Ryan Gosling Hosts SNL: Watch Video of the Best and Worst Sketches

Saturday Night Live‘s holiday episode might still be two weeks away, but this week’s Ryan Gosling-hosted installment was most definitely a case of Christmas coming early.

While the Canadian heartthrob’s opening monologue wasn’t especially inspired — not even with fellow north-of-the-border import Mike Myers offering support — the remainder of Gosling’s episode ranked among the better SNL installments of the last few seasons.

The strictest of viewers might’ve objected to Gosling’s multiple thisclose-to-breaking incidents, but to me, the fact that the Notebook actor was clearly amused by the goings-on merely made the show pass more quickly and enjoyable.

Let’s check in on the best and worst sketches:

Hat tip to Kate McKinnon for her guffaw-inducing performance as one of three friends interviewed by NSA agents on account of them all being involved in the first verified case of alien abduction. While Gosing and Cecily Strong cooed ridiculously about being “wrapped in blankets made of pure love,” McKinnon spun a yarn about being forced to urinate into a bowl in front of 40 or so giant-eyed gray creatures. I couldn’t blame Gosling and Strong — along with agents Aidy Bryant and Bobby Moyniahn — for stifling giggles. I was practically crying with laughter throughout.

Gosling and Vanessa Bayer starred in this digital short as a new-to-the-neighborhood adult couple who take their belief in old St. Nick to insane and deeply uncomfortable places. As their state of arousal rose and rose to near terrifying levels, party-thrower Beck Bennett was forced to get his white beard and jacket and play his role in the couple’s twisted fantasy — which brilliantly culminated in Bayer cooing “Cuisinart” into the ear of Old St. Nick.

Gosling’s white, dance-impaired Scarecrow crashed into NBC’s The Wiz Live (aka East Oz) and despite attempting to touch Dorothy’s hair (don’t try it!), scored a whole new crew by virtue of his tips on killing wicked witches. Kudos to NBC for allowing that joke about its acclaimed Thursday-night live musical having run for 3 hours — with 150 commercial breaks.

Finally, a dating app for ladies who want to get married immediately — but no longer want to deal with the inconvenience of high standards. Like the male suitors pursuing the women in the ad, the pre-taped sketch wasn’t perfect. But watching Bayer gleefully share, “We’re getting married in April — which is before my sister” was just one of many blink-and-you-missed it zingers from the episode.

Nope, I don’t care how hard Aidy Bryant worked at the setup, let’s never again see a sketch build around her randy 15-year-old trying to seduce one of her friends’ dads, k? That said, even my least-favorite sketch of the night managed to make me chuckle, as Bryant’s Melanie blurted out that her octogenarian father “sleeps in a medical bed in our living room” and looks like “a stack of hay with eyes.”

Your turn. What did you think of this week’s SNL? Take our poll below, then sound off in the comments! (We’ll post video as soon as it’s available on Sunday a.m.)

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. JK says:

    Worst: Cecily as the Glamour magazine editor, who “flirts” with Colin on Update. So terrible. I can’t believe as a strong woman, she would do this. Especially because the set up was that she was to talk about tech-gifts. Not ok. Women are fighting for recognition in the tech world, and they made it seem she was only interested in being there to flirt with Jost. Just terrible & not funny

  2. Phillip says:

    The Birthday Party sketch was HILARIOUS!!

    • schu says:

      I agree! After watching the clip here Michael I don’t know how you thought that was the worst, Aidy was hilarious in it. The one thing I must say, even as Gosling did a fine job, from the sketches I’ve watched I’ve never more so noticed everyone so blatantly reading from cue cards. I know they always have them, but I don’t know if they didn’t have good stage positioning or if they did even more last minute changes to sketches than normal, but it was almost too obvious, which is also why I feel like they broke character in multiple sketches (but I guess that helped make it a more funny episode)

  3. Amanda says:

    I loved the Nespresso parody. i do not get that commercial at all!

  4. TeamE says:

    I didn’t like this episode. The two pretaped bits were pretty funny, but the sketches didn’t deliver. It sometimes felt like Ryan Gosling wasn’t completely rehearsed. Sure hope Chris Hemsworth does a better job next week. And certainly am looking forward to the Fey/ Poehler-episode.

  5. Vanna says:

    The opening monologue was so blah I turned it off. Looks like I missed a decent episode!

  6. Pete says:

    one of the funniest overall episodes in a very long time!

    • MamaLis says:

      just re-watched the alien segment here. LOL.. oh… whoever wrote the whole “knockers” bit is a twisted, twisted individual. LOL

    • The Beach says:

      Kate M. in the Alien skit was the most hilarious thing I’ve seen on SNL in ages. I can’t remember the last time I literally had tears running down my face in laughter. Kudos to Kate!!!

  7. colig says:

    actually Aidy said she was 131/2 in the birthday sketch.

    • Nicole says:

      And this was a sequel to a skit where her mom said she was actually in her 20s but thinks she’s a teenager. If you don’t know that I admit that would seem creepy but if you are a regular viewer that skit is hilarious

  8. MamaLis says:

    I have a renewed respect for Ryan G. I wasn’t expecting much from the episode. Kind of just popped in. But it was one delivery after the next. Michael, my 13 year old and I were also DYING during the alien sketch. Of course, Kate sitting with her legs spread and her pants 8″ up her hoo-ha was half the hilarity. Even though Ryan was on the verge of busting, he was obviously ‘all in’ for the week. It was just really well done and really entertaining. Some classic skits!!!

  9. dan says:

    I never thought I’d say this about an SNL episode: too much Cecily Strong. Did she need to be in every sketch for the first hour of the show including the monologue? I’m a fan, but when she showed up in update for the terrible bit about the Glamour writer talking tech, I literally groaned. There are many talented female cast members and for the most part this season they’ve used them all more evenly than last year, but last night was too much Cecily for me.

  10. Mr. Tran K says:

    I give the Ryan Gosling episode of SNL an A and this was one of the best this season. The alien abduction sketch was the best in my opinion and the worst was Cecily Strong as Jill Davenport who try to “flirt” Colin Jost on Weekend Update. Have to admit, I wish Cecily would definitely “flirt” on me (just sayin’). Finally kudos to SNL alum Mike Myers for making a guest appearance during Ryan’s monologue and both of them are proud Canadians.

  11. EJ says:

    I think they should have held back the alien abduction sketch for Amy Poehler on the 19th. She would have knocked it out of the park. McKinnon only hit a double.

  12. AngelWasHere says:

    Actually laughed quite a bit. More than usual since SNL usually a miss for me. My favorite were the alien abduction, the Santa baby one, the Wiz spoof, and the Espresso commercial spoof. Not crazy about Ryan like some woman, but he was very charming and fun to watch.

  13. Carrie says:

    Best episode in a while. A couple of the sketches had me in tears. I don’t blame them for starting to crack up.

  14. Bigdede says:

    That Oz skit was perfection.

  15. Tom says:

    Only a few bits did I like, like the settl app, and I forget what else. I didn’t like the Alien abduction bit.

  16. Morisot says:

    The Wiz skit was excellent. And Ryan Gosling did a stellar job as the original scarecrow!

  17. LT says:

    That was a SPECTACULAR episode. Every skit was a HIT! Nicely done SNL!