Lady Gaga Deserves 'Applause' as 'Saturday Night Live' Host and Musical Guest
Bobby Moynihan, Lady Gaga, Taran Killam, and Mike O'Brien on "Saturday Night Live"
"Saturday Night Live" usually taps actors as its hosts, with the occasional sprinkling of athletes or musicians. This week, Lady Gaga made her debut as host, in addition to being the musical guest. And like so many of her performances, it was fantastic.
Sometimes it feels like Gaga's whole life is just one long performance — life as theater. So, it wasn’t too much of a surprise that she could pull off some smart comedy. The energy she brought felt like a breath of fresh air for the show; in fact, this episode may just be the best so far of the season.
It all started with the monologue (forget the cold open — it’s dead to us these days). Lady Gaga, of course, sang and danced, a monologue staple that usually makes us groan. But she did a clever reworking of her hit song "Applause," which not only poked fun at her public image but also zinged how people get cheap applause by pandering to the audience. The lyrics had shout-outs to ladies, people from out of town, and New York firemen.
Gaga's actual musical performances were more … uh, Gaga-esque in that they sought to shock. R. Kelly showed up to duet with her on "Do What U Want" and the two sort of pantomimed having sex.
Overall, it was a quality evening, at least comedy-wise. Here are the best and worst sketches:
As usual, the best sketch of the week is a pre-recorded one. This is a melancholy masterpiece, an ode to the dying Blockbuster franchise. It captures all the little details that made Blockbuster what it was — the cardboard cut-outs, the stacks of boxes, familiar blue-and-yellow employee polo shirts. This sketch feels like a mini-movie, and even incorporates Lady Gaga as a dream siren.