In this sketch from the first episode of “Saturday Night Live’s” 43rd season, guest host Ryan Gosling plays Steven, a man tormented by the Papyrus font, and more specifically, the use of the font in promotional campaigns for the 2009’s “Avatar.”
Despite being one of the most financially successful films ever made, “Avatar” hasn’t exactly been at the forefront of the pop-culture lexicon recently. But the return of the movie in the headlines thanks to Disney’s new Pandora theme park and James Cameron’s plans for several sequels apparently provoked a return of the obsession for Gosling’s character in the parody trailer. “He just highlighted ‘Avatar,’ he clicked the drop-down menu and he just randomly selected papyrus, like a, like a thoughtless child just wandering by a garden, yanking leaves along the way.” The prospect of “Avatar” sequels really has has him on edge.
He chases his nightmare and attempts to face it head on. He tracks down the graphic designer responsible for the terrible decision that ruined his life, but he gets more than her bargained for, and the fake trailer hints at a not-so-happy ending for our obsessive hero.
Despite appearing in a few comedy films, Ryan Gosling is a serious actor, which might be why this sketch works so well. He plays perfectly straight, without a hint of goofiness — no small task, given the ridiculousness of the concept.