Bill Hader announced earlier this week that the current season of SNL will be his last.
On the one hand, it makes sense. Hader’s been on the show for eight seasons, and several of his cast mates from his early years including Andy Samberg, Will Forte, Kristen Wiig, and Amy Poehler have already left. He’s been doing more film work, and his wife Maggie Carey is a writer and director, so it follows that a return to Los Angeles is a smart move.
On the other hand, it’s hard to imagine an SNL without him. I started watching the show partially because of him and his crazy characters. Most of the cast that will be returning for the thirty-ninth season is new, having been hired over the last few years. What continues to evolve into a younger crowd will be vastly different from Hader’s era, and I’m not quite sure how I feel about that yet.
Bill Hader’s exuberant improvisations and characterizations have made SNL a brighter, happier version of itself. His cheerful demeanor and delight in performance have made him one of the most memorable players and one of the most fun to watch.
With impressions ranging from political entities such as James Carville and Eliot Spitzer, actors like Clint Eastwood and Vincent Price, and musicians Adam Levine and Lindsey Buckingham, Bill Hader’s range is rather astonishing. I personally adore his Vincent Price in the “Vincent Price Holiday Special” sketches.
Bill Hader also does well in a group setting, like in the recurring “The Californians” sketch as Devon, or in the “Scared Straight” sketch as one of the rowdy kids who gets talked to by a prison inmate. I love watching him ‘break’, since I know that when he does laugh, he finds something so hilarious that he can’t control his giggles. It’s infectious. (He usually ‘broke’ during the “Scared Straight” sketch, I think because Kenan Thompson surprised him) My other favorite recurring sketch with Bill is the “Merryville Brothers” sketch where he plays one of the creepy animatronic singing men on a musical themed ride.
My absolute favorite thing Bill Hader has ever done, however, is to create the recurring Weekend Update character, Stefon. I feel like that character is the epitome of Hader’s talent. Stefon has nothing in common with Bill, and yet Stefon is one hundred percent what I imagine Bill to be like: the most endearing, crazy, goofy person that you want to be best friends with because he’ll make life an adventure.
I’m really going to miss seeing him every week. He made working on SNL look easy and fun, and there was a lightness he brought to it that I don’t see too often. I think he’s exceptional, and although I know he doesn’t want a big send off, I’m hoping he knows how much we all appreciate the laughs he’s provided over the last eight years (And I really hope we get to see Stefon one more time).
Thank you, Bill, and I wish you all the best.