It’s easy to bag on Saturday Night Live for their musical guests, but just as the “SNL isn’t as funny as it used to be” argument is played out and incorrect, history often looks kindly at the artists the show books. Take, for instance, last year: yes, there was the Karmin fiasco and One Direction should never have performed on the same stage that Fear once did and Lana Del Rey hadn’t yet thawed out of her accidental ice shell, but otherwise, solid. Radiohead, the Black Keys, Robyn, Kelly Clarkson, Coldplay, Jack White, the Shins, Arcade Fire, Usher, the Rolling Stones — even if you don’t like a lot of those bands (*coughcoldplaycough*), it’s not as if they were unworthy of performing on SNL.
In a year, when we look back at season 38 of SNL, which ended last night, how many miscues will we count? Justin Bieber, definitely, and probably Macklemore and Ryan Lewis and fun.; otherwise, not too shabby. Rarely spectacular, usually good, briefly awful, not unlike SNL itself. Here are seven of the season’s best performances.
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