Bill Hader, The Pete Davidson For Elder Millennials

A comedian crush for those of us who get red wine headaches.

Originally Published: 

A confession, if I may: I don’t really get Pete Davidson. He’s a man renowned for a charisma that has resulted in him dating Hollywood’s most beautiful, accomplished women — Ariana Grande, Kate Beckinsdale, Phoebe Dynevor, Kim Kardashian, and Emily Ratajkowski to name a few. But as a woman born in the ‘80s? Pete Davidson is no more for me than I for him. Still, a girl needs a crush, and fortunately my Elder Millennial/Gen-X sisters and I have our own Pete Davidson: Bill Hader.

The realization only came to me earlier this week. Hader has been in the headlines lately — Barry recently premiered its fourth and final season on HBO — and, on top of that, a rep for the SNL alum confirmed that he and Beef star Ali Wong had rekindled their relationship. Rekindle was news to most of us here at Romper, who didn’t realize they’d dated previously. “Hasn’t he dated a bunch of other really hot women?” one editor asked. “He was married for a while and then he dated Anna Kendrick and Rachel Bilson,” another confirmed. “Oh wow,” I said. “So he’s basically Pete Davidson for women over 35.”

Some marvel at either man’s ability to routinely win over such ridiculously beautiful girlfriends. But any woman on the planet who’s interested in men can tell you it’s no mystery: funny is sexy.

Davidson’s ex-girlfriends offer a bevy of other admirable qualities. They say he is charming, vulnerable, stylish, tall. And he’s is just kind of cool, right? He has tattoos! He’s goofy! He makes jokes about smoking too much weed! He is, as the kids say, a vibe.

It’s a mood.WWD/Penske Media/Getty Images

Do the kids still say that? Have they stopped saying it? Did they ever say that? I don’t know, and this brings me to my entire point: as a woman born in the early ‘80s, I just don’t see the 29-year-old’s rakish goofball vibe and my mom-who-drives-a Subaru-Outback vibe vibing.

But Bill Hader, age 44? Him I get.

Look, I know as much about Hader personally as I know about Davidson — which is to say absolutely nothing — but both men are delivering funny, vulnerable, witty energy. The difference is, with Bill Hader I would never have to worry that he’d suggest we go to Burning Man. Bill Hader knows how to show you a fun evening that ends by 10 p.m. Bill Hader wants to know what you’re reading and has thoughts about George Saunders’ latest short story collection. Bill Hader texts you if he’s going to be more than five minutes late. Bill Hader only just heard of Ice Spice, too, and still doesn’t really know who she is. Bill Hader is a man who knows how to put a cover on the duvet. That is not a euphemism, but it may as well be once you hit your mid-30s because it stirs a lot of the same feelings.

He has an opinion on thread count... I imagine.Variety/Penske Media/Getty Images
Hader’s ex-wife, Maggie CareyJB Lacroix/WireImage/Getty Images
Rachel Bilson, who dated Hader until mid-2020.Steve Granitz/WireImage/Getty Images
Anna Kendrick dated Hader until last year.Paul Morigi/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Ali Wong and Hader have recently rekindled their relationship after dating briefly last year.Randy Shropshire/Deadline/Getty Images

And that’s the thing: even those of us immune to Pete Davidson’s boyish charms still need a Pete Davidson in our celebrity milieu so we can enjoy those feelings, which are probably about 50% attraction and 50% projecting an imaginary version of someone onto an actual person. (IMHO, this is fine and healthy as long as you realize that’s what you’re doing.) But being of a certain age, it’s hard to project our version of charming onto a dude who looks like he’s going to explain that he’s late because he was doing donuts in the parking lot of 7/11. Instead, we need a crush who’s grateful we carry Motrin in our purse at all times, because they also get headaches when it’s humid out.

And so mazel tov, Ali, and thank you, Bill, for your service to thirsty 30+-somethings everywhere.

This article was originally published on