Ryan Gosling Cracks Himself Up Hosting SNL

Photo courtesy of NBC
Ryan Gosling’s got a face that’s launched a thousand memes and inspired more than one dedicated Tumblr, including the wildly popular Feminist Ryan Gosling. He cemented a special place for himself in cinema history with his rain-soaked kiss with Rachel McAdams in The Notebook and flexed his comedy chops with Steve Carell in Crazy Stupid Love. Even so, until now, his list of accomplishments did not include the Saturday Night Live hosting gig. (Incidentally, SNL won’t be Gosling’s first foray into sketch comedy; he got his start, after all, with Justin and Britney on The Mickey Mouse Club.)

For Gosling fans, it may never be over, but his first date with the Not Ready For Prime Time Players is in the books. So, hey, girl, here are three of the must-see moments from Saturday Night Live With Ryan Gosling:

1. Growing Up Gosling: It takes nothing away from Gosling’s characters in the other sketches of the night to say his most charming performance was as himself. The setting is a small bar in Cornwall, Ontario — Gosling’s hometown. Cecily Strong plays a reporter for GQ doing an interview with Gosling. He is challenged and teased by a former classmate, a nerdy guy named Trevor. Gosling sings along with the jukebox to “And I’m Telling You” from Dreamgirls. There is a dance break, including a completely respectable "running man." The sketch pokes fun at the heartthrob nature of Gosling’s fame and he is happy to play along.
2. Anthony Crispino on Weekend Update: Not every guest host can pull off a spot during Weekend Update, best known for its recurring characters and topical news bits. Proving he’s up for the challenge, Gosling teams up with Bobby Moynihan’s Anthony Crispino, a news anchor who never manages to get the news quite right. Gosling plays Crispino’s cousin and the two spotlight the big new movie, Star Wars And The Four Jamaicans. Star Wars and its director, “Jar Jar Abrams,” lead into jokes about Charlie Sheen (“He’s got the HBO”), Adele (“You’ve got to get a Dell,” they tell anchor Colin Jost, recalling those almost-forgotten Dell Dude ads), and Bill Cosby (He’s got the hottest song right now! “Jell-O, it’s me!”). They end the segment on a literal high note with Gosling matching Moynihan’s character’s signature high-pitched whine. Two screaming teakettles can barely keep up.

3. Taylor’s Birthday Party: Aidy Bryant’s Melanie is a precocious teen (she’s 13-and-a-half, so she knows things, according to her) who crushes on her friends' awkward dads. The awkward dad in question here is Gosling. The girls are celebrating Taylor’s 13th birthday and things get weird quickly, with Melanie telling Taylor’s dad about what a dirty girl she is and sucking icing off his finger. The girls are grossed out and Gosling’s dad appropriately warns Melanie to “watch her boundaries.” When Gosling unbuttons his shirt to show the girls his tattoo, Melanie loses her mind, bouncing off the walls and crashing into the coffee table. Bryant is shameless as she continually asks, “Do you like that?” Gosling’s character says no, but for viewers, the answer is definitely yes.

Throughout the night, Gosling and the cast had a hard time holding it together. Gosling cracked during several of the sketches, showing just how much fun he was having with the material.

Extra credit for the opening monologue: Gosling got the show off with a rousing start. You have to give it to a guy, mostly known for dramatic or romantic roles, who is willing to sing and dance his way through a musical number with fellow Canadian Mike Meyers celebrating Canadian Christmas. That is what comedy is all "a-boot."

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