Ryan Gosling Obsesses Over Fonts Again in SNL‘s “Papyrus 2”

Comedy News Saturday Night Live
Ryan Gosling Obsesses Over Fonts Again in SNL‘s “Papyrus 2”

Saturday Night Live rarely lets a solid idea go unrepeated, so it’s not a surprise that it aired a sequel to 2017’s popular “Papyrus” short this weekend. With Ryan Gosling returning as host, the show dipped back six and a half years to revisit a short film that former Paste assistant comedy editor Seth Simons called “a patient, tenderly wrought wonder, precise and idiosyncratic from premise to execution.” “Papyrus” was one of a handful of excellent pieces written by the brilliant comic Julio Torres during his stint on SNL, before he co-created HBO’s Los Espookys or directed Problemista, and while it’s no “Wells for Boys” (which, c’mon, is unbeatable), it was unique and hilarious, and directed with an unerring eye for detail by Dave McCary. McCary returns to direct “Papyrus 2,” and it certainly recreates the cinematic look and feel of the original. (We’ve reached out to NBC to clarify if Torres, who was listed as a writer in this episode’s credits, wrote the sequel, or if he got a credit based on creating the characters and general concept, and as of publication have not gotten a response.) Although it looks fantastic, the new video basically just repeats the same joke, but twice as long as the first time. The twist background of Gosling’s font obsession could work as a parody of TV shows and movies giving characters pat, simplistic, and unnecessary origins, but other than the line about his father “being hard to read” it’s not particularly funny. This doesn’t diminish the original, or anything, but it also doesn’t add anything; it’s just redoing a beloved one-off from the past with minimal upgrades because people love nostalgia and familiarity. It’s worth watching if you liked the first video, but if you haven’t seen that, you should start there before hitting the new one. It is nice to see Kyle Mooney again, I have to say.

“Papyrus 2” didn’t actually air during the episode, probably because, at six minutes, it’d be one of the longer segments on the show; it was uploaded to YouTube afterward, and can be watched below. And if you don’t recall the original “Papyrus,” you can bone up on that one below, too.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin