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Bowen Yang Has Theories on Why Ryan Gosling Broke Character on ‘SNL’ (Exclusive)

Bowen Yang Has Theories on Why Ryan Gosling Broke Character on ‘SNL’
Andrew Dismukes, Heidi Gardner, James Austin Johnson, Ryan Gosling as Jeffery Thank You, and Bowen Yang as Dr. Please during the SNL ‘Doctor’ sketch on April 13, 2024. Will Heath/NBC

Ryan Gosling caught another case of the giggles during his return to Saturday Night Live — and Bowen Yang has some insight into why.

“He was so amazing to work with. He came to the show the week before for Kristen Wiig’s episode, and that was the first time we met, and he was so nice,” Yang, 33, began in an interview with Us Weekly pegged to the NBC star’s partnership with Oatly. “He couldn’t have been nicer. He stopped me in the hallway. “The first thing he said to me was — and I don’t mean to revisit this because I would love to put this to bed — but there was a moment where I was going to be with him in the Barbie movie, and he was like, ‘I’m so sorry it didn’t work out.’ I was like, ‘Ryan, no one needs to apologize for that. It just didn’t work out for scheduling reasons,’ but he was like, ‘I know, but it would’ve been fun and let’s do something together next week.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, OK.’”

The comedian continued: “And then I felt this immense pressure to write something for him that would be good. A two-hander would’ve been really ideal. Thankfully, it all kind of worked out where I had multiple ideas and multiple things went to dress rehearsal and some things went and some things didn’t.”

Yang noted that the April 23 SNL episode “was such a perfect show” for Gosling overall.

“He was just able to kind of carbonate it with his own giggles and his own energy and his effervescence, and it kind of elevated everything around him, including the cast. I think we were all just very psyched that he was there,” he said.

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While the tone was set from the cold open, Gosling, 43, really started to lose it later in the show. Among the standout skits were “Beavis and Butt-Head,” where Gosling and Mikey Day played lookalikes of the iconic TV characters in the audience of an NewsNation livestream event on AI, distracting SNL veterans Kenan Thompson and Heidi Gardner, and “Doctor,” where Gosling and Yang inform a family that their loved one didn’t make it. Gardner, Gosling and giggles were a thread in both sketches.

“I did not know that he would break to the level that he did [in ‘Doctor’]. I think the ‘Beavis and Butt-Head’ sketch was before us, and that kind of set it up for that,” Yang told Us. “The wig we didn’t see until the day of. We just told the hair department, Jodi Mancuso, she’s a genius. My doctor look had been pre-established from the Nate Bargatze episode. So we were like, let’s just do something for him that’s blonde, but also kind of similar, asymmetrical, crazy, whatever. And they had so much fun with it. He was blowing on the bangs during [the] run through, and it was making everybody laugh.”

Yang jokingly called out Gardner again. “Heidi, I’m going to single her out again. I think she was just giggly all week and she lost it,” he said. “But it was so much fun.”

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Us caught up with Yang ahead of Oatly x Barry’s x Bowen Yang Classtacular on Monday, April 22, in which Yang cohosted a workout featuring Oatly shakes served at the Fuel Bar. “The Fuel Bar is a required stop for me,” Yang told Us. “I’m not the only person who finds the Fuel Bar very, very essential to the Barry’s experience. You’ll see as soon as you’re done with this, you’re going to be like, ‘I need something substantive in me right now,’ and your body will thank you for it.”

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