Bill Hader's 15 Best SNL Sketches

Comedy Lists Bill Hader
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Yesterday Bill Hader announced that he’s leaving Saturday Night Live after eight years on the show, taking with him an irreplaceable collection of characters and impressions.

Hader was a true utility player on SNL, tackling everything from political humor to celebrity impersonations and playing the straight man when necessary. Just last year he was nominated for an Emmy for his work on the show, making him the first male cast member to receive such an honor since Eddie Murphy in 1983.

To pay tribute to his time on the show before it comes to a close this Saturday night, we’re counting down Bill Hader’s best SNL sketches.

15. Milkshakes


This sketch sees Hader as There Will Be Blood’s Daniel Plainview, touring old-timey ice cream shops and soda parlors with his son. It’s basically an excuse to riff on the movie’s famous “I drink your milkshake” line, but we dare you not to laugh out loud when “I’ve abandoned my boy!” gets worked into the mix.

14. Merryville Amusement Park


These macabre animatronic amusement park singers are all extremely creepy, but there’s something about Hader’s sinister grin that gets us every time.

13. British Movie


Hader trots out his finest, most indecipherable British accent in this trailer for an action flick from across the pond.

12. Vincent Price


Bill Hader’s always excelled at retro impressions (see also: his James Mason, his Peter O’Toole, his Peter Falk), but his Vincent Price holiday specials put a twist on the horror-movie actor, imagining him as a hapless host who just can’t seem to get his guests to cooperate.

11. Greg the Alien


Hader brings a great physicality to Greg the Alien, cocking his head and moving in a way that’s definitely not human.

10. Puppet Class


Easily one of the darker sketches to ever air on the show, “Puppet Class” features Hader as grizzled war veteran whose nightmarish memories of combat put a damper on what’s supposed to be a light puppetry class.

9. Various Fake Game Show Hosts


During his time on the show, Hader was the go-to for fake game show hosts, helming sketches like Dylan McDermott or Dermot Mulroney? or It’s A Date. Watch him host “What’s Wrong with Tanya?” below.

Hader was a true utility player on SNL, tackling everything from political humor to celebrity impersonations and playing the straight man when necessary. Just last year he was nominated for an Emmy for his work on the show, making him the first male cast member to receive such an honor since Eddie Murphy in 1983. To pay tribute to his time on the show before it comes to a close this Saturday night, we’re counting down Bill Hader’s best SNL sketches.

8. Alan Alda


Hader’s Alan Alda impression is spot-on, and here he trots it out to imagine what Back to the Future would have been like with Alda in the role of Biff.

7. Vinny Vedecci


OK, so it’s a little stereotypical, but Hader’s Vinny Vedecci character often flips the script by whipping out uncanny impressions of his American guests (like John Malkovich, below), and Hader’s own hybrid of fake and real Italian is incredibly fun to watch.

6. Al Pacino


Hader’s probably impersonated Al Pacino on SNL more than any other celebrity, whether he’s dealing with the mundane in sketches like Al Pacino Checks His Bank Balance or playing the lead in You’re a Rat Bastard, Charlie Brown. Watch Hader in the trailer for Pacino’s killer series on HBO below.

5. Laser Cats


If Hader’s Nitro is good enough for Steven Spielberg, he’s good enough for us.

4. Herb Welch


He prefers to be addressed as “Mr. Welch,” and he’s not going to let some haircut tell him how to do the news. Just try not to stand too close to him or you might catch a microphone in the face.

3. James Carville


Part of what makes Hader’s Carville so enjoyable is that—like the Ragin’ Cajun himself—he often says what we’re all thinking. Add to that the accent and Hader-as-Carville’s self-deprecating humor, and you’ve got a classic Weekend Update character.

2. Dateline with Keith Morrison


Here Hader imagines Keith Morrison as a creepy voyeur who gets off on hearing tales of murder, depravity and destruction—which, if you’ve ever seen a Dateline special, you know isn’t really that far off from the truth.

1. Stefon


Everyone’s favorite nightlife correspondent has appeared on Weekend Update a whopping 15 times, and each time we hope that he’ll break character again, struggling to maintain a straight face as he tells us about New York’s hottest clubs (the writers reportedly switch out the cue cards right before a Stefon bit so that Hader is seeing the lines for the first time live on air). Here’s hoping for one last appearance this Saturday to make it an even 16.