Lady Gaga knows that there are two types of applause: the kind you earn and the cheap applause an audience gives when people say things like, "Give it up for New York!"
Gaga got all of it as the host and musical guest of "Saturday Night Life," poking plenty of fun at herself along the way. The platinum-blonde starlet launched into a jazz number of "Applause" during her monologue and trailed off into the classic "New York, New York" (jazz hands included) before uproariously exclaiming "SNL's" traditional show-opening line, "Live from New York, it's Saturday night!"
"I know we already said that, but it always gets your applause," Mother Monster said coyly with a wink and a smile.
Kanye, Kim And Karen, Too
In Studio 8H's first sketch, she played Karen, a lowly Apple employee who was subjected to being a guest on the "Waking Up With Kimye" show. Nasim Pedrad played a newly highlighted Kim Kardashian, strapped into a curve-hugging, white Givenchy dress, while Jay Pharoah took over the impression of Kanye West. Kanye had opinions, as usual, and challenged Karen's Genius Bar role at Apple, saying that he, in fact, was the only one worthy of saying "I am a genius."
During a "Kim Wore It Better" segment, Karen, clad in a signature blue Apple employee shirt, was forced to stand next to Kim to compare outfits. 'Ye deemed that Kim won, as suggested by the title. However, Karen retorted, "I think people that try too hard with their outfits are maybe hiding something" — pausing to let the joke sink in — and that she's a "jorts and jelly shoes kind of girl."
In what may be the most entertaining infomercial ever (if only it were real) was the ad to sell "Whaat: The Worst Cover Songs Of All Time." Britney Spears (Pedrad) covered a breathy "Hallelujah," Rick Ross (Kenan Thompson) toughened up Anna Kendrick's "Cups" (not even attempting the cup choreography) and Lady Gaga covered Madonna's "Express Yourself." Gaga's version of "Express Yourself," however, was actually her singing "Born This Way." Although she may reignite speculation about how Madonna once said Gaga's music was "reductive," Gaga has made it clear that she could care less about an impending feud and rivalry with Madge.
Set in her Upper West Side apartment in 2063, we got to see the Lady Gaga of the future. With smeared lipstick and scraggly grey hair, Gaga used to be "a pop star back in the day" but is a has-been after the fame fizzled. A maintenance man (Thompson) comes to fix her lamp and Gaga tries to convince him of her former stardom. When she tells him her stage name was Lady Gaga, he replies "were you like royalty or something, or was it that thing where they couldn't tell if you were a lady or a dude?" She sits down at her piano, littered with multiple Grammy awards and an MTV Moonman, playing her repertoire of "Poker Face," "Bad Romance" and "Applause." Kenan has to inform her that he only recognizes "Born This Way" as a "jingle for laser toilet cleaners." Gaga insists she must fire her manager. Oof.