His co-star Emma Stone also made a surprise appearance.
Ryan Gosling made his return to Saturday Night Live to host the show for the second time, and to make fun of his role in La La Land in the process.
“I haven’t felt this excited since I saved jazz,” he joked in his opening monologue, referencing one of the controversies surrounding the musical film, in which some viewers complained the film 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.”
He even teased the audience with a La La Land-esque piano accompaniment to his monologue to explain jazz.
Later in the bit, he was joined by a surprise guest: his leading lady in the film, Emma Stone. Stone 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 jokes.
The last time the Blade Runner 2049 actor appeared on the show, he memorably couldn’t keep a straight face during a few of his sketches. To that end, fans hoping to see more of Gosling breaking character were not disappointed. During his first sketch, in which he plays a supposed 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.
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 on NBC.
Watch the monologue below.