Lady Gaga's biggest challenge as host of 'Saturday Night Live' (Nov. 16) was to get the viewer to suspend disbelief and forget that they were watching "Lady Gaga hosting 'SNL.'"

From the get-go, it was obvious that she would need to remove herself and her persona from the equation at times, in order to be successful and organically funny. Well, for her opening monologue, she played up her 'Applause'-seeking nature and the fact that she is Lady Gaga by turning it into a jazz skit with a comedic twist. It was utterly brilliant!

Ma Monster reminded us that she is a born and bred New Yorker, and said that hosting the show is something she has always dreamed of. She offered up trade secrets, saying that there is "real" and "earned" applause and there is the cheap applause that you get by pandering to the audience, the latter of which she sought in this opening.

She performed a lounge-like, jazzy, cabaret-style version of 'Applause' and kissed up to the crowd, giving shout outs to the locals, the out-of-towners, the ladies in the hizzay, first responders and teachers.

When she mingled with the audience, she singled members out, asking them to tell her what they did and applauded them until she got to Bobby Moynihan, who said he takes his pants off while riding the subway and lets "it" swing in the wind.

Gaga refused to give him his due round of applause, which left him wondering why he's a deemed a perv for going pants-less, yet when she does it, it's "art." That was the zinger of all zingers, and Gaga couldn't argue with him.

It was a self-aware monologue where Mother Monster was fully entertaining while being herself. But then again, isn't she always?