With two films to promote, it’s no surprise that Ryan Gosling did the obligatory host gig on Saturday Night Live. Though SNL has been a bit rocky this season (see the terrible Donald Trump-hosted episode), Gosling’s turn as host was charming, in large part because he couldn’t stop laughing.
Lorne Michaels supposedly hates breaking, calling it “too Carol Burnett,” but that didn’t stop Gosling and the entire cast from giggling fits. Take “Close Encounter,” a sketch in which Kate McKinnon, Cecily Strong, and Gosling swap vastly different stories about their alien abduction. The sketch itself was fine—McKinnon was, as always, deeply committed to her character—but Gosling couldn’t help himself and giggles throughout the entire sketch. Sure, Michaels might hate the laughing, but it’s ultimately very endearing.
In “Birthday Party,” Gosling plays a Dad made uncomfortable by Aidy Bryant’s wildly inappropriate teen character, Melanie. It’s one of the only memorable recurring characters at this point of SNL’s season, in part because Bryant seems willing to proverbially “go there.” Gosling seems at times to barely hold it together as Bryant’s Melanie makes uncomfortable advances. The entire purpose of the sketch seemed to be for Gosling to take his shirt off and for Melanie to be driven into hysterics while yelling “dad bod.” Good enough for me.
All in all the episode was one of the more charming of the season and, more importantly, Chris Hemsworth hosts next week.