SNL’s Avatar Font-Inspired Sketch ‘Papyrus’ Was An Instant Classic. How Ryan Gosling Made It (And Its Cut For Time Sequel) Happen

 Ryan Gosling looking into the distance with a blank stare in Papyrus on SNL.
Ryan Gosling looking into the distance with a blank stare in Papyrus on SNL.

There are some great sketches in the history of Saturday Night Live but it takes something special to be truly memorable. The original “Papyrus” sketch from SNL and host Ryan Gosling is one that stood the test of time for several years. And now, with the return of Gosling to host the show last month, and a record-breaking second Avatar movie, we have a sequel to the sketch that may be just as memorable.

“Papyrus 2” as the sketch is officially called, didn’t actually run on Saturday Night Live, it was cut for time and released online only. But it’s worth seeing for anybody who enjoyed the original. It turns out Gosling himself was instrumental in both sketches, even bringing back the original writer.

How Ryan Gosling Inspired The First Avatar Papyrus Sketch For SNL

Julio Torres wrote the original sketch back in 2017 when Ryan Gosling hosted Saturday Night Live. The sketch sees a character played by Gosling who is simply overwhelmed by the fact that Avatar, the massively budgeted, and massively successful box office hit, appears to have used simple default papyrus as the font for its logo. Torres told EW that he was the one who made the original joke about the font, but Gosling pushed him to try and turn the joke into something more. He explained…

The first one was this sort of throwaway joke I made that he really latched on to. He was like, ‘Oh, I think maybe there’s an idea there,’ and I was like, ‘I really don’t think so.’ I didn’t tell him that, but I really didn’t think so. But then I wrote it, and I was like, ‘Oh, no, I think this could work. And then when I saw him perform it, I was like, ‘Oh, this definitely works.’

The sketch worked. Fans loved it, James Cameron himself has joked about the sketch even the actual designer of the Avatar logo had a good laugh. Oddly, the sketch also appeared to have had an effect, possibly changing the way the Avatar logo was shown outside the film, as well as changing the logo for the sequel Avatar: The Way of Water. But that’s where the new sketch comes in.

Gosling Brought Back The Original Writer For The Sequel

Cut to April 2024. Ryan Gosling is back hosting Saturday Night Live again. Since the last time, an Avatar sequel has come out and been another box office smash, and it did so with a new logo. It was Gosling himself who wanted to go back to the well and do another sketch. He even reached out to Julio Torres again to write it, even though the writer had left the show in the intervening years. Torres explained he got a call from Gosling…

He was like, ‘Should we make a sequel?’ and at first I was like, why? But then I started thinking about it. I wrote it, and then I was like, ‘Yeah, he’s bringing this to life yet again.’

The sequel seems to be just as popular. In it, Gosling’s character is faced with the Avatar: The Way of Water logo which, at first, looks to be a significant improvement, only to discover something truly insidious hiding in plain sight.

With three more Avatar movies planned, one certainly wonders what the future of the Avatar logos might hold. Will they change? Are there even more SNL sketches about fonts in our future? If they continue to be this good, we can only hope.