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SUNDAY MORNING LIVE: Lady Gaga Earns the Applause, Jay Pharoah and Nasim Pedrad Mock Kimye

Welcome to Edition No. 27 of Sunday Morning Live, Popculturology's look at the latest episode of Saturday Night Live. All of your questions about the Lady Gaga-hosted episode will soon be answered.

How'd Lady Gaga do?

While Lady Gaga has built a career through headline-grabbing outfits and outlandish stunts, underneath those layers of meat dress, there's a talented performer. It turns out that Gaga has the necessary skills to be a decent SNL host, especially when it comes to poking fun at herself. For her monologue, Gaga sang a revamped version of Applause, focusing on cheap applause. It was actually quite good, but NBC doesn't seem to have the online song rights for Applause, which is baffling considering the host is the artist.

Gaga carried out her SNL hosting duties admirably, bringing a ton of energy to her sketches and working well with the rest of the cast. The singer was probably one of the more enthusiastic hosts SNL has had in awhile. Unfortunately, the show didn't give her any iconic sketches to get people talking, depriving Gaga of the opportunity to create a Justin Timberlake-like cult of SNL personality. You can't knock Gaga for that, though — she wasn't the one writing her characters.

As I said before, Gaga was more than game to poke fun at her media-fueled personality, allowing herself to be the punchline of a sketch on several occasions. One of the final sketches of the night was set in the year 2063, with Gaga playing herself. When her building's super came by to fix a lamp, Gaga did everything she could to get him to remember who she was and that 50 years in the past, she was a superstar. While I'm not sure if we'll remember Gaga 50 years from now, this sketch actually was a bit sad, especially when Gaga began playing a melancholy version of Applause. Once again, not online. Gaga really couldn't just sign a note that said, "I'm cool with SNL using my songs online"?

I'm not sure if SNL did a sketch about musicians doing bad cover songs to get a bunch of impressions in or for the joke of Gaga playing herself and supposedly covering Madonna's Express Yourself at the end (while she was actually singing Born This Way), but once again, here was the night's host making fun of herself. "Was it a cover?" Taran Killam's Adam Duritz asked when Gaga sang Born This Way as a cover of Madonna's Express Yourself. And, yes, this one didn't make it online either.

What were the best sketches of the night?

Another week, another instance of Nasim Pedrad starring in the first post-monologue sketch. Every episode since Popculturology published our look at how Pedrad has disappeared from SNL, things have really turned around for her. We're totally taking credit for this.

Waking Up with Kimye was the highlight of this episode, with Pedrad's Kim Kardashian and Jay Pharoah's Kanye West teaming up for an awful morning talk show. The entire Kardashian clan played a background role too, with Cecily Strong playing Khloe Kardashian (for the first time, I think), Vanessa Bayer playing Kourtney Kardashian and Kate McKinnon playing Kris Jenner.

I'm pretty sure the Kanye/Black Skinheads grunt almost got Pedrad and Pharoah to break a few times.

Wow, SNL was not going easy on President Barack Obama this weekend. The show already tore apart the Obamacare website a few weeks ago, and it wasn't letting up on Saturday. The idea of Paxil: Second-Term Strength could've been a cute concept, but SNL went for blood, mentioning almost every scandal the White House was dealing with currently, wrapping the entire commercial up with the warning: "Paxil is not covered by Obamacare. We promised that it would be, but it’s not. And for that, we apologize."

When a politician's downfall inspires fan-made SNL mashups, SNL kind of has to address the issue. Toronto Mayor Robert Ford got his SNL moment this weekend, with Bobby Moynihan playing the crack-smoking, foul-mouther politician. Fans may have wanted Chris Farley, but that pairing isn't quite possible. Moynihan did deliver a Farley-esque pratfall though, complete with cries of "Oh God, I fell on my dick! I fell on my little dick!"

SNL tied the Ford fiasco into another current event, sending the mayor to be interviewed on 60 Minutes by McKinnon's Lara Logan, since Ford was looking for a show that would believe anything he said, no matter how outlandish.

How about any Pseudo Digital Shorts or commercials?

SNL eulogized the passing of Blockbuster with a sketch about three Blockbuster employees having a hard time dealing with the closure of their store. Best part of the sketch? Moynihan's character giving the Croods cutout he took a viking funeral.

The RoséZone wasn't quiet timely, but it's better than SNL running a repeat commercial.

How was Weekend Update?

Sure, people complaining about Christmas starting too early has been done to death, but I think SNL may have something with Kenan Thompson's Mr. Senior, a Weekend Update correspondent who shoots on-location videos. Watch the part of this sketch when Mr. Senior is fighting with Aidy Bryant's Salvation Army volunteer — do the people in the background realize this is an SNL sketch?

"And let's be honest, Abe, you dropped a real Lincoln log." Killam's best Weekend Update character so far? Playing the man whose critique of the Gettysburg Address was recently retracted by a newspaper, Killam killed with this character, managing to drive Seth Meyers to laugher on several occasions, most especially when he flubbed one of his lines.

Anything else worth mentioning?

Was this SNL's way of letting Gaga play Marisa Tomei's My Cousin Vinny character? Before they got to her character, I had my money on Slutty Fran Drescher.

For me, there was too much overlap between Bayer's character here and Jacob Bar Mitzvah Weekend Update character.

Previous editions of Sunday Morning Live

Nov. 3, 2013: Kerry Washington
Oct. 27, 2013: Edward Norton
Oct. 13, 2013: Bruce Willis
Oct. 6, 2013: Miley Cyrus
Sept. 29, 2013: Tina Fey
SUNDAY MORNING LIVE: Lady Gaga Earns the Applause, Jay Pharoah and Nasim Pedrad Mock Kimye Reviewed by Bill Kuchman on 11/17/2013 Rating: 5

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