Ryan Gosling is Returning to “Saturday Night Live” 7 Years After Iconic “Papyrus” Sketch

Ryan Gosling is returning to host Saturday Night Live this weekend, the first time he’s been back to Studio 8H since way back in 2017, which is significant considering he delivered one of the all-time great SNL moments courtesy of a digital short. In fact, if we absolutely had to pick our favorite Saturday Night Live digital short of the last ten years, the choice would be the Gosling-led Papyrus. Dreamed up by former SNL writer and current feature film director and actor Julio TorresPapyrus was a pitch-perfect absurdist masterpiece that would have worked with a lot of talented actors but was definitely pitch-perfect for Gosling. Torres and the SNL writers were keenly aware that, like Brad Pitt before him, Gosling has leading man looks and character actor vibes.

Long before he confirmed his comedic chops via Ken in Barbie, Gosling went full, hilarious ham 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 dreaded 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.” 

It took some work to turn Torres’ Tweet into a proper short—and a big boost from Gosling, who saw the cinematic potential in the storyline and fully committed to the idea of a man who can’t shake Cameron’s bizarre font choice. Steven tries to work out his anger 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.” 


Papyrus has had such an impact, James Cameron himself finally admitted to be “haunted” by it…

Kudos to Cameron for going along with the joke and for understanding that Papyrus is a cultural touchstone.

It’s been a long seven years since Papyrus proved Gosling will go there, wherever there needs to be to get a laugh, but his return to SNL is a great way to ease into spring. It also follows Kristen Wiig, who joined the 5 Timer club last Saturday night. Here’s hoping SNL has cooked up another absurdist sketch for Gosling to own.

Check out SNL‘s Gosling promo here:

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Featured image: (L-R) RYAN GOSLING as Ken and MARGOT ROBBIE as Barbie in Warner Bros. Pictures’ “BARBIE,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures


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The Credits is an online magazine that tells the story behind the story to celebrate our large and diverse creative community. Focusing on profiles of below-the-line filmmakers, The Credits celebrates the often uncelebrated individuals who are indispensable to the films and TV shows we love.