Watch the National Brood on Lena Dunham's 'Saturday Night Live' Debut

Brooklyn band, also on 'SNL' for first time, did "Graceless" and "I Need My Girl"

Marc Hogan WRITTEN BY
Marc Hogan

Lena Dunham's Girls has music embedded in its DNA — the HBO show's second soundtrack album alone boasts replayable material from Miguel, Beck, Jenny Lewis, and more. And she brought plenty of laughs in her first turn as Saturday Night Live host, whether a Biblical parody of her own show's frequent nudity, a fast-talkin' spoof of ABC's Scandal, or, um, a bizarre flirtation with Mad Men's Jon Hamm. There were a couple of nods to music: The first sketch involved Dunham and the cast singing the Five Stairsteps' 1970 soul classic "O-o-h Child," and there was something about a pseudo-rap group. But she mostly left the tunes to guests (and former SPIN profile subjects) the National.

The glumly debonair Brooklyn band did what it does, performing "Graceless" (above) and "I Need My Girl" (below), both from last year's Trouble Will Find Me. They've had ample experience bringing the first song to life on TV, with past performances on The Colbert Report and Jimmy Kimmel Live!, but unlike when they visited Bob's Burgers, on SNL they didn't get eaten. And unlike when they were on The Mindy Project, nobody proposed to get married — that we saw. Oh, G I R L (see a theme?) man Pharrell got his hat mentioned on "Weekend Update," and Fred Armisen appeared with cast member Vanessa Bayer as Vladimir Putin's loyal pals.

Revisit Beck's spellbinding appearance on last week's SNL; Louis C.K. will host the March 29 episode, with a musical guest yet to be announced.

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