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Ryan Gosling Returns For ‘Papyrus’ Sequel on ‘SNL’


Ryan Gosling won’t rest until the person responsible for the “Avatar” movie franchise logo pays.

In Gosling’s return to “Saturday Night Live” on April 13, the actor and three-time host made a callback to a fan-favorite sketch from 2017, “Papyrus,” which saw his character, Steven, haunted by the font choice used on the poster for “Avatar.”

The first iteration of the skit saw him haunted by the design, telling a therapist, “He just highlighted ‘Avatar,’ clicked the drop down menu, and then he just randomly selected Papyrus, like a thoughtless child.”

“He just got away with it. This man, this professional graphic designer,” he added later, after flipping a table in rage.

Now, with the 2022 release of “Avatar: The Way of Water,” Gosling’s character has to confront his demons again in “Papyrus 2.”

While on a first date, when he’s asked to share more about himself, he can’t divulge his deepest, darkest secret. His date, played by Sarah Sherman, wrote his hesitancy off by assuring him that “we all have something.” 

“My ‘something’ was hard to explain. My something was that ‘Avatar,’ one of the most expensive movies in history, used Papyrus as its logo,” he explained. “I wasn’t going back to that. I found my peace. And then it happened. I came face to face with my demons.”

While undergoing dental work, Gosling was trapped watching the sequel. Despite asking for the movie to be turned off, it was too late — he saw the new logo.

Though he admitted it was “not a huge improvement,” he was happy that it was no longer Papyrus. Or so he thought.

One restless night, he went to his computer and typed “Avatar” in a word document before changing the font to Papyrus. It didn’t take long for all of his progress to unravel as he uncovered the truth — “He just put it in bold.”

“All the money in the world, and he just put it in bold,” Gosling said as he looked up the graphic designer for the logo. “It’s him. It’s the same designer. He just put it in bold.”

The new “Avatar” logo reignited Ryan Gosling's character's passionate hatred of the font.
The new “Avatar” logo reignited Ryan Gosling’s character’s passionate hatred of the font.Saturday Night Live

Gosling’s world devolved into chaos as he embraced his inner Joker and put his plan into action. It was then revealed the person he went on a date with worked in IT at Disney and would be attending a “Disney Graphics Awards Ball.”

At the award ceremony, he got the opportunity to confront the logo designer, portrayed by “SNL” alum Kyle Mooney, face-to-face.

Gosling took the opportunity to interrupt Mooney’s speech and demanded he “tell them what you did,” before singing, “The ‘Avatar’ logo is Papyrus in bold!”

Mooney remained calm during Gosling’s tirade about the font choice before asking him who he was. In a twist, Gosling revealed himself as Steven Wingdings, the son of the creator of the font of the same name. The Wingdings font turns letters into seemingly meaningless symbols. For example, a comma translates into a picture of a mailbox.

But Gosling’s hatred of the font was no match for Mooney’s heartfelt meaning behind the decision for the font

His speech ended with a simple lesson for Gosling: “And here, Papyrus compelled me to make it bold, to bring you to me, to teach you to let go.”

“My dad was so hard to read,” Gosling said, breaking down in tears. “And ‘Avatar’ wasn’t too big of a movie to use Papyrus. It’s humble enough to say thank you.”

Ryan Gosling's character confronted his hatred of Papyrus and his daddy issues, all at once.
Ryan Gosling’s character confronted his hatred of Papyrus and his daddy issues, all at once.Saturday Night Live

The film’s director James Cameron addressed the original sketch during a December 2023 interview with People, calling the bit “funny.”

“I mean, the thing is, we actually now had a dilemma on movie two,” he revealed. “It’s like, ‘Are we going to keep the same font, the highest-grossing film in history, or are we going to change it?’ Mess with the formula. It’s like, ‘F— it, we’re using the font. If Ryan gets his panties in a bunch over it, then so be it.”

“Papyrus 2” wasn’t the only callback to Gosling’s previous hosting gigs.

Kate McKinnon made a surprise appearance during the show’s cold open when she reprised her eccentric character Colleen Rafferty for the third installment of the “Close Encounter” sketch, in which McKinnon and Gosling’s characters repeatedly get abducted by aliens, but with vastly different experiences.

The episode also featured cameos from Emily Blunt during Gosling’s musical monologue, which served as a send off to Ken set to the tune of Taylor Swift’s “All Too Well.” Caitlin Clark also stopped by the “Weekend Update” desk to roast Michael Che through jokes she wrote from him.


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