When Saturday Night Live returned for its 43rd season this weekend, the most talked-about moment on Sunday wasn’t the Emma Stone cameo or Alec Baldwin’s return as President Donald Trump. Instead, it was a late-in-the-show pretaped sketch starring host Ryan Gosling as a man who can’t stop thinking about the fact that James Cameron’s Avatar used the font Papyrus.

“I forgot about it for years,” Gosling muses in the sketch, “but then I remembered that Avatar, the giant international blockbuster, used the Papyrus font as its logo.”

The sketch was an immediate hit, and now, the creator of the famous font is weighing in: CBS News caught up with designer Chris Costello, who defended the font as “well-designed” but admitted that yes, it’s overused.

“I really think — and again if I can take this time to apologize to my brother and sister graphic designers,” he said, “I’m a graphic designer as well, I’m an illustrator … I believe it’s a well-designed font, it was well-thought out.”

Costello said he designed the font when he was only 23, and he sold it for $750. Since then, it’s become a standard font inclusion on just about every computer released since 2000.

“I woke up this morning, Sunday, and my email was full. I had a lot of people telling me, ‘Did you see this Saturday Night Live thing?’” Costello told CBS. “I took a look at it, and me and my wife were like cracking up, I mean we couldn’t stop laughing. It was one of the best things I’ve seen.”

Production is currently underway on the first of four planned Avatar sequels. The first installment will hit theaters Dec. 18, 2020.

Episode Recaps

Bowen Yang
Saturday Night Live

The original late-night comedy sketch show from the one and only Lorne Michaels.

  • TV Show
  • 48
  • Saturdays at 11:30 PM
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