From the opening monologue of Lady Gaga’s first turn as host of enduring entertainment institution Saturday Night Live, it was clear that the reigning pop diva is in on the joke and she has no problem making them herself.
Gaga joined the likes of Justin Timberlake by pulling double duty this Saturday night, serving as both host and musical guest on Saturday Night Live. Her first shot at herself was a send-up of her hit “Applause,” entitled “Cheap Applause,” a commentary on the ease of manipulating crowds by means of pandering. And, although it’d already been said at the end of the opening sketch, as is tradition, she illustrated the point by proclaiming “Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night.”
In the best Saturday Night Live sketch of the episode—which The Hollywood Reporter called “the strongest episode of Saturday Night Live so far this season”—a mock morning show with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West entitled “Waking Up With Kimye,” Gaga plays an abused Apple Store employee brought on the show to fix Kim’s laptop (she saw the Apple logo and dipped it in caramel). That didn’t stop Yeezy from berating the frumptastically-dressed character for her lack of fashion. The pay off? Gaga’s first Saturday Night Live zinger: “I think people who try too hard with their outfits are maybe hiding something.”
Then there’s the requisite Saturday Night Live fake product sketch, which showed Saturday Night Live cast member Taran Killam as Counting Crows singer Adam Duritz, promoting WHAAAT?: The Worst Cover Songs of All Time, which included Counting Crows own version of Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi.” Gaga then lampoons herself by appearing to cover a Madonna song, “Express Yourself” by singing the lyrics to her own hit “Born This Way.”
Another Saturday Night Live sketch hit for Gaga showed her playing an older version of herself in the future, long forgotten and hoping to be recognized as the star she once was. The Fame Monster calls her building superintendent—Saturday Night Live cast member Kenan Thompson, referring to her by her proper name, Mrs. Germanotta—to her apartment to fix a lamp that isn’t broken in the hopes that her fawning will jar his memory, to no avail. Out of ideas, she shows him a telephone, invoking her song with Beyonce—”You know Beyonce? Empress Beyonce?”
Overall, not a bad episode of Saturday Night Live and a great opportunity for Lady Gaga to remind the world she’s in on the joke and doesn’t mind being the butt of it.