November 16, 2013 10:57pm PT by Aaron Couch
'SNL' Recap: Lady Gaga Spars With Kanye West Over Fashion (Video)
Lady Gaga hosted the strongest episode of Saturday Night Live so far this season, with the singer intelligently exploring the motivations behind her provocative stage persona. Chiefly, is she a genius or is she doing it all for the attention?
In a surprisingly poignant sketch at the end of the show, Gaga played a senior citizen version of herself, living alone and in obscurity -- her past super stardom forgotten by the world. She tried desperately for her building's superintendent (Kenan Thompson) to recognize her as the famous Lady Gaga, but the Grammys lining her piano didn't do the trick. Neither did singing her old hits -- though "Born This Way" did spark Thompson's interest, as he knew it as a jingle for a toilet bowl cleaner.
Earlier, Gaga played a beleaguered Apple Store employee appearing on a Kanye West-Kim Kardashian morning talk show. West (Jay Pharoah) verbally abused Gaga's character, hassling her for working at the store's Genius Bar.
"And this somehow makes you deserving of the title 'genius'?" West said. "You do not deserve the title of genius! You can't just throw that term around. Mark Zuckerberg is a genius. I am a genius. I am a god."
West also made fun of the Apple Store employee for not being stylish, to which Gaga responded "I think people who try too hard with their outfits are hiding something." Gaga stared into the camera for a few moments to emphasize the irony of Lady Gaga saying such a thing and got big applause from the audience.
During her opening monologue, Gaga played off the idea that she craves applause so much that she would take it in any form -- even "cheap applause" that comes from saying things like "It's great to be in New York" and "Can I hear it from the ladies?"
SNL tackled the controversy surrounding Toronto mayor Rob Ford, who has admitted to smoking crack. After an apology tour that turned sour, Ford (Bobby Moynihan) found his way to CBS' 60 Minutes. Lara Logan (Kate McKinnon), who in real life has come under fire for a controversial report on the 2012 Benghazi attack, blindly believed everything Ford told her and introduced the mayor to the audience as "patriot, hero, role model."
Keeping on the political tip, a digital short advertised an antidepressant for commanders in chief, with President Barack Obama (Pharoah) suffering from the second term blues.
"You'll feel like you're giving a speech on a college campus in 2008, or getting Bin Laden, all over again," the ad's voiceover said. Paxil -- Second Term Strength treats a range of systems, such as Benghazi, the NSA scandal, that time Jay Z and Beyonce went to Cuba, and Obamacare website problems.
Unfortunately, the drug isn't covered by Obamacare.
SNL is new next week with The Hunger Games' Josh Hutcherson hosting and musical guest Haim.