If there is one thing Ryan Gosling is going to do on Saturday Night Live, it’s break character. 

While hosting SNL for the third time over the weekend, the 43-year-old Barbie actor did what he does best inside Studio 8H — aside from making people laugh, of course — and broke character during almost every single sketch as he simply could not hold back his giggles while on stage. 

Viewers knew from the very first moment in the cold open — which brought back the iconic “Close Encounters” sketch and former cast member Kate McKinnon — that they were in for a show to remember as things quickly devolved into hilarious madness. 

Kate McKinnon, Ryan Gosling and Sarah Sherman during the 'Close Encounters' sketch on 'Saturday Night Live' – NBC via Getty Images

The sketch — originally starring McKinnon, Gosling and Cecily Strong — centered on three friends who have been abducted by aliens and have to answer questions from government investigators about the encounter. While Strong’s character was switched out with a new abductee played by current cast member Sarah Sherman, Gosling and McKinnon both reprised their roles as friends who were taken to the stars by the extraterrestrials. 

As always, Gosling’s character had a normal and peaceful interaction with the aliens as did Sherman’s, while McKinnon — the oddball of the group — had an experience that was a “little bit different.” At one point in the sketch, while demonstrating her own experience on the spaceship, McKinnon got between Gosling’s legs and pawed around as the audience reacted to the situation with laughter only rivaled by Gosling himself, who had to put his head down. 

Watch “Close Encounters” and Gosling’s hysterical break in the player below:

Elsewhere in the episode, Gosling and cast member Bowen Yang attempted to hold back their chuckles during the “Doctor” skit, where they played medical professionals giving the family of a patient updates after surgery. There, The Fall Guy star sported a blonde wig with horrendous bangs and struggled to keep a straight face as the bangs got into his mouth. 

The actor and the SNL star fed each other “cookie crumbles,” an invention by Yang’s character in the sketch for when “you don’t want a whole cookie,” and attempted to give closure to the patient’s family. Their antics ultimately resulted in the skit’s other participants, Heidi Gardner, Andrew Dismukes, James Austin Johnson and Chloe Troast, breaking out into laughter similarly. 

Another breaking point for the guest host and cast members came during the Beavis and Butt-Head spoof, where The Notebook actor starred as a town hall discussion attendee who bore a striking resemblance to Beavis, so much so that the moderator asked him to move as he was distracting the speaker (Keenan Thompson). 

Happy to oblige, Beavis Gosling moved away only to be replaced by a Butt-Head lookalike (Mikey Day) who the speaker found equally distracting. At one point, even SNL veteran Gardner had to stop the sketch as she was laughing too hard after turning around in her chair to Day looking characteristically like his animated character counterpart. 

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The skit ended with Gosling and Day — both pretending not to know who Beavis and Butt-Head are — seated next to each other much to the dismay and distraction of Thompson’s character. 

“You put them right next to each other?” Thompson said as Gosling sat behind him in the frame, desperately attempting to conceal his laughter. “Look, they’re even sitting like they do on the show.”

The shenanigans did not stop there, though, as Gosling and Chloe Fineman — who also appeared in the Beavis and Butt-Head sketch and broke character — pulled off a parody of a deleted scene from Julia Roberts’ classic film, Erin Brockovich

While Fineman stepped into Roberts’ role for the bit, Gosling played the part of Aaron Eckhart’s George, recreating the couple’s first encounter after George makes too much noise with his motorcycle. 

Halfway through, Gosling’s fake mustache began to fall off, causing him and Fineman to barely keep it together, while Thompson entered the picture as a cut character who took part in the joke aimed at Erin’s number monologue from the 2000 film. 

One of the final two sketches involved Gosling as a happily married man from Tennessee out on the town with two of his friends — played by Thompson and Marcello Hernandez — with Gosling and Hernandez trying to convince their friend to hit up the clubs after grabbing dinner and drinks. 

After the waitress (Sherman) commented on their accents, one hilarious moment received both laughs and applause when Thompson’s character told her where they are all from and the origins of their accents. 

“I’m Dominican, he’s Cuban,” Thompson said, pointing at Hernandez before turning to Gosling and saying, “and he is from Tennessee but ever since he married a Cuban woman, he’s different.”

“A Cuban wife done change you,” Gosling said.

The line appears to be a playful reference to the actor’s real-life partner, Eva Mendes, whom he shares two daughters with. 

Finally, the La La Land actor played a not-so-happily engaged man who begged his friend (Dismukes) to help him escape after he proposed to his girlfriend (Fineman) but immediately regretted it. 

In one portion of the nearly six-minute sketch, Gosling attempted to convince Dismuke’s character to meet him in Istanbul with $12,000 so he can start a new life from scratch. 

“I’m going to leave tonight,” he said as the audience laughed heartily and Dismukes responded, “Why are you doing this?”

The shock and disquietude on his scene partner’s face as he repeatedly made the admissions about leaving his fianceé in the dead of night once again caused Gosling to break, chuckling ever so slightly while remaining mostly composed even as Dismukes tripped up.

Check out “The Engagement” in the player below:

Gosling’s Saturday Night Live episode is now streaming in its entirety on Peacock. 

 

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