It takes a lot to overshadow
For her first performance, Gaga sang “Do What U Want,” accompanied by R. Kelly. The two performed a subtle and romantic pas de deux that made
For her second performance, Gaga delivered a feel-good, what-if-Stevie-Nicks-and-Elton-John-had-a-baby-esque “Gypsy.” She began the song at her piano, but then halfway through, a very muscular young man clad in little else but tight, sparkly purple leggings handed her a guitar. He then played the tambourine much more enthusiastically than many people ever thought possible. Sunglasses-Holding-Girl and Leggings Guy: We may never know your names but we salute you.
FULL COVERAGE: Fall TV preview 2013
But what about the star herself? Gaga has appeared on “SNL” before, but with varying levels of success: The awkward 2009 “feud” she had onstage with
However, last night Gaga seemed less "untouchable pop star" and more "former
Even though it wasn't the most memorable scene of the night, this sensibility was channeled into "Spotlightz," a sketch about kid actors doing play versions of adult movies. Vanessa Bayer, who like
Speaking of Madonna, Gaga was game to make fun of both herself and the beef (or nonexistent beef? We can't keep track anymore) between herself and the Material Lady in a commercial for a compilation of poorly conceived song covers, like Lana Del Rey and Nathan Lane covering Shaggy's "It Wasn't Me." Included was Lady Gaga's cover of "Express Yourself," except Gaga sang "Born This Way," tweaking the idea that the song was just a rip-off of the '80s hit. "Was it a cover? Ah, who cares?" said Taran Killan as Adam Duritz.
In another sketch that seemed designed to prove that Gaga is in on the joke, she played herself 50 years in the future (finalizing her gradual transformation into Carol Channing) as she desperately tried to convince her building's superintendent that she was once relevant. The best line of the sketch was the first one: As she began to dig into a sandwich, she sang, "I'm on the edge / of roast beef."
PHOTOS: 13 memorable stars from 'Saturday Night Live'
In other news, it seems unlikely that
Kanye then made Gaga's character and Kim have a fashion contest based on something he forced Kim to wear in a segment called "Kim Wore It Better." "People who try too hard with their outfits are maybe hiding something," Gaga said, staring straight into the camera in another "I'm in on the joke!" moment.
The final sketch of the night was a commercial for a spinoff of the Red Zone network called "Rosé Zone," which captures all the raunchiest moments of reality TV without all the boring filler. Many moments from "
"SNL" returns live next week with "The Hunger Games" actor