Katy Perry stepped out from behind the microphone to host last night's installment of "Saturday Night Live," following in the footsteps of Elton John, Jon Bon Jovi, Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears and just a handful of other musicians. After performing as the musical guest on the show once before, Perry turned over those duties to her former tour opener Robyn, opting instead to show off her acting chops -- perhaps picked up from her husband, "SNL" hosting alum Russell Brand?
Donning a new short, blonde hairdo (her natural hair color) and a Christmas-themed dress (well, maybe Christmas- tree-themed is the appropriate phrase), a visibly nervous Perry performed her monologue with the help of a few of her old neighbors, all of whom, she said, inspired the many outfits she has worn in various music videos -- in particular, Kristen Wiig, rocking a blue wig and whipped cream cans covering her breasts, who dueted with Perry on a bar of "Teenage Dream" at sketch's end. It was the first time Perry showed her vocal talent on the episode, and it certainly wouldn't be the last.
Unfortunately, as with last week's Steve Buscemi-helmed episode, Perry was relegated mainly to featured status in her sketches, rather than becoming the standout. While this is understandable for a host who is not necessarily known for her comedy prowess -- let alone acting skills -- it was likely disappointing for Katy fans who wanted to see a little more of their pop princess.
Perry particularly shone as part of Samberg's "Best Friends" digital short, in which the two played two great friends who enjoy caroling, Cornish hens and watching "The Lion King." Of course, as is custom with the show's digital shorts, the ridiculous factor only ramps up as the sketch goes on -- and that it did, with appearances by quite a few special guests, which the episode as a whole was chock-full of (hello, Alec Baldwin!). Can you recognize the actors in the skit? One may be more difficult than the other!
The pop star played herself on the delightfully creepy "Kalle," a Finnish talk show hosted by Wiig which has an "excellent research team." Ooh, look, we have a clip!
Taran Killam and Vanessa Bayer's stereotype-glorifying "J Pop America Fun Time Now" saw Perry as a "Hello Kitty" collector. Perry matched Bayer and Killam admirably in the sketch, which Jason Sudeikis's student advisor character called a "loving form of racism."
Perry was also featured in the hit-or-miss impression-laden "Doggie Duty" sketch, with the starlet doing a fairly spot-on impersonation of Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine.
Elsewhere, Perry appeared as a political analyst on Al Sharpton's talk show, a foul-mouthed Pippa Middleton, Christina Aguilera in the "New Year's Eve"-spoofing "The Apocalypse" film trailer ("It's love... at last sight") and as a woman in a NYC bar searching for her soul mate -- and finding him in the form of Jewel-loving poetry professor Bobby Moynihan. Check out the clip below -- and really, someone should take a look at that elevator...
Although Perry did not perform any of her new singles as the musical guest, Robyn carried the torch admirably with performances of "Call Your Girlfriend" and "Dancing On My Own."
And if you're looking for other highlights of the show, Stefon has two words for you: human boombox.
Did Katy Perry shine or falter as host of "SNL" last night? What was your favorite sketch? Tell us in the comments!