Perpetual fame monster Lady Gaga is a certifiable professional when it comes to causing a reaction. But in the promo clips for her appearance on Saturday Night Live, this coming Saturday, (November 16 for those keeping score at home), she's also giving reactions as well — playing the oh-so-unlikely straight man to cast member Kenan Thompson's bumbling buffoon. And in her promos with Thompson for her forthcoming appearance on the NBC sketch series, there’s a lot of retching to go around. Literally.
The performer/singer/artist/obsessive/robot/validation machine/hater of thrones will be pulling double duty as both host and musical guest this week when the NBC sketch show goes live (from New York!). But first — as any good scholar of marketing techniques will tell you — come the promotional materials. And Lady Gaga is nothing if not a promotional material. And a fan of her own work.
Which is why the two were sure to lambast not only Gaga, but the media themselves. Because if you give a Gaga a stage, a performance bit with some sort of social commentary is sure to follow. Like the promo featuring Gaga-as-lamp — in a blonde wig (natch). Because Gaga is as skinny as a lamp. Or maybe because she would wear a lamp if she could? Or it’s all about her electrified tendencies?
While not explicitly clear its intentions, the silly bit begins with Thompson standing to the right of a lamp in a blonde wig. Looking relieved to see his host on set, he sighs, "Ah, Gaga, you look just like I remember you. “ But — oh look ha ha/surprise: it’s not Lady Gaga. Because Lady Gaga is not an illuminating metal object! (Although, you’d think she’d find that a compliment.) As the real Gaga comes into focus, she says, "No Kenan, I'm over here, that's a lamp."
Confusion ensues — because of course — before Gaga assures him she's the one on the left: the person with a mouth. Who also happens to be talking? It’s not sinking in. "Wait, what? I can't tell the difference!" Thompson yells, because comedy!
Another bit played homage to her iconic meat dress. "Gaga I got all dressed up for you today," says Thompson at the top of the promos, wearing a — by anyone’s standards, let alone those of the avant garde wooden puppet that is Gaga — fairly plain plaid shirt. The artist formally known as Stefani Germonnatta is, of course, unimpressed by this, until a twist emerges: Thompson is actually wearing a bangle bracelet with a mound of bacon affixed to its top. "Yeah, look at my meat watch!" But the Lady of Gaga was none too impressed, simply balking an "Oh, Kenan" at him before he wonders aloud, "Is it weird?"
Gaga’s usual refrain is the gut reaction: "Just be yourself," she assures him. But after seeing how excited Thompson was to take a hunk out of that meat watch, her opinion changes. "Maybe don't be yourself." Huh, guess she didn’t really believe that Thompson was born that way.
But the gastro-centric humor did not end there. In the final promo of the bunch, Gaga and Thompson promise that their performances on the show will “flip things upside down,” promoting the duo to run in place and literally spin the video on it’s side. In order to rectify the situation they go the opposite route before ultimately getting sick and throwing up the words "Lady Gaga: Host & Musical Guest — This Saturday RSVP To No One."
Other promos feature the performers speaking fluent theater kid (read: doing dramatic accents), a quibble about Lady Gaga not actually being the singer’s real name, and applauding for a flashlight/Tinkerbell. Thankfully, Gaga will not be fighting with an imaginary character from a children’s novel for applause this Saturday because I don’t think she would quite like that.
Saturday Night Live airs Saturdays at 11:30 ET on NBC.