Season 43 of Saturday Night Live premiered on Saturday night hosted by Ryan Gosling, who in 2015 co-starred (and giggled, a lot) in a sketch called "Close Encounters," about a group of alien abductees who had a transforming and enlightening experience...except for Kate McKinnon's character, who had a wildly different time aboard the spacecraft.
To say it was a success is an understatement; it's been viewed 23 million times on YouTube alone. McKinnon, who has won two Emmys for her work on SNL, reprised the character in "Near Death Experience" and "Christmas Miracle," but on Saturday, we got the genuine article when she re-teamed with Gosling for "Another Close Encounter." It did not disappoint.
In "Another Close Encounter," two NSA agents (Aidy Bryant and Mikey Day) interview the only three known survivors of a double alien abduction: McKinnon, Gosling, and Cecily Strong. Strong's character has been moved by her experience, Gosling's was really jazzed about his new Department of Defense hat, and McKinnon as the chain-smoking Ms. Rafferty, well, this is what she has to say about the abduction:
"Cookie crumbled a little different for me here. I wasn't so much lifted by light as I was caught in a net. Little bastards set a snare for me; next thing I know I'm being winched straight up through the world's sappiest pine tree, right? My slacks got snagged on a branch, so they're gone, and I'm hauled on board with my bush and my tush hanging out. I see my old pals, the grey aliens with the big, stupid, fat eyes, and I'm hit with the realization: first time I've been on a second date since twenty-oh-nine."
It gets weirder and better from there. Do yourself a favor and watch the whole thing:
The best part of this sketch, besides McKinnon's performance, is that Gosling just cannot stop breaking, especially when they begin to re-enact parts of the abduction. Their physicality adds new meaning to the "close" in "close encounter."