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Ryan Gosling and Kate McKinnon Reunited for New "Close Encounter" in SNL Cold Open

The two actors' alien abductees were back in fine form during Saturday Night Lives's April 13 cold open. 

By Samantha Vincenty

When Ryan Gosling's April 13 Saturday Night Live episode was first announced, you wouldn't be blamed for wondering if he'd revive characters from his previous two SNLs, as Kristen Wiig did on April 6.

How to Watch

Watch Saturday Night Live Saturdays at 11:30/10:30c on NBC and next day on Peacock.  

If so, your wish came true — twice, in fact — and Gosling and company wasted no time in making it happen. This week's cold open hit pause on politics, instead starting with a brand-new installment of Gosling's recurring "Close Encounters" sketches with Kate McKinnon, in which they are playing an iconic duo of alien abductee characters. 

The "Close Encounter" cold open found Sarah Sherman in the role of the third abductee, following Cecily Strong's departure from the show, and we learned that all three were on a camping trip when they were taken aboard. 

RELATED: Watch Ryan Gosling's Perfect SNL Episode from April 13

"And sir, before we begin, may I say something?" Gosling's character, Todd, asked the authorities interviewing them (Bowen Yang and Mikey Day). "I'm just realizing that I was wearing the same outfit the last time I was here. I just want you to know, I do have other clothes."

With that out of the way, the trio shared their stories. While two of the friends had a joyous time, becoming "citizens of the stars," as usual, McKinnon's character Colleen Rafferty had quite the divergent experience.

How Ryan Gosling and Kate McKinnon's newest "Close Encounter" was different

Kate McKinnon, Ryan Gosling, and Sarah Sherman during the "Close Encounter" Cold Open on Saturday Night Live Episode 1861, on April 13, 2024.

McKinnon's weary Ms. Rafferty somehow found a fresh array of nicknames for her body parts as she recounted the probing that she and the aliens had apparently grown used to. 

"I don't know... their heart wasn't in it. I saw one of them do this," she said, offering a cringe and a wave away. "Like, 'I'm good, you can have my turn.' Anyway, that's when Todd here showed up."

When asked why — as Todd described it — the aliens reacted "like middle schoolers meeting Taylor Swift," he offered a theory: "These things, they're...smooth down there."

Several double-entendre jokes later, the SNL audience howled as McKinnon crawled between Gosling's legs to reenact the aliens' investigation of his anatomy. 

RELATED: How to Enter the SNL Ticket Lottery to Watch SNL Live From NYC

"One guy, he tried to wear it like a hat," McKinnon continued as she squeezed between Gosling's legs to demonstrate amid her narrated series of flicks and batting hands. Gosling (mostly) managed to keep it together beneath the brim of his cap. 

Watch the entirety of "Close Encounter" cold open from Gosling's April 13 SNL above. 

Watch all of the "Close Encounter" sketches from Saturday Night Live 

Gosling appeared in "Close Encounter" sketches in both of his prior SNL episodes — and there were other versions of the sketches starring Hosts Brie Larson and Casey Affleck. Watch several below. 

Another Close Encounter

Another Close Encounter