Dua Lipa, as 'SNL' host and musical guest, tries to give us everything

Singer and songwriter Dua Lipa has performed her music on “Saturday Night Live” before, but for the first time, she pulled double duty as guest host and musical act. The sketch-heavy show didn’t try to surround her with a bunch of cameos or five-timers jackets or anything gimmicky this week. Except for a “Weekend Update” appearance by Jerry Seinfeld, who was there to promote his new Netflix movie “Unfrosted, and a musical introduction by actor and musician Troye Sivan, Lipa was mostly left to her own devices to show if she could “give you everything” as she promised in her monologue.

The result? A mixed bag of sketches that were neither derailed by the singer nor really elevated much by her presence. Except for a funny filmed homage to “The Elephant Man,” she was either relegated to secondary parts that didn’t require her to carry a scene, or dropped in for a few lines and then made to disappear. At least two of the sketches were repeats of ones from previous episodes, including a Young Spicy sketch about voiceover artists recording inappropriate rap song intros, and the return of phone number jingle artists Soul Booth at the end of the show. Elsewhere, Lipa played a woman with a Sonny Angel doll collection come to life who wants to recreate the vibe of the new movie “Challengers,” a wearer of very tiny activist pins on the red carpet, and an eater of penne alla vodka, which is always there for us in its bland, comforting way. She also was a nurse for a BBQ pitmaster turned OB-GYN named Fat Daddy.

If nothing else, this episode whetted the appetite for next week’s return of Maya Rudolph as host.

As musical guest, Dua Lipa performed “Illusion,” introduced by Sivan, and “Happy For You,” introduced by Seinfeld.

This week’s cold open eschewed White House politics or Trump court drama for a look at how parents are reacting to recent student protests at college campuses. The backdrop was a show, “Community Affairs with Ryan Abernathy,” whose host (Michael Longfellow) asked parents of New York college students what they think about their kids protesting (presumably for Palestine). The joke was that Alphonse Roberts (Kenan Thompson), parent of a Columbia student, isn’t worried about his kid Alexa Vanessa Roberts because she is not protesting. “She better have her butt in class. I’m supportive of y’all’s kids protesting, not my kids,” he said. “Free this, free that. I’ll tell you what’s not free: Columbia.” He talked about the jobs he’s working to help pay for $68,000 a year in tuition so that his daughter can get a degree in African-American studies and how he’s looking forward to going to her graduation while in deep denial that commencement might be canceled.

In her monologue, Lipa (or as she’s come to accept, “Dula Peep”) showed off her parents in the audience, who named her Dua, Albanian for “Love,” and Lipa “Albanian for my last name.” The singer said her parents party as hard as she does, recounting how she ran into them late one night at a London club. She talked about her new album “Radical Optimism” and gave examples of it to cast members in the audience who recounted their sad situations, like being dumped or being told by a doctor to stop drinking. Lipa’s advice: “There’s always poppers!” But she cut off one audience member — South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (Heidi Gardner) — before she could ask anything. She joked about the “lazy dance” meme that she’s embraced over time and promising to do the opposite as guest host. “I’m gonna give you everything! I’m making the wigs, I’m dealing Adderall to the writers, I’m doing it all!”

Best sketch of the night: ‘The Anomalous Man’ has swagger

The black-and-white pre-taped sketch features Sarah Sherman as an Elephant Man-like playwright named Peter who has claw hands, a pig’s snout for an ear and a gigantic eye on his back. A woman named Emily (Lipa) meets Peter and shows him affection he says he’s never felt before. The two start to fall in love, but the first night they share a bed together, she’s awoken by the sound of text messages. Peter, it turns out, has multiple phones and multiple women he’s planning to bed, sending messages like, “POV: You’re about to get railed by a weirdo.”

Also good: Explaining the Kendrick Lamar-Drake feud

On the TV show “Good Morning, Greenville,” the hosts (Gardner and Mikey Day) cluelessly try to explain the escalating feud between rappers Kendrick Lamar and Drake, which came to a head Friday with the release of three diss tracks and was followed by a fourth on Saturday night. Hilariously, the two hosts try to include their Black weatherman (Devon Walker), who asks to be left out of the very uninformed and basic discourse. A piano teacher (Lipa), who considers Elton John lyrics to be rap, tries to decipher the tracks and comes to the conclusion that Drake is Canadian and that Kendrick’s shoe size is being scrutinized. The cringe level reaches its pinnacle when the hosts try to squash the beef with cutouts of Drake and Lamar’s faces they use as puppets. “Nah,” the weatherman says as he leaves the studio.

‘Weekend Update’ winner: Cricket is a good boy

This week’s “Weekend Update” had three guests, including Chloe Fineman revising her JoJo Siwa impression to chronicle her new “bad girl” image, and Seinfeld discussing the fatigue of doing too much press for his new movie, with a warning specifically for Ryan Gosling. But it was Marcello Hernandez who had the most impact with his portrayal of Noem’s other puppy, Cricket the 7th, who defended the governor while apparently suffering from Stockholm Syndrome. The canine insisted the first six Crickets were bad dogs, while he hoped for a long life. A talking button set the canine uses begged to differ with messages including, “She is going to kill me tonight,” and “I die tonight.” “I’m a good boy!” the dog insisted as the segment concluded.

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