I feel like there are still people who bet against musicians who host this show; those who assume, just ‘cuz, that they won’t do well. My favourite hosting jobs of the last few years have been from musicians: Taylor Swift, Miley, Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake (always). Lady Gaga wasn’t as strong as those mentioned, but just as worthy and delivered the goods as host on SNL last night. They are kind of trained for this medium though, right? Not that actors aren’t, of course not, but the live aspect of it all bleeds into the world of performing (as of proofreading this I’m reminded of Katy Perry’s horrible hosting job, so no, maybe they’re not all made for this). And with the costume changes and all that, this was just like a night on tour for Gagapants. Gaga might be crazy and a try-hard but there is a commitment and a zeal in her performances that you just can’t deny. Similar to Miley. They just have it.
The Cold Open:
Well, we saw this coming. I actually had this feeling they weren’t going to touch upon it at all but they did. It was fine. It worked. It was what I was expecting but it was just lazy. There is so much material to work with, with Rob Ford, our city’s Mayor, and the best you can come up with is making fun of our accent? That was my biggest issue with the entire cold open. Because it was used to get a laugh. I’m not offended by it, of course not, but I’m offended by it’s laziness. That’s such a tired joke.
I liked it. When they can do this style of monologue with someone who can sing and sing well and nails it, I don’t hate it. The Applause + New York, New York mash-up at the end was stellar. I don’t think it worked from a comedic aspect, but it didn’t have to
I thought, overall, it was a strong showing last night. I liked almost every sketch. Almost every sketch made me laugh. They weren’t outstanding but they were solid and consistent and from the current state of this show, that’s more than I can ask for. My favourite sketch of the night was Waking Up With Kimye, because obviously. Gaga was the weakest part of the sketch but Jay’s Kanye and Nasim’s Kim were Bound 2 (reference) overshadow. Jay’s Kanye impression is spot on and spectacular, yes, but there is something about Nasim’s Kim impression that just kills me every single time.
I love a good “let’s have everyone do their best impressions” sketch. Last night’s was particularly messy but still supplied the laughs. I have my issues with Kenan as a comic but his Rick Ross almost killed me. I also quite enjoyed the New York Apartment sketch. It was the kind of character work I wanted to see Gaga do and she excelled with it. Oh, and the Blockbuster piece was solid as well.
ALSO R. KELLY SHOWED UP.
And, as always, Taran Killam is The Future. His work on Weekend Update last night was impeccable: