Dreams Come True: Ryan Gosling Delivers “Papyrus 2” Sequel Sketch on “Saturday Night Live”

Ryan Gosling returned in triumphant fashion this past weekend to host Saturday Night Live, the first time he’s been back to Studio 8H since way back in 2017. Gosling was once again on point, delivering a pitch-perfect cold open that revisited a beloved alien abduction sketch he first did back in 2017, then using his opening monologue to do a big song and dance number devoted to his last role, Ken, of course, from Barbie. That bit was interrupted by Emily Blunt, his co-star in The Fall Guy, their upcoming action-comedy-romance that doubles as a love letter to the stunt professionals who make the movie industry go.

Gosling’s a busy man, and SNL was packed with good stuff (including a cameo by college basketball phenom Caitlin Clark, who visited the Weekend Update set to roast Michael Che), so much so that perhaps the one sketch SNL fans and Gosling stans were hoping for, a sequel to the iconic Papyrus digital short from 2017, wasn’t on the live broadcast. The good news for us is that SNL uploaded it to Twitter and YouTube for our viewing pleasure.

A quick recap of the original Papyrus sketch from 2017—dreamed up by former SNL writer and current feature film director and actor Julio TorresPapyrus centered on Gosling as Steven, a man who is deeply, pathologically troubled by the fact that James Cameron’s original Avatar used the most basic font they could think of for their logo—yes, the absurd Papyrus. Torres first suggested the idea during an SNL Monday morning pitch meeting, which was based on one of his Tweets: “Every day I wake up and remember that Avatar, a huge international blockbuster, used the Papyrus font for their logo and no one stopped them.” 

Torres and the SNL team worked his Tweet into a legendary sketch—which was the perfect vehicle for Gosling, who saw the cinematic potential in the idea of a man who can’t shake Cameron’s bizarre font choice. Payrus follows Steven as he tries to work out his anger over the font choice with his therapist (played by Kate McKinnon), to no avail. “He just highlighted Avatar. He clicked the drop-down menu, and then he just randomly selected Papyrus.” Steven’s friend (Chris Redd) tries to calm his growing monomania by pointing out that they made some slight modifications to the font in the Avatar logo, hoping this technicality will soothe Steven. Hard no. Steven begins to view the font choice as a crime and eventually tracks down the graphic designer responsible (Kyle Mooney), screaming, “I know what you did.” 


Which brings us to Papyrus 2, in which Steven’s back and doing his best to “avoid triggers” and stay in control of his papyrus-based demons. Anytime Steven comes into contact with the font, whether it’s helping a man pick up flyers off the street written in papyrus or seeing it on a falafel truck, he’s plunged back into his own personal nightmare. As Steven works to make his steady, incremental improvement, he learns that Avatar: The Way of Water changed the font, which is huge news for the tormented man. Perhaps Steven and his years of dedication to bemoaning the papyrus font choice had an effect on James Cameron? Perhaps all is right in the world now that Avatar‘s design team saw the light? Or, is something seriously sinister going on, and did Cameron do the unthinkable and return to Papyrus in a new and even more hurtful way? Is Steven’s new girlfriend involved in this crime? This is the conceit of the sequel sketch, and it’s a perfect way to kickstart your week if you haven’t seen it:


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