But the weekly sketch comedy series' greatest gift is its ability to occasionally leave guest hosts - and sometimes even cast members - in stitches.
In the film, Gosling was seen as a musician with eyes on bringing jazz back to prominence. Then, a wide smile.
The sketch itself wasn't all that bad, but poor Gosling couldn't keep a straight face throughout as Kate McKinnon had him desperately trying to keep down the laughter.
In a digital sketch, Gosling plays someone who becomes obsessed with the fact that the Avatar movie used the Papyrus font in their official artwork.
Ryan Gosling was there to promote Blade Runner 2049, but he kicked off the show by telling the audience that he single-handedly saved jazz music, before being joined by Emma Stone who corrected him, because she too saved jazz from extinction. When they are fooled into eating food from Pizza Hut, things go badly. Attorney General Jeff Sessions (McKinnon) sat on Trump's lap and confided, "I might look adorable but I'm frightening".
Trump was a major promoter of the show last season, even if it was unintentional. "People say I remind them of an National Football League player because I'm combative, I like to win and I might have a degenerative brain disease", Baldwin said. "I know what you did!" he screams at the director.
So it was no surprise that the show's first sketch after the monologue was the alien abduction sketch all over again; as much as professional comedians may claim to hate breaking on camera, no one wants to leave a giggling Gosling opportunity on the table.
In a bit that will generate wide discussion, "Weekend Update" lambasted Trump for his slow response to the Puerto Rico crisis. Probably Moffat and Mikey Day set an unreasonably high standard for new cast involvement through last season and Gardner and Redd had a more typical debut.