The Real Reason You Don't See Jon Heder Anymore

"Napolean, gimme some of your tots!"

This line, and about 20,000 other quotable phrases from 2004's, rural-Idaho-based comedy Napoleon Dynamite, capture the movie's bizarre, surreal vibe and sequences. Whether someone is voting for Pedro, trying to feed Tina the llama her food, professing love for Lafawnduh, or listening to Uncle Rico wistfully talk about how he can throw a football over "them mountains," Napoleon Dynamite basically invented a one-time genre of undefinable hipster comedy that simply had not come before, and has not been replicated since. And a big part of that falls on the film's shaggy-headed, squinty-eyed protagonist, Napoleon, played by then-26-year-old Jonathan Joseph "Jon" Heder.

As AceShowBiz says, before Napoleon DynamiteHeder's first main role had been in 2003's "Peluca," a short film created by Heder's friend Jared Hess. Heder, born in Fort Collins, Colorado, in 1977, actually studied computer animation in order to make enough money to get a BA in Fine Arts — such was his commitment to acting. Since gaining notoriety through Napoleon Dynamite, he's been cast in a number of TV shows, shorts, and voice acting roles, as IMDB attests, and done some notable stints alongside comedy giants such as Will Ferrell in 2007's Blades of Glory.

It seems like folks haven't seemed to really notice, though. Or at least, in a clear case of typecasting, people only remember Heder as Napoleon Dynamite, making him the subject of more "where is he know?" discussions than any critique of his subsequent work.

Just a simple, stay-at-home family guy

But for real, though: Why don't we hear from Heder now? The truth is something a bit more homey and wholesome than you might expect. Heder is, at his core, just a simple stay-at-home guy who spends time with his kids, plays video games, is an Eagle Scout, and an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — the Mormons, as Vulture says. He's revisited his role as Napoleon for 2012's animated series, in addition to other voice work (Robot Chicken, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Legend of Korra), but otherwise, he's used his fame to balance out his life and pursue other interests, rather than push along and become "the next Jonah Hill." 

Heder also calls himself "picky" as far as choosing projects is concerned, adding, "I enjoy success and I certainly want the projects I did to do well. But I realized how happy I am trying to be somewhat normal without becoming huge. And not so much normal, but grounded, down-to-earth." His religious faith has also curtailed the possibility of "raunchy" roles. This suits Heder just fine, however, as his comedic tastes have always leaned towards the absurd, such as the truly absurdist web series Sockbaby (watchable on YouTube) from back in the day, or his much more recent 2018 role on the web series Swedish Dicks.

All in all, it looks like Heder is just fine where he is, whether we hear from him or not.