainly appreciate your concern, I’m not entirely sure that those groups are the brunt of jokes either. I don’t think there’s anything against trans people; if anything, men in wedding dresses are considered something desirable. I’m not sure I understand how anything he lists is racially insensitive (aside from being as absurd as anything else). And while the few references to homeless people objectify them, they do at least give them jobs.

      If anything, I would say the skits are most insensitive to people who are overweight or who are particularly short. But honestly, I think the humor comes from the bizarre way that Stefon sees the world.

  • Bring it to the podcast!

  • Naliazheadaina Bing Bang says:

    I laughed so hard that I almost puked, I am so sore from laughing.

  • raka says:

    Sorry I don’t want to be a nitpicker, but I think it was “black gringo” not “ringo”…

    • ZackFord says:

      I appreciate your comment, but I don’t think so. He uses the singular “Blingo,” as if it’s a specific person, and it corresponds with “Black George Washington” from a previous appearance. Also, that was the same episode that Paul McCartney was the musical guest, and he had actually been at the Weekend Update table moments before, so the Beatles context makes sense.

  • […] to as “Leo N.” Probably because we remember him as the roly poly baby we nicknamed Puerto Screechin because he cried his head off from his little laundry room prison. And we’d call “Leo! […]

  • George says:

    OMG, i know a gay, black, albino with vision problems(for real) and he laughs hysterically every time Stephon is on.

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