Tonight marked the first time that Lady Gaga hosted Saturday Night Live and nobody knew what they were getting and we still don’t know how to feel about things. Overall, Gaga was actually a decent host although she wasn’t the best host of the season. Still, things could have gone a lot worse than they did and Gaga is in the top half of the crop of hosts this season so far.
Part of the problem with those who didn’t enjoy her hosting job had more to do with outside perceptions of the pop star than it did about her actual performance as host. Rather than let her over-the-top artsy image bleed into the show, Gaga dialed it back and was actually pretty “normal” when it came to the sketches she was in.
In all honesty, it was rather refreshing to see the pop star just live within the characters she played on stage as when she was in a bit, she was locked in and was pretty funny. Highlights of this included the first sketch of the show in which she played an Apple store genius and mocked the outfits she wears when she’s in character as Lady Gaga.
Another highlight of her great hosting job was seen in the sketch where child actors improvised scenes from famous movies and television shows. Gaga played both a little girl as Denzel Washington’s character from Training Day as well as Sally Field’s role in Forrest Gump, specifically the scene where she dies.
Those expecting Gaga to be outrageous were disappointed but that really wasn’t the purpose of her hosting SNL this week. In fact, had she been her usual artsy self, things would have gone south fast. Instead, we saw a normally too serious pop star loosen up and have fun for a few hours and that seeped through the television and to the audience at home who had more fun than they thought they were going to have with someone like Lady Gaga hosting the show.
We did get a few moments where Gaga drew outside the lines, specifically when she flashed the audience during her opening monologue and again when she got way too familiar with R. Kelly during her first musical set.
But overall, Gaga was a more than decent host who didn’t once take herself too seriously and we got more out of the show than we thought we were going to.