Tonight Lady Gaga was both the host and musical guest on Saturday Night Live in the wake of the release of her new album, “ARTPOP.” Here is a recap of the Gaga-related portions of the show. I’m rating the skits on a scale of 1 – 10 for funniness. 10 means I wet myself laughing, 1 means I went to the kitchen for a snack. Times correspond to how far into the show the skit or performance took place since no one watches anyone real-time (except me since I’m doing nothing on a Saturday night except the delightful weekly task of waiting for the household teens to arrive home safely.
0:06 – Opening Monologue: No crazy outfits, she looks lovely in a sparkly dress and Marilyn Monroe-ish hair. Somehow in no time flat her opening monologue morphs into a “Chicago” style performance of her current single, “Applause.” The humor comes from her “gratuitous” attempts at audience applause (“Give it up for teachers!”), which subsequently morphs into “New York, New York.” Although it wasn’t super funny per se, I liked it. If she can do one thing, it’s give a strong musical performance.
0:16 – Waking Up With Kimye: Kim and Kanye interview an employee of the Apple store, a nerdy Gaga. Kanye quickly takes exception to the Apple employee’s “genius” title, proclaiming that he and Kim are the true geniuses. While most of the humor in the skit came from the Kim/Kanye lines, the nerdy employee noted at one point that “people who try too hard with their outfits are maybe hiding something.” Funniness: 5 (but not really because of Gaga)
0:26 – Worst Covers Ever: Adam Duritz from Counting Crows pitching an album called “WHAAAT.” Gaga covers Madonna’s “Express Yourself”. Her appearance was minimal, although a couple of the other covers were a little funny. Funniness: 5
0:33 – First musical performance: Wearing a sparkly pantsuit in serious danger of a wardrobe malfunction, Gaga performs “Do What U Want” with R. Kelly. They do their best to provide a performance that is shockingly suggestive, although I didn’t feel it was that over the top compared to some other recent (Miley Cyrus) performances. They share a tender embrace at the end of the number.
0:54 – Co-Op Interview: Gaga plays a tough tenant who claims the Marissa Tomei character in My Cousin Vinny was based on her as she and other grill potential new tenants. Very brief appearance. Funniness: 3
1:01 – Spotlights Acting Camp: Gaga plays several campers who over-exaggerate their roles. She was kind of funny as Forest Gump’s mother. Funniness: 6
1:08 – Blockbuster: Employees of Blockbuster lament the closing of the chain, then enter a dream sequence that includes Queen Gaga whipping them with licorice. They awaken to realize with relief that (spoiler alert) they are actually Best Buy employees. Funniness: 6
1:12 – Second musical performance: She’s playing a pink piano and wearing a dress that appears to have shoulder pads that double as butterfly wings as she performs “Gypsy.” She definitely sells this song, which I have not yet heard on the radio. A couple technical blips when her mic seems to go out while she transitions from piano to guitar. Does this mean she’s really singing live? Random dude in purple sparkle tights dances during the latter part of the performance.
1:18 –Talent Pageant: Gaga plays an over-enthusiastic couple (Gaga is the mother) encourage their fourth grade daughter as she performs what ultimately turns into a strip tease. It’s definitely the most Gaga has performed in any of the skits thus far. Funniness: 7
1:23 – Old Lady Gaga: Fast forward 20 years to the point when Gaga is kind of a washed up mess trying to impress the maintenance guy who has never heard of Lady Gaga. She tries to perform some of her old hits to spark his recognition of her. He remembers “Born This Way” but only as a jingle. He apologizes for not recognizes her but explains that he’s more into classic rock (like One Direction). It’s not super funny, but it’s kind of a cute skit. Funniness: 6
And that’s it. I’m guessing that Lady Gaga’s busy schedule the week her album was released precluded long SNL rehearsals. Hence, her roles in the skits were pretty limited, and none of tonight’s skits were gut busters. That being said, I thought her musical performances, particularly the second one, were strong, and I loved her opening number. She’s a musical performer, not necessarily a comedienne, but it was still fun to see her step outside of her usual craziness- she seemed like a good sport.
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Filed under: Music News