A good "SNL"; go figure

Now we know why "Saturday Night Live" was so bad last week: It was saving all its best stuff for tonight's finale.

With two exceptions -- oddly, the opening and closing sketches -- "SNL" was terrific throughout. And Justin Timberlake was, as usual, the ideal host. He appeared in most sketches and -- without being the music guest -- sang three times, once inside a beer-bottle costume.

The ideal-host-of-the-future could be Lady Gaga. Even as the music guest, she showed up in several sketches and did well. It was a good way to end a shaky season.