Breaking once during a skit is fine. It’s a rare moment of relatability between performer and audience. Breaking multiple times during a skit, however, is decidedly less charming. It’s annoying and unprofessional and the reason we hated Jimmy Fallon before the whole Trump-toussle thing. That said, Bill Hader’s relentless breaks as fan-favorite character Stefon during his Saturday Night Live hosting gig this past Saturday are more forgivable, if only for collaborator John Mulaney’s well-known penchant for putting new jokes on the cue cards in between dress and air.
Hader’s Stefon was clearly caught off-guard when he appeared on Weekend Update, giggling through bizarre bits involving Larry King, Billy Idol, and Denzel Washington’s Oscar-nominated turn as Roman J. Israel, Esq. His biggest break, however, came when Mulaney himself popped on stage as Stefon’s lawyer (and “conceptual piss artist”), Shy. Fishnet-clad with briefcase in hand, Shy appeared only for a moment, whispering something into Hader’s ear that made the actor drop all pretenses. Now, after an interview on last night’s Late Night With Seth Meyers, we know just what it was.
“John Mulaney writes Stefon and is our dear friend, and he came out as Stefon’s lawyer… As well as a ‘conceptual piss artist,’” Hader, still laughing at the memory, told Myers. “And he whispered in my ear to make me laugh, ‘My girlfriend works at Yoshinoya Beef Bowl,’ which is a restaurant chain in L.A.”
Revisit the sketch below, listen close, and marvel at the weird shit that can break even the best comedians.
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