SNL: Ryan Gosling revisits 2 of his greatest hits

Rick Kern/GettyImages

Saturday Night Live welcomed Ryan Gosling back to Studio 8H on April 14. The show had a case of sequel fever as it had Gosling revisit two of his most famous sketches.

Despite appearing in last week's Five-Timers Club sketch, Gosling was only hosting for the third time last night on Saturday Night Live. But Gosling's body of work at SNL exceeds the production of some hosts with more experience.

It all started with the cold open as Saturday Night Live brought us another edition of "Close Encounter." Gosling appeared in the premiere edition of the sketch eight years ago alongside Kate McKinnon and Cecily Strong. So far, the original sketch has earned 60 million views on YouTube.

SNL looked to recapture some of that magic last night by bringing McKinnon back in a cameo role. The addition of Strong would have helped, but the former cast member may be skittish after her previously planned return to SNL.

What made the original so endearing was how Gosling struggled to keep it together. It was more of the same in 2024 as he broke character the longer the sketch went on. A line about aliens looking like a "broken doorbell" especially tickled Gosling.

But Saturday Night Live wasn't done there. Gosling went back to the well for "Papyrus 2." Althought it was cut for time, SNL made the rare move to promote it anyway and direct viewers to social media.

The original debuted six years ago and featured Gosling as a man consumed by James Cameron's choice to use the papyrus font for Avatar. To date, it's earned 22 million YouTube views.

The 2024 version saw Gosling's characters appearing to have moved on. But over the course of the seven-minute-long sketch, things quickly unravel. The Avatar sequel appeared to have abandoned the papyrus font. But Gosling's investigation reveals it's the same font, but bolded. "All the money in the world, and he just put it in bold," he laments.

Kyle Mooney reprises his role from the original as the graphic designer. It was a nice touch to tie the two sketches together. Kate McKinnon's cameo may have earned a huge ovation during the live cold open, but Mooney's appearance deserved recognition from an audience.

It isn't easy to land a sequel or make a recurring sketch capture the same magic as the original. But Saturday Night Live clearly knows what it has when Gosling hosts. His two most famous sketches deserved to be revisited, and last night's episode did them justice.