The standout sketch of the “Saturday Night Live” season premiere was easily the digital short in which Ryan Gosling starred as a man haunted over the fact that James Cameron used the much-maligned Papyrus font for the “Avatar” logo. The video, which runs just over three minutes, went viral and has earned nearly 2 million views since debuting on YouTube two days ago.
“It happened again,” Gosling’s unnamed narrator says. “I thought it was behind me, but the dreams came back. I was up all night. I forgot about it for years, but then I remembered that ‘Avatar,’ the giant, international blockbuster, used the Papyrus font as its logo.”
The serious tone of the video matched with the inane fear over the Papyrus font created comedy gold for “Saturday Night Live,” and it apparently led to a ton of Sunday morning emails to the actual creator of the Papyrus font. Chris Costello appeared in an interview on CBSN Sunday morning and revealed no one was a bigger fan of the Papyrus takedown than himself, even if he doesn’t quite get the hatred for his creation.
“I woke up this morning Sunday and my email was full,” Costello said. “I took a look at [the sketch] 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…I designed the font when I was 23 years old. I was right out of college. I was kind of just struggling with some different life issues, I was studying the Bible, looking for God and this font came to mind, this idea of, thinking about the biblical times and Egypt and the Middle East. I just started scribbling this alphabet while I was at work and it kind of looked pretty cool.”
Costello sold the font for $750 and says he hardly receives any royalty payments. “I had no idea it would be on every computer in the world and used for probably every conceivable design idea,” he said. “This is a big surprise to me as well.”