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Lady Gaga on 'SNL': Madonna bad covers, 'Cheap Applause' and self-deprecating jokes

Lady Gaga on 'SNL': Madonna bad covers, 'Cheap Applause' and self-deprecating jokes © NBC / Lady Gaga Lady Gaga on 'SNL': Madonna bad covers, 'Cheap Applause' and self-deprecating jokes

By Mekeisha Madden

Lady Gaga is not afraid to pander to audiences for applause.

In fact, the 27-year-old New York native even sang about it when she pulled double duty as the host and musical guest on "Saturday Night Live" this week.

Bing: Lady Gaga's comments on Madonna | Photos: This season's 'SNL' hosts

Dressed in a sparkly chorus-girl inspired mini, Gaga changed the lyrics to her chart-topper "Applause" and instead belted out a jazzy version of "Cheap Applause." Proving her point further, Gaga asked the audience to clap for the ladies, out-of-towners, ending childhood obesity, teachers, New York firefighters and subway perverts.

Also from TheWrap:  'SNL' Promos: Lady Gaga Saves Tinkerbell, Kenan Rocks a Meat Watch (Video)

Gaga didn't appear in the show's cold open which featured Bobby Moynihan, Taran Killam and Kate McKinnon in a funny parody of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and "60 Minutes" correspondent Lara Logan . While the pop singer's intro proved cheeky and cute — it wasn't the songstress' best punchline.

That came later in two different sketches. First, Gaga poked fun at her infamous fashion risks when she played an Apple store genius in a Kanye West and Kim Kardashian sketch.

"I don't care about fashion," said a nerdy Gaga, arching her eyebrows at the camera for dramatic effect. "I think people who try too hard with their outfits are maybe hiding something."

Embracing the self-mockery vibe, Gaga further ribbed herself for the undeniable similarities between her "Born This Way" and Madonna's "Express Yourself" in a bad covers sketch.

Also read:  'Saturday Night Live': Kerry Washington Is Every Black Woman (Video)

Sadly, Gaga's humor and self-deprecation died after the "Born This Way" nod and she was wasted in the second half of the show much the way writers have wasted previous hosts in the second hour this season (see Kerry Washington and Tina Fey).

That is unless you count Gaga's "Do What You Want" duet with R. Kelly, which was hilarious but it's unclear if that was intentional or not. The number included a woman whose sole purpose was to take Kelly's sunglasses and a dry-hump sexual simulation/push-ups number between Gaga and Kelly that was nothing short of silly.

The night's best spoofs, such as second-term strength Paxil for President Barack Obama and the cold open, didn't involve Gaga at all. But that's not Gaga's fault. She, like "Scandal" star Washington before her, did the best she could with what she was given. Too bad she wasn't given more. 

Instead, Gaga had to do all the heavy lifting with her voice and boy, did she sound great.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Why 'SNL' May Never Be This White Again

'Saturday Night Live's' Not So Colorful Past: A History of Its Diversity (Photos)

Kerry Washington and Maya Rudolph's Awfully Similar Sketches: Does 'SNL' Need More Black Friends?

'Saturday Night Live' and the Diversity Problem: The Media Weighs In

Eminem Wasn't Lip-Syncing on 'SNL,' Rep Claims

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