Lizzo got a workout not seen since Donald Glover did double-duty as host and musical guest on “Saturday Night Live” four years ago, performing two songs from her forthcoming album “Special” and showing impressive comic timing and stamina by appearing in nearly every sketch — she even played flute twice, once while twerking (in fact, that entire skit was framed around an orchestra learning to twerk while playing their instruments).

For the first musical performance, she introduced herself as “Ladies and gentlemen, me!,” and sang her latest single, the discofied groove “About Damn Time,” accompanied by a drummer, bassist and of course her dancers, the Big Grrls — who are themselves the subject of an Amazon reality show, “Watch Out for the Big Grrrls” (a commercial for which aired just before the first song). Clad in a spangled, bright yellow ensemble, she even played a brief flute solo during the song’s instrumental break that paid tribute to Chic’s “Good Times,” one of several past hits that “About That Time” evokes (although only World Famous Supreme Team’s 1984 hit “Hey DJ,” which is sampled on the track, appears in the credits).

For the second song, “Special,” she was introduced by her mother — who she shouted out in the audience during her opening monologue — which was a slower, ‘70s style ballad with self-referential lyrics:

“Woke up this morning to somebody in a video/
Talking about something I posted in a video/
If it wasn’t me, would you even get offended, or/
Is it just because I’m Black and heavy, you don’t hear me though…
Famous, pretty, new, but I’ve been used to people judging me
That’s why I move the way I move and why I’m so in love with me.”

She spent most of the rest of the show in a dizzying array of skits and costume-changes — she appeared in every segment in the 90-minute show except for the cold open and “Weekend Update.” Throughout, she showed impressive comic timing, although she did not always succeed in holding back laughter.

The sketch that best showed her timing was “Please Don’t Destroy: Lizzo Has Writers Block,” in which she meets with three of the show’s writers and orders them to help her write songs for the show, with predictable results:

In a funny role reversal, she and Aidy Bryant portrayed music producers cooking up the Black Eyed Peas’ hits in 2008, with Cecily Strong doing a hilarious turn as Fergie. Even a decade-plus after their heyday, the Black Eyed Peas are apparently comedy gold for the show: they were featured in a sketch a few years back during Miley Cyrus’ double-duty hosting gig, playing Fergie here:

And toward the end came the sure-to-be-memed flute-twerking number:


Lizzo made her first “SNL” appearance in December 2019, performing “Truth Hurts” and “Good as Hell” during an episode hosted by Eddie Murphy.

She has announced a July 15 release date for her new album “Special” via Nice Life/Atlantic Records, along with the release of a brand new music video for single “About Damn Time.”