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“I haven’t felt this excited since I saved jazz,” the actor joked in his opening monologue, referencing one of the criticisms surrounding the popular musical film whereby some viewers complained it portrayed his character as a “white savior of jazz.” “You guys know I saved jazz right? I mean, I did this movie, La La Land, and then everyone was saying that I saved jazz and I guess it was dying and I saved it,” Gosling riffed.
He even teased the audience with a La La Land-esque simulated piano accompaniment to his monologue to explain jazz.
Later in the bit, Gosling was joined by a surprise guest: his co-star in the film, Emma Stone. The actress appears to chastise Gosling for his jazz-splaining, telling him, “How many times have we talked about this? You didn’t save jazz, because we saved jazz,” she joked.
The last time the Blade Runner 2049 actor appeared on the show, Gosling memorably couldn’t keep a straight face during a few of his sketches. To that end, fans hoping to see more of him breaking character were not disappointed. During Gosling’s first sketch, in which he played a potential victim of alien abductions being questioned at the Pentagon, he could barely hold it together as Kate McKinnon’s character demonstrated what she thought the aliens did to them. Gosling, with his back to the camera, can be heard audibly laughing as McKinnon uses his backside for her demonstration. He also laughed during a few of the night’s other sketches.
SNL will continue last year’s tradition of airing live coast-to-coast starting at 11:30 p.m. ET/8:30 p.m. PT.
Watch Gosling’s monologue below.
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