When it was announced that Ryan Gosling was going to host Saturday Night Live on Dec. 5, expectations were high. Gosling had never hosted SNL before, and there was no telling what the multi-talented man of our dreams and memes would bring to the stage. Would there be a Hey Girl spoof? Probably not — the joke was too old. Would they parody "It wasn't over. It still isn't over"? (Thank god they didn't, because that sh*t is sacred.) Would he sing and dance? Yes, yes he would.
The cold open sadly didn't feature the Gos. Instead it was Taran Killam and Cecily Strong impersonating Donald and Melania Trump again, with Killam reading out their holiday Naughty or Nice list.
Fortunately, Gosling appeared in nearly every skit, so viewers got lots of him. Over the course of the evening, he played a scarecrow, an elf, and someone being screened by the NSA, becoming less and less able to avoid laughing at the skits in which he himself was participating. So basically, Gosling showed he's game for anything and that he's as adorable as you thought, even if his performance in the Dec. 5 episode of SNL wasn't everyone's favorite.
When He Pretended Not To Be Canadian
The Gos opened his show by pretending to be from New York until Cecily Strong called him out on. "Nobody really wants a dramatic actor from Canada. You know. People don't tend to think of Canada that way. They just sort of think of it as America's hat." Fellow Canadian Mike Myers then appeared ("I live backstage," Myers quipped), and Myers and Gosling sang a Canadian Christmas carol that admittedly was not the sexiest or most entertaining thing Ryan Gosling has ever done, but okay.
When Bonhomme De Niege Got A Shout Out
Apparently the mascot of the Quebec Winter Festival, the Bonhomme de Neige, is a major fixture in Canadian childhoods. Said Bonhomme evidently has a jingle and everything. However, there appear to be some not entirely positive feelings about the Bonhomme. For instance, in the lead-up to Gosling's duet with fellow Canadian Mike Meyers, Gosling suggested that the Bonhomme, "put[s] you in a maple sack and beats you with a lacrosse stick." Not sure what that's about...
When He Couldn't Keep A Straight Face
There's no joy like watching an SNL host be so entertained by the skits he himself is in that he cannot help laughing. This happened for the Gos first in a skit in which he, Vanessa Bayer, and Cecily Strong played hippies being screened by the NSA after they reported an alien encounter. Bayer really owned this one with her account of having her pants stolen and peeing in a metal bowl as a small band of aliens watched, and RG could. not. hold. it. together. It was impossible to blame him because A) Bayer was so good and B) he was so adorable trying and somewhat failing to hold it in. But it didn't end there! Gosling was cracking up pretty much the whole evening. It was pretty adorable.
When He Played The Scarecrow
Unsurprisingly, this week's SNL included a skit spoofing The Wiz Live!, which aired on NBC Thursday to high praise. In the SNL version, the Gos played the scarecrow from the original Wizard of Oz movie, whose schtick the Wiz himself, played by Michael Che, immediately declared "corny as hell." It was, but Gosling's willingness to play the forlorn scarecrow showed he is nothing if not a good sport.
Thanks for taking on SNL, Ryan Gosling. Why don't you stay in New York with us for a few days. You know, where the Bonhomme can't get you.