Lady Gaga Hosts an Almost Completely Worthless 'Saturday Night Live'
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Lady Gaga Hosts an Almost Completely Worthless 'Saturday Night Live'

By Dustin Rowles | TV Reviews | November 17, 2013 | Comments ()


(Author’s note: Terrible episode. If you’re looking for highlights only, just skip to the Jebidiah segment from Weekend Update and the Blockbuster sketch. Everything else was damn near unwatchable)

Cold Open — Bobby Moynihan takes a crack at a Rob Ford sketch (PUN INTENDED, THANK YOU VERY MUCH) and while he was decent, and the sketch was OK if not blandly predictable, what it really did was make me miss Chris Farley. NO ONE did a better fat guy pratfall. (Score: 4/10)


Lady Gaga Monologue (not embeddable)— A song pandering for cheap applause. No, really: It’s high-concept, with layers. Lady Gaga wrote a song about cheap applause designed to elicit cheap applause by, for instance, mentioning school teachers and props for New York. It worked; or it would, if I were not a Boston guy, because f**k New York (no offense). (Score: 6/10)

Paxil — A drug manufactured specifically to deal with Presidential second-term blues. (It’s not covered by Obamacare, unfortunately). Cute. Kind of. (Score: 5/10)

Waking Up with Kimye — I don’t think I’ve ever seen Kanye West and Kim Kardashian have a conversation. The juxtaposition is like rubbing a squeaky balloon on a growling hyena. The sketch fails in every respect except for one amusingly meta Lady Gaga line. (Score: 3/10)

Whaaaaat (not embeddable) — Taran Killam’s Adam Duritz — known for a terrible cover of Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi” — plugs a compilation album for the worst covers of all time. Basically, it’s another excuse for the cast members to come out and do impressions. Aidy Bryant’s Adele covering the theme for L.A. Law is funny (no words!), and there’s some intentionally cute meta-irony in Lady Gaga covering Madonna. Hey guess what, y’all? LADY GAGA DOES A GREAT MADONNA IMPRESSION. Despite the impressionist talent on display, the sketch mostly fails. (Score: 4/10)

Do What I Want with Your Body — I don’t usually embed the musical performances because I don’t usually care about the musical performances. This is no exception, really, except that I figure some folks will want to see the R. Kelly appearance here, because people on Twitter are really excited about R. Kelly and Lady Gaga simulating sex on stage.

Weekend Update — The always reliable headline jokes are not so reliable this week: A bunch of tired Affordable Care Act and Rob Ford jokes, most of which we’ve seen 100 times on Twitter this week already. Even the oddities’ jokes falter. (Score: 3/10)

Weekend Update: Mr. Senior — Kenan Thompson does a remote segment where he walks around NYC wrecking Christmas-related sh*t because it’s too damn early. It’s funny, because … no, no, it’s not funny at all. (Score: 2/10)

Jebidiah Atkinson — Taran Killam plays a newspaper critic of Abraham Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address,” wherein he skewers the speech — and several other historical speeches — angry Gene Shalit style. It’s pretty good, especially when Killam breaks character when, it appears that he’s forced to ad lib because either 1) the TelePrompTer goes down or 2) he just decided to go off book because the Pearl Harbor joke is just too offensive. It’s been a weak episode, and this may end up being the best moment of the show. (Score: 7/10)

New York Co-opt Board Interview — Oh, it’s that kind of show tonight. I guess they used all their good material on Kerry Washington. (Score: 2/10)

Spotlightz — An acting school for serious kids. So, it’s like 12 year olds doing G-rated interpretations of famous monologues from R-rated movies and TV shows, like Training Day and Breaking Bad. This sketch doesn’t work, either. It’s painful. (Score: 2/10)

Blockbuster Bankruptcy Sketch — Another super weird pre-taped sketch from the new guy, Kyle Mooney, that doesn’t work as well as his previous super-weird pre-taped sketches, but it’s still the best thing about tonight’s show besides Killam’s ad lib flub. (Score: 7/10)

4th Grade Talent Pageant (not embeddable) — A couple of overeager parents pantomime their daughter’s routine from the audience. It gets weird, but never funny. (Score: 3/10)

Lady Gaga as an Old Lady (not embeddable) — It’s the future, and Lady Gaga is a senior citizen living in a penthouse eagerly trying to convince a maintenance man that she was once famous and relevant. It’s another excuse for Gaga to make fun of herself. It’s kind of on the sad side, actually. (Score: 3/10)

Rose Zone — A Red zone channel for all the trashy moments in reality shows. They’re not even trying tonight. (Score: 2/10)

(See Also: Mindhole Blowers: 30 Fascinating Facts About Saturday Night Live)

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • hey hey

    What a worthless site.

  • Jifaner

    I...liked it? I dunno, I think it was a solid episode. Maybe not a stand out (though I did love Kimye and Jebididah and hope those return), but not terrible.

