Comedy's Been Betty Betty Good To Me

Octogenarian comedienne set to host SNL

View Comments ()
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    Instead of slowing down, the woman who made Sue Ann Nivens a sitcom star on Mary Tyler Moore has, two decades later, become the oldest host in the history of Saturday Night Live. (Published Friday, May 7, 2010)

    Live from New York: It's 88-year old Betty White.

    The legendary Golden Girl fought off her fear of hosting NBC's late-night franchise, answering an enormous popular demand for the grandmotherly actress to take on the task.

    White's Super Bowl commercial, which depicted her as a hard-hitting football junkie, ignited the Get Betty craze. A Facebook page stirred more support.

    Cristian Parker of Manhattan decided to get on the Betty Bandwagon by hosting an SNL party dedicated to White at a Chelsea loft. The pad is already decked out with Betty White posters, cups, pins and an iPad with a Betty White screensaver.

    "Being older and mature is chic, it's wonderful," said Parker. "It's the new 50."

    Other fans started lining up on West 49th street more than 52 hours before the show.

    How do you explain Bettymania? Phil Donahue, the eminent talk-show host who'll soon be turning a relatively youthful 75, put it this way: "The older you get, the funnier you get."

    For her part, White, who delighted audiences in the 70's as Sue Ann on The Mary Tyler Moore show, spent the day shooting promos with SNL's musical guest: Jay-Z. In one promo, she deadpans his name is actually pronounced "Jays."

    Cast member Kristin Wiig jokingly corrects her, but White retorts, "That's not what we used to call him around the Marcy projects."

    Backing the senior star turn is a return of many of SNL's most prominent women for Mother's Day weekend. Among them: Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph and Rachel Dratch.