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Ryan Gosling Can't Keep It Together on 'SNL,' and Jost and Che Finally Show Up on 'Update'

By Dustin Rowles | Saturday Night Live | October 1, 2017 |

By Dustin Rowles | Saturday Night Live | October 1, 2017 |

Cold Open — Season 43 kicks off with Alec Baldwin returning as Donald Trump and Aidy Bryant as Sarah Huckabee Sanders. The skit takes aim at Trump’s embarrassing response to the humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico, the NFL, and Trump’s ability to bend time via the news cycle. Watch here. (Score: 6.5/10)

Ryan Gosling Cold Open — Ryan Gosling’s entire cold open revolves around a very simple La La Land joke: “Ryan Gosling saves jazz.” It works. Emma Stone shows up, and she’s in on the joke, too, and suddenly the one thing anyone could possibly hold against Ryan Gosling has been completely diffused. Well done, Ryan Gosling, and thanks for saving jazz! (Score: 6 out of 10)

Alien Abduction — The first regular sketch of the season is a recurring one, featuring Kate McKinnon’s alien abductee, but this one has a twist: McKinnon’s character spends a great deal of the sketch playing with Ryan Gosling’s ass. For the first of many times tonight, Gosling breaks like a motherfucker. (Score: 8 out of 10)

Levi Wokes — Jeans that are as woke as the people who wear them. The sketch is not that funny, but it has a lot of attitude. “They’re made right here in the U.S.A. By White Kids.” Watch here. (Score: 4 out of 10)

The Fliplets — Three brothers renovating houses, one of which (Ryan Gosling) is apparently using the show to work out some personal and emotional issues. Some very dark personal and emotional issues. Ryan Gosling is an amazing sociopath. (Score: 6.5 out of 10)

Weekend Update — I think that Trump finally broke Colin Jost, because he actually displays some aggressiveness toward the President. He’s making jokes, but there is some real animosity in them. Same with Michael Che, who extends that anger to the “controversy” over the flag. Let it loose guys. Unleash. Fuck both sides. Thank you for finally picking one. An undercurrent of anger is what has been missing from “Weekend Update” for the last two years, so thank you Jost and Che for finally showing up. Welcome to the present, fellas. (Score: 9 out of 10)

Kate McKinnon also reprises her Angela Merkel. She’s a’ight. Alex Moffat also does a segment giving dating advice as a “Guy Who Just Bought a Boat.” Ryan Gosling joins him with the assist, and they make a lot of really bad jokes while making fun of their small penises. I like it. I don’t know why. It’s dumb as hell, but I’m in an unusually forgiving mood.

Henrietta and the Fugitive — Ryan Gosling speaking passionately to a chicken (Aidy Bryant) can’t quite save this one, but Gosling breaking character because of all the costume mishaps and the total absurdity of the premise at least salvages it to a degree. It’s a stupid sketch, but stupid enough to sort of kind of work. Watch here. (Score: 4.5 out of 10)

Pizza Hut Spot — A fancy Italian restaurant secretly replaces its food with pasta from Pizza Hut, and while it blows two couples’ minds, one couple (Gosling and Cecily Strong) who love the pasta are furious once they discover it’s from Pizza Hut. “You get off on this? Placing your cameras all around and watching women eat garbage? … I ought to beat the death out of you.” Gosling still can’t keep it together, either. Watch here. (Score: 6 out of 10)

Avatar — In a pretaped segment, Gosling plays a man who is emotionally disturbed over the terrible font choice (Papyrus) in the logo for the Avatar movies. It’s silly as hell, but how often do you see typeface snobbery explored on television? NEVER. That’s how often. Thank you, SNL, for finally covering this very important issue. You know what? For that alone, I give it a (Score: 10 out of 10)

Terrible 10 to 1 Sketch — Gosling can’t even keep it together during sketches that are painfully unfunny. He’s playing an angry, distraught flautist, but it’s not convincing because he’s SMILING THE ENTIRE TIME. He’s charming, so forgiven, but the sketch is still super bad even though Leslie Jones also loses it (what is going on tonight?) Watch here. (Score: 2 out of 10)

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.