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

By Dustin Rowles | TV | November 17, 2013 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | November 17, 2013 |

(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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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.