Gaga On SNL: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

11.18.2013

By Alex Panisch

She gave comedy acting the old college try: We give her a “B“

This Saturday, Lady Gaga pulled double duty as host and musical guest on Saturday Night Live. NBC was being rather ambitious with this very Gaga episode asking a lot of the singer’s acting talents, and it seems like perhaps they aimed a bit to high. While the episode did not flop with a resounding “thud,” it most certainly did not rocket to the heights of comedic gold or even must see TV. Here’s the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly:

The Good:

Lady Gaga Performing “Do What U Want” and “Gypsy,” You probably could have guessed that Gaga’s musical performances were the episode’s highlights. While the music on SNL can be hit (Janelle Monae’s “Electric Lady”) or miss (Katy Perry’s “Walking on Air”) Gaga was spot on. R Kelly even made a guest appearance to accompany Mother Monster on “Do What U Want.” Though the she wasn’t the most stellar host that Saturday Night’s had—it felt like they really didn’t know what to do with her—she was on point as a musical guest.

"Do What U Want"

"Gypsy"

The Bad:

One issue with this episode is that too often the sketches worked off one joke and never developed it. Take for instance “Spotlightz Acting Camp.” Here’s the premise, it’s an acting camp for serious child actors ergo they perform “serious roles” (e.g. Breaking Bad, Training Day), but they’re children so they over act the whole time. It was funny for the first minute and then just dragged on and on.  

The Co-op Board sketch suffered from the same problem. It’s a Co-op board full of freaks, eccentrics, and crazies. There were some laughs, but over-all the sketch was unsatisfying—though Gaga does do an excellent Marisa Tomei impression.

The Ugly:

“Female Sea Captains” is a web exclusive sketch in which—you guessed it—there are female sea captains. This hackneyed sketch relies on hoary old tropes—they’re lost, but it’s okay ‘cause their women and are fine with pulling over and asking for directions, hilarious—features a minstrelly gay best friend—whom they make “catwalk the plank”—and basically plays off the same joke over and over without taking it anywhere. We get it they’re women and they’re sea captains, why is there five minutes of this? The only good part is Kate McKinnon in a fake beard. 

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