Was SNL's Defense of Lana Del Rey Both Too Strong and Too Weak?

Saturday Night Live this weekend issued its response to those who derided recent musical guest Lana Del Rey as, amongst other things, the all-time “worst” performer in the 37-year-old sketch show’s history. But did SNL come off as overly defensive in doing so?

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In a Weekend Update segment featuring Kristen Wiig as Del Rey, SNL did its own (small) amount of spoofing the songstress — for example, she explained that people find her “stiff, distant and weird” because she is, well, “stiff, distant and weird.”  But the bit aimed most of its the passive-aggressive barbs at critics who engaged in a pile-on after Del Rey’s Jan. 14 performance of “Blue Jeans”/”Video Games.”

For starters, Wiig-as-Rey surmised that based on the public’s volatile reaction, “I must have clubbed a baby seal while singing the Taliban national anthem.” Moving to the topic of having changed her name from Lizzy Grant (under which she performed years ago to zero fanfare), the faux Rey sarcastically apologized, noting, “No serious musician would ever change their name — except for maybe Sting, Cher, Elton John, Lady Gaga, Jay-Z, everyone else in hip-hop and, of course, Bob Dylan.”

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But perhaps SNL‘s most dubious defense of Del Rey’s widely panned appearance came when Wiig’s version admitted that she “failed to meet the high bar” set by past Studio 8H guests as “Bubba Sparxxx (‘Back in the Mud’), The Baha Men (‘Who Let the Dogs Out?’) and Shaggy (‘It Wasn’t Me’).”

To lift from a recurring Weekend Update sketch: Really, SNL? That’s what you’re going with? “Hey, we’ve booked worse musical guests!”?

Watch SNL‘s “defense” of Del Rey below and/or one of her dissed performances, and tell us if you think someone doth protest too much.