By Alynda Wheat
May 17, 2009 at 10:28 PM EDT

I hate to say it, but maybe it was time for MADtv to go. Fox’s 14-year-old sketch comedy show aired its series finale last night with a mixture of previously shown clips and new bits that proved how thin its material has grown. Old friends (Alex Borstein, Will Sasso) stopped by, and the remaining cast beat a hasty retreat. It might’ve all gone down as an amusing if unmemorable exit but for one thing: the telethon.

The entire episode was presented as “MADtv Gives Back” — parodying American Idol‘s erstwhile charity show — with Fred Willard as the host. And maybe I’m making too much of this, but it seems terribly inappropriate to fake a telethon. At times like these (and yes, Lord, I know we’re all sick of saying “at times like these,” but still), why would you pretend to collect for needy causes? Why not actually do it? Why not turn MADtv‘s final bow into an prime-time special to raise money for those who desperately need it? It would have been a magnanimous gesture — with Fox, viewers, and presumably, the cast ponying up to say thanks for the memories. It also would’ve been the show’s first water-cooler moment in ages.

Understand, I’m not suggesting they had to have some sort of charitable event on their way out. I’m just saying they damn sure shouldn’t have faked it. But what do you think? Am I too hard on Fox’s sketch crew? Was it time for them to go? And can we all agree that they’ve had better days, like this one?:

addCredit(“Tessa Viles/Fox”)