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Dua Lipa hosts and performs but has no good advice for Gov. Kristi Noem

Saturday Night Live was back in business this week with singer and songwriter Dua Lipa as both its host and performer. The sketches didn’t land as many laughs as Ryan Gosling’s Beavis and Butt-Head scene from the April 13 episode, but there were still some interesting highlights.

Jerry Seinfield and Troye Sivan provided noteworthy cameos. Lipa also revamped two previously performed sketch characters — Devon Walker’s “Young Spicy” as well as Andrew Dismukes and James Austin Johnson’s office jinglers. There were also several mentions of South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem — but no real attention paid to May the Fourth being Star Wars Day.

Here are some of the highs and lows of May 4’s episode.

The show’s cold open offered a funny take — through the eyes of parents — on the ongoing Gaza war protests at college campuses across the United States. While affluent white parents, played by Mikey Day and Heidi Gardner, raised concern about their kid’s involvement, working class Columbia dad, Kenan Thompson’s character, had a different take about his own daughter taking part.

“Let me find out she’s in one of them damn tents, instead of the dorm room that I paid for,” he quipped. “She better have her butt in class. I’m supportive of y’all’s kids protesting, not my kids. Free this, free that. I’ll tell you what’s not free: Columbia!”

Lipa’s monologue was short and sweet with the singer giving a shout-out to her parents who were sitting in the audience. To commemorate her newly released third album, Radical Optimism, she gave advice to members of the audience, but couldn’t help SNL cast members Dismukes, Bowen Yang and Gardner, who were done up to resemble Noem, who’s been under scrutiny about several shocking revelations in her new book: “No, no, no … sorry. I can’t help,” she said.

Jerry Seinfeld made an appearance on “Weekend Update” as a “man who did too much press” while promoting his new Netflix film Unfrosted.

“I know I can’t undo all the press I’ve done, but I want to help other people,” he said before taking a beat. “If you’re struggling with press, you’re not alone. I’m talking to you, Ryan Gosling.”

The host’s good friend and collaborator Sivan also stopped by to introduce Lipa’s first musical performance: “Illusion.”

In a noir black-and-white sketch loosely inspired by the play The Elephant Man, Lipa plays a theater fan who wants to meet Peter (Sarah Sherman), the playwright of the fictitious play The Anomalous Man, whose deformed face and features illicit sympathy from LIpa’s character. Their love affair proceeds quickly, until Lipa discovers Peter sexting other women in bed on secret cellphones.

“She’s asleep, watch the ass and get to the holiday inn. I’m trying to show what this snout can do,” one of the texts reads. “P.S. feeling horny as a mofo.” Let’s just say, the rest needs to be watched to believe.

Gardner and Day took on the escalating feud between rappers Kendrick Lamar and Drake while hosting “Good Morning Greenville.” Their cringy take reached its pinnacle when the hosts brought out puppets with Drake and Lamar’s faces in an attempt to squash their beef. That was too much for the fictitious show’s Black weatherman (Walker): “Nah,” he said before leaving the studio.

Perhaps the most relatable sketch of the evening was a PSA about a food item that’s “there for us” at all stages of life: “A big ass fat tray of penne alla vodka.” That staple of American life is there, even though “you may not agree on much” else. (From the makers of “untouched tray of cookies.”)

Another fake PSA took on the subject of tiny statement pins worn by celebrities on red carpets to promote causes. “This way, not everyone has to be bombarded by my opinions,” said Yang. “But if they want them, they can just zoom in — way, way, way, way in.”

Meet your new ob-gyn: Dr. Fat Daddy, who loves to eat barbecue as evidenced by the cause on his white coat. Thompson’s take was so funny that cast member Punkie Johnson couldn’t help but break character.

“Insiders said that during his hush money trial, Donald Trump complained that none of his supporters were in court with him,” Michael Che said during “Weekend Update.” “But that’s not true. What about all those cops?”

Meanwhile, former child star JoJo Siwa (Chloe Fineman) came out to dissect her new persona: “I’m a bad girl now!” When pressed about the idea that she invented a new genre of music called “gay pop,” Jost quipped, “That’s maybe just pop.”

Also making an appearance was Noem’s other dog (Marcello Hernández), named Cricket the Seventh, who brought out a special game that displayed a hidden message for Jost: “She. Is. Going. To. Kill. Me.”

After Lipa performed “Illusion” from her newly released album Radical Optimism, her second number, “Happy for You,” was introduced by Seinfeld.

While Lipa had funny moments, most of the time she appeared as a secondary character, sparing her from having to carry a scene: “If nothing else, this episode whetted the appetite for next week’s return of Maya Rudolph as host,” the Los Angeles Times said in a review.

Paste magazine agrees, calling Lipa’s episode only “so-so.”

  • May 11: SNL alum Maya Rudolph will host for the third time with Vampire Weekend as the musical guest.

  • May 18: Jake Gyllenhaal will return for his third go at hosting for the show’s Season 49 finale with Sabrina Carpenter as the musical guest.

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