Tonight's best of 'SNL' will show if it's still funny


"Saturday Night Live" has been on the cutting-edge of comedy since the Ford Administration, bringing America everything from Killer Bees to Fernando's "You Look Marvelous" to "Wayne's World." Last year's dismal season prompted many long-time viewers to call for its euthanasia. Tonight, a best-of show could reveal whether there's any life left in SNL. Maybe we owe it this last chance.

* "Saved by the Bell: The New Class" (6:30 a.m.-7 a.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- This show is hardly worth getting out of bed at the crack of dawn for, but President Clinton makes a cameo appearance at the end of today's episode, in which Lindsay's new smoking habit worries her friends. He'll warn young America about the dangers of smoking. NBC.

* "Nova: Who Shot President Kennedy?" (6 p.m.-7 p.m., MPT, Channels 22 and 67) -- Shoving aside all the passion and hyperbole, "Nova" takes a scientific look at the events of Nov. 22, 1963. Could one man have done this? Was there a magic bullet? Did someone fire from a grassy knoll? Fascinating stuff, even if it doesn't prove anything. PBS.

* "Saturday Night Live -- The Best of the New Season" (11:30 p.m.-1 a.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- If last year's revolting season turned you off "SNL" for good, here's a chance to find out, in only

90 minutes, whether the show deserves another look. Theoretically, this should include the year's funniest material (a similar show for last season would have lasted about 90 seconds). If you don't laugh now, it may be time to dig out those "SNL" tapes featuring John Belushi, Gilda Radner, Billy Crystal, Dana Carvey, Martin Short, Eddie Murphy . . . and drink a toast to what may never be again. NBC.


* "The Time Tunnel" marathon (Noon-7 p.m., Sci-Fi) -- One more time, ladies and gentlemen, it's -- Irwin Allen! And probably more time traveling than you'd ever want to watch.

* "A Million to Juan" (2:15 p.m.-4 p.m., Showtime) -- I don't know a thing about this 1994 movie. But the title sure is catchy.

* "History of Music Video" (3 p.m.-9 p.m., VH1) -- With commercials, you figure this show should include 45 minutes of program every hour. At roughly four minutes per video, that's 11 videos an hour. At six hours, that's 66 videos! The mind boggles.

* "The Hustler" (5 p.m.-7:30 p.m., AMC) -- Paul Newman learns about pool, learns about women, learns about life -- then throws it all away. Jackie Gleason's turn as Minnesota Fats alone is worth the price of admission. Depressing as anything, but still quite a film, and one of Mr. Newman's finest performances.

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