Lady Gaga has just been announced as not only the musical guest but also the host of an upcoming episode of Saturday Night Live, and I’m shocked we haven’t realized that this is a terrible idea yet.
Gaga will appear on the show on November 16th, presumably to promote her upcoming album ARTPOP, but in actuality for a little think that I like to call stunt-casting. I mean, let’s all just acknowledge for a moment that while Gaga may be a performer, she is no actor, and she has no business hosting this show. I mean she’s been on twice already as a performer and that went fine, so why switch it up on me now? Do I really need to go through reasons why this is a terrible idea? Cause I’ll do it.
The first reason is that she’s a lunatic, obviously, but the second reason is that just because someone has more than one hit song does not them an SNL host make. There are a few exceptions of course — most notably Justin Timberlake, who pretty much just sleeps in the studio at this point — but for the most part, it’s been made pretty clear that singing and acting don’t mix.
I mean think about it — you even have to be a specific kind of actor to be good on Saturday Night Live. In addition to being talented, you have to be funny, versatile, and self-aware enough not to mind if you look stupid; basically a more famous version of the cast members themselves. And we’ve already heard plenty about how difficult it is to find those when they need replacing. But considering they have a new guest every week, a surprising amount of people don’t fit into all (or any) of those categories. Maybe that’s why the episodes are commonly so lackluster.
And never are they quite as off as when the roles of host and musical guest are combined. It’s hardly ever to promote something or because the person merits double the screen time, but usually just to boost viewership. It’s a cheap shot to get people to tune into the monologue just to see how badly someone screws up and then turn it off and catch the highlights the next day.
And Lady Gaga will be joining a long line of esteemed and stunt-casted colleagues. Back in the day, it used to be more legit performers like Mick Jagger and Paul Simon who would earn the right to host, but lately it’s been people as random as Bruno Mars and Garth Brooks. Mostly, though, SNL tends to invite people who are controversial in the media at that particular moment, in hopes that they can get a little boost on air from their off-air dramatics.
Consider, if you will:
- Britney Spears hosted in 2000 when speculation was at an all-time high that she lip synced and had fake boobs.
- They brought Taylor Swift on the show in 2009 to see if she’d confirm her rumored relationship with Taylor Lautner or fling any barbs at ex-boyfriend Joe Jonas. (Spoiler alert: she did.)
- You couldn’t get Janet Jackson on the show fast enough after her infamous nip slip at the 2004 Super Bowl, the first use of the term ‘wardrobe malfunction’.
- In the midst of rumors that he was using pot earlier this year, Justin Bieber graced us with his presence at a show that mostly consisted of him showing the audience his abs and cracking up during sketches.
- And who could forget Miley Cyrus, who was coincidentally invited on just as the backlash from her performance at the 2013 VMAs was reaching fever pitch.
I can’t blame them for going for ratings, because that’s their job. I just wish it wasn’t my job to watch it.
(Image: Will Alexander / WENN.com)