Lady Gaga returns to Saturday Night Live tonight (Oct. 22), marking her first SNL appearance since her hosting-performing gig in 2013. (Do we sense a pattern for guests season?) It’s not a double-duty night for Mother Monster, however, as some dude named Tom Hanks will accompany her in his ninth(!) outing as host. What’s to expect from the always-unpredictable Gaga?
Her new singles: It’s no secret that Gaga will grace SNL with her presence to promote Joanne, her first solo studio album since the mixed reviews of 2013’s Artpop. Joanne dropped on Friday, so SNL will almost certainly be a celebration of this highly anticipated release. Since it’s so new, the odds are high that Gaga will perform songs the Internet has already had the chance to ingest. “Perfect Illusion” would be fitting, as would title track “Joanne,” but considering the buzz “A-YO” is getting, it makes sense she’d want to perform the song that already has everybody talking.
A different look: In past years, Lady Gaga has been known for going-all out on SNL. Remember her 2011 performance of “Judas”? Her productions look like no one else’s; her visions are grand-scale, colorful and memorable. Recently, however, Gaga’s adopted a cleaner, classic aesthetic to accompany the release of Joanne. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see a lower-key Gaga — maybe seated in front of the piano, wearing a big, floppy hat — in place of her eye-popping sets and bonkers choreography. (That said, it’s been a while since Stefani Joanne has rocked a traditional Lady Gaga look head-to-toe, so why not bring out the backup dancers? Everyone loves theatrical Gaga!)
Cameos: As we’ve learned from her previous appearances, Lady Gaga is genuinely funny. She’s also a solid actress, and has comic timing that could rival the rest of SNL‘s cast. Gaga cameos are what the audience wants — nay, needs. And she loves to do it! Plus, since she’s hosted-performed in the past, it would only make sense for her to appear in at least one sketch. Honestly, we expected to see more Bruno Mars in sketches last week, but his over-the-top musical performances obviously didn’t allow time for that. While we can’t wait to see her transform the iconic Studio 8H stage the way she’s known for, we’d happily watch a lower-key (pun not intended) rendition of the new Joanne tracks to get more Gaga deadpan. Or singing. Or barely-restrained yelling.