The most anticipated Saturday Night Live in years is in progress. Betty White is hosting. She is amazing! No, she is beyond amazing because she’s funny with expert timing and needs no pass or lowered bar just because she’s 88½.
First of all she’s hysterically filthy. Every sexually oriented joke of the show has been steered her way. She did the lesbian line. She talked about tacos. She mentioned her boyfriend both used and was a Trojan. She dropped the “F bomb” (though it was bleeped). She appeared on a bit about an NPR baking show:
My muffin hasn’t had a cherry since 1939″
Through the first forty five minutes she seemed to be in every bit (maybe I missed something). That’s a lot of work. It wasn’t until Jay-Z’s first appearance that she briefly disappeared.
Though she starred on a sitcom in TV’s early days Betty White really didn’t break out until 1973 and the Mary Tyler Moore Show. She was already in her 50s!
When you look back at Sue Ann Nivens, Rose on the Golden Girls, Catherine Piper on The Practice and Boston Legal or any of her 100% ad lib game show appearances what stands out is both her timing and incredible ability to play against type. That’s evident tonight. They’re her most endearing qualities. She can say anything and get away with it.
Timing is a skill you might expect to dull with age. It has not for Betty White.
I cannot say enough up her, about tonight’s SNL, about the Snickers commercial that spawned the Facebook group that brought us this show.
God bless you Betty White. You are the real deal and it’s been my privilege to watch you put on this clinic.
4 thoughts on “All Hail Betty White”
Betty White won her first Emmy in the 50’s as a show producer. She said that there was no gender bias at that time. The technology was new and you did what needed doing to get the show on the air.
What I’d like to know is why USA Today gave her and the show last night such a poor review? http://www.usatoday.com/life/television/reviews/2010-05-09-betty-white-snl_N.htm What is this guy’s problem?
I thought the show was terrific. I think there are some critics out there who are reflexive SNL bashers. That was the best episode I’ve seen in recent memory.
What a disappointment! “There’s no fool like an old fool” and Betty played the proverbial “old fool” by parroting out all the new vulgar dribble. As Groucho Marx once observed (forgive my paraphrase, but I did see this on an old TV show): “One does not need to be vulgar in order to be funny”. Betty has become the old hag of Hanzel and Gretel, the bad old witch with the sickeningly sweet sick smile. She is no longer funny. She is like the middle-aged man or woman who fears getting older and so puts on the trappings and the silliness of youth. It looks bad and it is bad. She resembles an old toad that has sunk down into the deepest, filthiest mud cavity. I miss the old Betty.