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On ‘Saturday Night Live,’ Ryan Gosling can’t stop cracking up as guest host

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Ryan Gosling returned to host “SNL” for a third time, kicking off the episode with Kate McKinnon in the cold open, but he couldn’t keep the chuckles down in sketch after sketch.
Ryan Gosling’s third go-round as guest host of “Saturday Night Live” should have been a victory-lap party after a year’s worth of goodwill that started with his well-received “Barbie” performances, peaking with his “I’m Just Ken” number at the Oscars in March. He even showed up in last week’s Kristen Wiig-hosted episode to prime the pump.
But not everything works out the way you want it to and instead of a party, Gosling’s episode found live sketch after live sketch torpedoed by the host breaking character and trying to hold back laughter. That nervous energy seemed to have infected other cast members who also couldn’t make it through pieces, most notably a News Nation sketch about the dangers of artificial intelligence that goes out of control when it’s pointed out that two audience members look a lot like the animated characters from “Beavis and Butt-Head” (Gosling and MIkey Day). Heidi Gardner, playing the host of the segment, couldn’t stop laughing every time she turned to look at one of them.
Gosling first broke in the cold open, which you could blame on the hilarious returning “SNL” vet Kate McKinnon, but the Gosling giggles continued in a sketch about a man who confides in a new friend that he doesn’t want to get married, one about a man from Tennessee who enjoys talking in a Cuban accent while hanging out at the Cabo Club, a sketch with Bowen Yang about a wacky doctor and surgeon who are really into cookie crumbles, and an “Erin Brockovich” parody featuring Chloe Fineman and Gosling reading off long lists.
What this episode needed was a pre-taped segment where Gosling could shine without the pressure of the live performance, which made it all the more baffling when a title card invited viewers to go online to watch “Papyrus 2,” a sequel to one of the best “SNL” sketches to feature Gosling, written by comedian and filmmaker Julio Torres.

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