Hazbin Hotel: Why Does Alastor Always Smile?

By Pierre Chanliau Posted:
Alastor, Hazbin Hotel

Vivienne Medrano, creator of Hazbin Hotel, already revealed how Alastor died on Earth but also expanded on why he's always seen with a smile.

Alastor, voiced by Amir Talai, was a former radio host and cannibalistic serial killer on Earth before being sent to Hell and quickly ascending to the rank of Overlord. 

The means of this abnormal rise to power is a constant question throughout the series, and some fans have even connected it to his permanent grin.

[ Full Cast of Hazbin Hotel 2024 - Every Main Character & Voice Actor In Show (Photos) ]

Hazbin Hotel: Alastor's Smile Explained 

Alastor, Hazbin Hotel, Smiling
Amazon Prime Video

Before Hazbin Hotel was picked up for a full series by A24 on Amazon Prime Video in August 2020, Vivienne Medrano had posted on X (formerly Twitter) saying that Alastor's "perma-smile is a very self enforced form of ego:"

"Fun fact about Alastor! His perma-smile is a very self enforced form of ego. He sees anyone who can't hide their true emotions behind a smile very weak, and looks down on them nomatter how powerful. He's not a fan of those who frown a lot! He finds temper tantrums hilarious."

Medrano explained that Alastor does it to appear "more unpredictable and unnerving" to everyone around him:

"Alastor kinda does it for the opposite in terms of intentions. He does it to be more unpredictable and unnerving, it's a show of dominance for him and a feeling of completely control over himself. It's more about ego then reassurance!"

Alastor would later explain to Charlie Morningstar why he always smiles in the episode, "Hello Rosie!" The Radio Demon sees smiling as "a valuable tool" to "[inspire] your friends" and "[keep] your enemies guessing:"

"Just because you see a smile, don't think you know what's going on underneath. A smile is a valuable tool, my dear. It inspires your friends, keeps your enemies guessing, and ensures no matter what comes your way, you're the one in control."

Alastor's smiling motif goes beyond his design and even extends to his taste in music. Medrano shared in one livestream that his favorite song (which also inspired his creation) is "You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile," which he even quoted in the original pilot.

However, if Alastor were to have a favorite song of his era, it would be Charlie Chaplin's "Smile." But his favorite singer would be Cab Calloway, further emphasizing his love of jazz that continued to endure even in Hell.

[ Hazbin Hotel's Alastor Actor Reveals His 1 Big Hope for Season 2 ]

Is There More Behind Alastor's Smile?

In the episode "Bad Beat Dad," Keith David's Husker revealed that Alastor was "also on a leash," suggesting the Radio Demon's soul was bound to another in a binding contract similar to Husker and Blake Roman's Angel Dust

Hazbin Hotel, Alastor, Smile, Stitched, Voodoo
Amazon Prime Video

In "Hello Rosie!" when Alastor is making a deal with Charlie, Alastor's true demonic form is briefly shown, with his smile covered in glowing green stitches. 

Fans have since speculated if Alastor's smiling isn't something forced upon him that he rationalizes to others and himself.

Amazon Prime Video

Despite being alone and having a mental breakdown after almost dying in the season finale, "The Show Must Go On," Alastor continues smiling. But was this his attempt at maintaining his composure, or is the Radio Demon incapable of not smiling?

Hazbin Hotel is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

- In This Article: Hazbin Hotel
Release Date
January 19, 2024
Alex Brightman
Christian Borle
Stephanie Beatriz
- About The Author: Pierre Chanliau
Pierre Chanliau began as a news & feature writer for The Direct at the site's launch in 2020. As a longtime reader of superhero comic books, Pierre's knowledge of Marvel and DC is extensive, informing his reporting and editorial pieces regarding the MCU and DCU.