The SNL summer slump is finally over.
Last night marked the premiere of Saturday Night Live's 43rd season, with Ryan Gosling coming in as host and Jay-Z as the musical guest for the evening. But despite all the talent on tap for the new season's inaugural episode, it was Alec Baldwin who commanded the most attention for reprising the role of Donald Trump (dubbed "The Chaos President" in this segment).
Joined by Melissa Villaseñor as Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Kate McKinnon as Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Alex Moffat as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, the bit covered a wide range of topics — although not quite as many events as have happened since the show's 42nd season finale aired in May — including the beleaguered federal response to Hurricane Maria victims in Puerto Rico, the firing of FBI Director James Comey, the NFL #TakeTheKnee protests, and more.
But Gosling did have his own moments of merit, not the least of which was "Papyrus," the segment about his obsession with James Cameron's choice of title art font in Avatar. Thanks to Gosling's ample experience with bizarre moments of high drama (see also Lars and the Real Girl) there's a lot of authenticity in his delivery... Which only makes his typeface-centric rants that much funnier.
Other highlights of the evening included Gosling's opening, which featured a cameo by his La La Land co-star and reigning Best Actress Oscar winner Emma Stone. Who else can he count on to be there to call him on his nonsense about reinvigorating the realm of jazz than his thrice over screen partner?
But the most memeable sketch of the evening came by way of this sketch about alien abduction victims that somehow turned into Kate McKinnon planting her face in Ryan Gosling's hind parts. Just watch.
Saturday Night Live airs live coast to coast Saturdays on NBC, 11:30/10:30c.