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'Saturday Night Live' ends its season

Ken Tucker says Sarah Michelle Gellar and the Backstreet Boys can’t help revive a show that is dying a prolonged death

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‘Saturday Night Live’ ends its season

The biggest laugh I got from this weekend’s season finale of ”Saturday Night Live” was what I presume was an unintended one: When the musical guest, the Backstreet Boys, crooningly mangled the language with the line, ”Does his friends get all of your time?” ”Yeah,” I imagined millions of little girls squealing in response, ”they does!”

Other than that, it was a typically dismal ”SNL,” a fitting end to a flat few months. Guest host Sarah Michelle Gellar, star of the best series on television, ”Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” proved once again that she’d better not pull up stakes on that show, because her thespian skills in feature films and in comedy sketches are as thin as the lip-hair on any random Backstreet Boy. Not that the rest of the cast had come up with any performance masterpieces, either. Ana Gasteyer and Will Ferrell have run their square-music-duo song parodies into the ground. Colin Quinn remains a weekly reminder of how much Norm Macdonald is missed. And I want to see whether Tracy Morgan is capable of going one week without doing a character that lisps. Sole high point: Jimmy Fallon dead-on as MTV’s Jesse Camp (”Hey, I’m a moron!”).

Two weeks ago, Monica Lewinsky gave the show’s satire some inadvertent weight with her grinning display of self-centered stupidity, as Lewinsky took part in two routines molded solely around her sexual encounters with the President. I’m not one of those people who extends much sympathy for Hillary Clinton in this scandal (there comes a point when standing by your man veers over into self-serving cynical politics), but Lewinsky’s lust for continued notoriety was exceeded only by the ”SNL”ers willingness to exploit it.

And if it’s exploitation I’m looking for, I’ll switch the channel over to ”Howard Stern.” Happy summer, ”SNL” — hope the rest does you some good.

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