'Saturday Night Live' - Ryan Gosling & Jay-Z Season Premiere Recap

The 43rd season premiere of Saturday Night Live is tonight. We'll be here with you live throughout the episode with an up-to-date recap of the night's sketches. So keep refreshing the page to check out the latest updates and come back tomorrow for videos from the episode.

Cold Open
President Trump is urged to help Puerto Rico to no avail and is then paid a visit by Jeff Sessions. It's a simultaneous take-down of Trump and awareness raiser for Puerto Rico that soon goes on an unconnected Jeff Sessions tangent. As the first cold open of the season, it's a little weak, but it's still great to have this show back.

Ryan Gosling Monologue 
Did you guys know that Ryan Gosling saved jazz? It's an ok joke the first time that is supposed to get funnier the more Gosling insists it. And it almost does? Things quickly go off the rails as Gosling gets behind the piano. He talks about saving jazz, the $9 billion budget of Blade Runner 2049, jazz being created in "Nerlins" (my new favorite word that even made Gosling crack), going to NYC City, and saving jazz. Kenan Thompson tries to tell Gosling he very much did not save jazz, but it falls on deaf ears. Then Emma Stone makes a cameo to correct Gosling. They saved jazz together. And that's the monologue, a scatter-shot riff of jokes that was almost like the comedy version of... jazz. It worked for me, but could play very differently to others.

Another Close Encounter
The first iteration of Close Encounter captured lightning in a bottle. A great premise, absurd line readings by Kate McKinnon, and the adorable breaking of Ryan Gosling made for an A+ sketch. Going back to the well was a risky move, and for the first half things fell flat. McKinnon joked about old news like Fyre Festival and the sexual innuendos didn't catch on. But then she brought Gosling into the fold in what was an obvious attempt at making the cast break that I can't help but respect it. She repeatedly grabs and pokes Gosling's butt to demonstrate how the aliens treated her, eventually sticking her face in the crack which is how one gets double barreled pink eye. Great ending to a decent sketch sequel.

Levi's "Woke" Jeans Commercial
A 180 degree fly, only in the color "greb", gender non-comforming, pockets sold separately. Great commercial.

The Fliplets
A property renovation show takes a dark turn when a third brother raised by his father joins in. The premise really begins to shine the darker the material gets toward the end. Ryan Gosling revealing he watched a man die due to a dreadful excitement is not your typical SNL joke, but it sure was a funny one.

Weekend Update
A decent outing for the season's first Weekend Update that can't match some of the highs from last season. Reactions ranged from groans when Jost joked about Bush taking five years to get his Katrina to cheers when Che bluntly called President Trump a bitch for complaining about the Puerto Rican mayor on Twitter. I got a particular kick out of Hugh Hefner being buried in a computer folder named "Work Stuff" and "White Fudge Ding Dongs" being the name of Weekend Update in China. Kate McKinnon stops by as Angela Merkel, which is one of her weaker characters. Alex Moffat is next as A Guy Who Owns a Boat. He makes douchey comments and tries to slip in references to his tiny penis. Funny stuff, right? Ryan Gosling joins in on the fun with the line "Captain Blackout, reporting for booty." The bit isn't the best, but there is some charm on display as Moffat and Gosling fist pump over the answer to "Is it in yet?" being "It usually is." Overall, hit-or-miss Weekend Update for the premiere.

Henrietta and the Fugitive
A crook plans to skip town with his lover, who happens to be a chicken. The joke here being that the chicken feels insecure being involved with a real human man. She doesn't have two working hands and there's not even egg heaters on planes! How could they ever make things work? It's the first real miss of the night. I respect the absurd premise, and there's some charming work here, but this one just really fell flat for me.

Pizza Hut
A couple get confused and then angry when finding out the fancy dinner they just ate was actually made by Pizza Hut. It's a one note sketch that gets some pretty good mileage out of its premise. That it's all actually a Domino's commercial (they're not liars!) is the icing on the cake. It's another decent sketch in what has turned into a very good premiere episode.

A pre-taped sketch about a man who begins to lose his mind over the fact that the papyrus font was used for the official Avatar movie logo. This is such a specific and niche joke, made more random due to the fact that no one has thought about Avatar since its release in 2009. For people who don't care about Avatar or font? This might be a miss. For me, it's a home run.

Dive Bar Performance
The final sketch of the night is a huge swing and a miss. Ryan Gosling plays the flutist in a band whose backstory is much more interesting than the band's performance. At least, that's the idea. It's the first complete dud of the night for me.

Overall Thoughts: very solid season premiere, led by a very game Ryan Gosling. If this is indicative of the season to come, we're in for a real treat.

Sketch Rankings:
1. Papyrus
2. Another Close Encounter
3. Levi's Woke Jeans
4. Pizza Hut
5. The Fliplets
6. Henrietta and the Fugitive
7. Dive Bar Performance