    ETA: I have a cousin who worked at Blockbuster since high school and was a manager when it closed in his area. He now works at Best Buy. No lie. I'm so sending him that clip hahahaha

  • lowercase_ryan

    I wonder if this was the inspiration for the Jebidiah skit?

  • joshsummer

    I thought acting wise she did a fantastic job with the material she was given. The show wasn't sub par because of her it was the writing itself that was its downfall. I guess you have to to take into account the new cast members are still getting a feel of what works for a good show but so far the whole season has been lacking to me. I don't think the blame should be placed on her though she did a fantastic job even better then some of the new cast members for someone who is completely new to comedy.

  • melissa82

    I just realized I've never seen Gaga perform live. She has the weirdest dance moves…..

  • Wrestling Fan

    I really liked Gaga. Her performance last night reminded me of Ben Affleck's last appearance, in that even with mediocre writing, she gave her all and was obviously enjoying herself.

  • Sean

    I didn't think it was horrible. Just non-memorable. I completely forgot about it after watching. An awful show would make me remember. Gaga has no real talent, but she at least can make fun of herself.

  • dizzylucy

    I liked Mr. Senior, only because I could live vicariously through him ripping down holiday decorations and screaming "It's too soon!" which I've wanted to do for about 2 or 3 weeks now.
    And I liked the speech critic. I guess I should have just watched the Weekend Update segment.

  • prince_of_montagu

    I'm not even a GaGa fan and even I think this review is too harsh.

    Was she Kerry Washington levels of hosting? Nah. Was she January Jones level of hosting? Hell no. Somewhere in the middle. Plus, she made fun of herself in at least three moments of the show which got good laughs and showed how game she was.

    That last sketch as an old lady was QUITE sad though. That's probably her worst nightmare.

  • mograph

    Hey, SNL: Maybe you should do a sketch about Chicago politicians and news anchors talking like cowboys. Don't all Americans talk like that? No?

  • Haystacks

    To be fair, it is not really Gaga's fault. She didn't do the writing.

  • joshsummer

    Couldn't agree more. It needs a whole new perspective. Gaga to me was more realistic then some of the cast members were for someone unexperienced in comedic theatre .

  • John W

    "Lady Gaga Hosts an Almost Completely Worthless 'Saturday Night Live"

    What a shock.

  • Jason

    I loved it.

  • **I AM** NotTheOne

    I don't know much about Gaga but does she always dance this way? She looked like she was still playing her Apple store character. I would expect her to move less awkwardly than this. She has a good singing voice though. If she was really singing while doing all of that moving around it's pretty impressive that she stayed in tune.

    Rob Ford jokes are never not funny.

  • Jifaner

    She can actually dance pretty well, but she often goes for the performance art crazy stuff instead. She really has a fantastic voice, though. Hearing her live always amazes me a bit.


  • You are so weird. But that's why I love you.

  • Daniel Valentin

    I think it's such a waste that they did not salvage this episode with the most obvious joke they could make: that when Gaga and R. Kelly are simulating sex during their musical number, R. Kelly gets up, drops his pants and pisses all over her.

  • bonsi

    You must have been in a bad mood, the show was great! Gaga overacted in a few of the sketches, but she was very good in the talent show and in the 2063 sketch.
    Jebidiah was incredible, I hope he becomes a recurring character.
    Best show of the season so far

  • kilmo

    Wow, I thought the complete opposite. I thought she did a great job. I was never bored, first episode in awhile (aside Kerry W.) that I didn't fast forward. She is a performer and now I wanna see a concert. Girl puts on a show.
    I like that things got weird.

    I've also never seen her wear regular shoes before. So that was cool.

    Only worthless thing was no Mark Kanemura dancing. WHERE IS HE??? Although, her rando tambourine player is now my everything.

  • I'm so glad I'm not the only one disappointed by the lack of Kanemura.

  • I'll always watch or DVR SNL because its one of the few legacy comedy shows that still "matter." But this one I skipped completely, and based on your review, I made the right call. I've reached the end of my rope with non-actor/comedian hosts (Timberlake excluded). Taking risks with hosts can pay off if done sporadically. Gaga is the fourth pop singer to land the gig this calendar year, though (Beiber, Adam Levine, Miley), with terrible results. What's next, swapping the roles completely?


    There's no reason to ask these types of entertainers to carry a sketch comedy show when hundreds of famous actors/comedians would line up outside 30 Rock in the freezing rain for the opportunity to host. Keep the musicians on the sound stage. It'll up the show's quality.

  • Sarah Weissman

    Haven't seen it yet, but Gaga is actually one of the pop stars with high-level theatre training. I think, she did a few years at NYU Tisch's musical theatre program, so having her as the host out of most of the pop stars out there, was actually not a bad idea. It sounds like a lot of the problems with this week's show were the sketches, not her performance in them.

  • Sure, but that's not what she does now. Her chops aren't fresh.

    And yeah, the sketches were weak. But she's not funny, either, and didn't have the ability to lift mediocre writing a la Kerry Washington.

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