THE SHOW "Celebrity Wife Swap"

WHEN | WHERE Tuesday night at 9 on ABC/7

REASON TO WATCH Flavor Flav and Dee Snider swap wives.

WHAT IT'S ABOUT Dee Snider lives in a nicely appointed pad somewhere in East Setauket with his wife, Suzette, and four kids, Jesse, Shane, Cody and Cheyenne. Flavor Flav lives with his "fiancee" of nine years, Liz, and their kids, Karma and Gibran, in Las Vegas.

Their Long Island roots aside -- Dee, from Massapequa, by way of Baldwin, and Flav from Freeport -- this is a twain you never quite expected to meet. But this is reality TV. That's what twains do.

Tuesday night, Liz moves in with the kids in East Setauket, and Suzette heads out to Vegas. Let the fireworks begin. Liz -- apparently a gentle soul -- and Suzette -- apparently a combustible one -- have vastly different experiences. Let's just say these couples probably won't be hooking up again in the off-season. Meanwhile, there is some Long Island color: Blacksmith Tavern on Terry Road in Smithtown gets a nice plug.

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MY SAY This, my friends, is why I went to college -- in anticipation of the day when I could write about Flavor Flav and Dee Snider swapping wives on national TV. Ambition realized! Today is the day, but what conclusions to draw? Was this swap all just an idiotic waste of time on a witless reality show? (Was college just a waste of time, too?) Or a fun experiment in human relations, played out before the cameras?

I am pleased to conclude that it's a little of both. Flav is utterly incapable of blandness, and when he says -- upon meeting attractive Suzette -- "WOOWWWW! Strap on your SEAT BELT, lady!" you instantly realize this could be an amusing diversion. Dee's a character, too, but somewhat more grounded (who isn't, compared to Flav). What do we learn from this human experiment? Flav works his cellphone like a pro; when Suzette says to do something, believe me, you do it; and Liz is the single most patient woman on the planet.

BOTTOM LINE Oddly amusing and amusingly odd.

GRADE C+