Ryan Gosling Replaces Jimmy Fallon As King of ‘SNL’ Crack-Ups

Gosling (insert giggle here) just can’t keep a straight face
Ryan Gosling Replaces Jimmy Fallon As King of ‘SNL’ Crack-Ups

On Saturday Night Live’s 40th anniversary show, Andy Samberg and Adam Sandler did a musical tribute to laughing during comedy sketches. “That’s When You Break” conceded that virtually every cast member (well, maybe not Phil Hartman) lost control at some point, cackling despite themselves. While everyone was guilty, two comics were singled out for their crimes against self-restraint. Jimmy Fallon and Horatio Sanz made a habit of doubling over mid-sketch, a practice that usually felt premeditated to goose audience laughter. 

Since Fallon’s departure, no one has come close to seizing his title belt as King of the Crack-Ups. But last night’s host, Ryan Gosling, a guy with entire YouTube compilations devoted to his forbidden chortling on SNL, returned to claim the chuckle championship once and for all. 

Gosling let us know his intentions right from the start with a cold open (hurray, not political!) that returned to the scene of one of his biggest crack-up crimes, a “Close Encounter” sketch with guest Kate McKinnon’s Ms. Rafferty. McKinnon didn’t even need to speak before Gosling started to smirk. To be fair, it would be hard for anyone to keep a straight face with McKinnon between their legs, demonstrating what the “smooth down there” aliens were doing to Gosling’s “troll nose.” The Oscar nominee’s private parts were subjected to several McKinnon indignities, all while he was convulsing from trying to hold in laughter.

Gosling gave the entire cast the giggles. In this town hall spoof, Heidi Gardner surrendered her composure when she made eye contact with Gosling’s Beavis and then absolutely lost it when confronted with Mikey Day’s Butt-Head. By the time Beavis and Butt-Head were reunited in the studio audience of this news interview parody, Gosling could barely speak. Sure, Day’s Butt-Head looked pretty funny but was it enough to inspire Gosling’s uncontrollable snicker fit? 

Chloe Fineman also got infected. Thank god for old pro Kenan Thompson, who made the sketch funnier by maintaining his sobriety.

Was Gosling pulling a Sanz, “cracking up” to get more laughs? “The Engagement” was a funny concept (Gosling confides to Andrew Dismukes that he’s made a terrible mistake whenever his fiancee leaves the room), but the audience only went nuts when Gosling couldn’t hold it together. 

Not that anyone needs one more example, but even the act of blowing the blond bangs out of his eyes was too much for Gosling. Come on, man.

I want to give Gosling the benefit of the doubt and trust that he’s simply incapable of keeping a poker face when confronted with punchlines. But his muted titters felt pretty shameless the fourth, fifth and sixth time around. The audience ate it up all night, so they clearly didn’t mind his antics. And Gosling sure seemed to be having a good time. 

There are worse host qualities than supreme silliness but it’s all a good reminder not to tune in the next time Gosling guests on Fallon’s Tonight Show — the two giggleheads will be rolling on the floor before they get to the first commercial break. 


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