Death, please.

CBC News Toronto
I haven’t been following the Rob Ford circus very closely, so I don’t know how much this sketch was referring to actual moments or not.  Either way, it all felt rather perfunctory.  Where this sketch succeeded was when it fully embraced cheesy “Canadian” humor (a Boxing Day ham), which I guess is acceptable, because Rob Ford’s accent is about as thick as a Canuck’s can get. B-

Lady GaGa’s Monologue
Did they want it to be that obvious how fake the audience interactions were, even considering that it was cast members playing the audience? C+

Paxil Second Term Strength
This bit left me with a feeling that it captured what it was going for perfectly but didn’t really produce any great big funny. B-

Waking Up with Kimye
This sketch was about as sluggish as Kim’s speech pattern. C

Whaaat? The Worst Cover Songs of All Time
The way Taran said it, there should have been several more a’s in “Whaaat.”  Also, why didn’t Rick Ross take his shirt off during his stankbutt cover?  And let’s be clear: the Lana Del Rey/Nathan Lane version of “It Wasn’t Me” was a huge improvement on the original. B+

Lady GaGa ft. R. Kelly performs “Do What U Want”
This song sounds a LOT like Xtina’s “Your Body,” except that it’s better.  And “Your Body” is pretty good!  This was nice to hear in the wake of the decent, but merely passable “Applause.” A-

Weekend Update
-The Jokes: Seth hasn’t made any last-minute turnaround, and Cecily is still wading around, but there was some strong material in this edition.  The Eeyore of Congress, Rob Ford bobblehead, “knarson,” the story that sounded like Mad Libs, and Hello Kitty duct tape jokes all landed, even if some of them were rather cheesy.  And Seth actually put his jerkoff smile to good use with the “No deal!” to library porn. B
-The Segments: -Mr. Senior: I may be overrating this bit slightly, but it was so delightful to see for the first time in a while an Update segment that included a pre-taped outdoors portion. B+
-Jebediah Atkinson: Jebediah’s material started out a little lightweight, but he was still pretty great on the strength of Taran’s performance.  And then the quick hits of insults at the end was never going to fail. B+

Co-Op Board
“What is the volume of your lovemaking” was a nice soundbite to start off with.  The rest of the sketch was a pale imitation of that moment. C+

Hey, our old friend Laura Parsons is back!  Too bad the rest of the cast can’t match Vanessa when it comes to playing a precocious child actor. B

I’m perfectly happy with not being entirely sure how I am supposed to laugh if the sketches are this expressionistically beautiful. B+

Lady GaGa performs “Gypsy”
Wow, Bobby intro’ed both times.  Has it ever happened before that the same person introduced the music both times when the MG was also the host?  This performance was way too busy. B-

Wilson Elementary Talent Pageant
I appreciate the physical commitment, so GaGa and John Milhiser have convinced me to give this throwaway sketch a pass. B-

Upper East Side 2063
This sketch worked primarily with the lines that reinforced that it was taking place in THE FUTURE (Kenan’s character being named Thorgon, “the hover ambulance,” “but, you know, a space deli,” and “Born This Way” being the jingle for Laser Toilet Cleaners). B

Rosé Zone
Bizarrely staid. C

It appears that Beck Bennett is SNL‘s new go-to voice-over guy, as I believe I heard him on Paxil, Spotlightz, and Rosé Zone.  Anyway, this episode wasn’t as dominated by Lady GaGa playing herself or some version of herself as I thought it might be.  There were a few moments when it was like “Hahaha, Lady GaGa is dressed differently than how she’s normally dressed,” but thankfully not too much of that.  She actually didn’t dominate the show the way you would think a big personality like her would, and so the success of this episode fell on the strength of the material, and for the most part, it was pretty strong.  And in a season mostly reliant on original sketches, we may have had our most recurring-free episode of the season yet, with child actor Laura Parsons the only returnee I counted (give or take a few recurring impressions).

Who came up with the Best Sketch of the Episode? It wasn’t me. (Or was it?)