The Big Picture

  • The return of Ryan Gosling to
    Saturday Night Live
    involved a hilarious sketch about the controversial font choice of
  • “Papyrus 2” showcases Gosling’s character spiraling into madness over the bolding of the infamous font on
    Avatar: The Way of Water
  • Even James Cameron acknowledged the Papyrus backlash, adding to the comedic gold of
    ‘s ability to turn tiny details into big laughs.

Ryan Gosling’s hosting gig on Saturday Night Live this weekend wasn’t just a masterclass in comedy, as well as breaking character every chance he got — it was also a deep dive into typographical madness, as the actor found himself reprising his iconic role as a man bizarrely haunted by the Avatar font. Yes, the Papyrus sketch is back and its sequel, Papyrus 2, has Gosling spiraling once again into insanity, but this time over Avatar: The Way of Water‘s bold move… literally.

Back in 2017, when Gosling hosted SNL’s Season 43 premiere, he introduced us to a man tormented by the fact that a billion-dollar behemoth like Avatar would dare use Papyrus — a font as basic as it gets — for its logo. Fast forward, and just when his character had finally settled his font feuds, The Way of Water pulls him back in. But what’s different this time? The title card’s font might look different, but it’s just the original Papyrus — bolded. “He just put it in bold,” Gosling’s character screams in agony, “All the money in the world, and he just put it in bold!”

What follows is an unhinged unraveling that would make any typeface enthusiast clutch their Helvetica in horror. Gosling’s character embarks on a quest to confront the Disney designer responsible, culminating in a public showdown where he accuses the designer of treating the font choice as an “afterthought.” Amidst his rant, he speculates, “Does James Cameron care? I don’t think so. He’s probably at the bottom of the f*cking ocean.”

Even James Cameron Knows About the Papyrus Backlash

The sketch struck such a cultural chord back in 2017 that even Cameron himself was asked about it in a 2022 interview. With a hint of bemusement, Cameron revealed, “It’s haunted me. Not really.” He then playfully admitted to doubling down on the controversy: “We’re using Papyrus for everything. … I didn’t even know it was Papyrus, nobody asked me! I just thought the art department had come up with this cool font.”

SNL clearly has a knack for turning “wispy, thin concepts” into comedic gold, as Cameron put it, and they’ve done it again, much to our delight. Gosling’s deadpan delivery and the absurdity of fixating on such a minute detail make Papyrus 2 a worthy sequel, proving once more that when it comes to SNL, no joke is too small and no font is too trivial to spark a full-fledged existential crisis.

Check out Papyrus 2 in all its glory, above. The full episode of Saturday Night Live is available to stream on Peacock in the U.S.


Saturday Night Live

A famous guest host stars in parodies and sketches created by the cast of this witty show.

Release Date
October 11, 1975

Main Genre



Lorne Michaels

Watch on Peacock

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