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Betty White becomes oldest “Saturday Night Live” host

Betty White becomes oldest “Saturday Night Live” host

On May 8, 2010, 88-year-old actress Betty White, known for her former roles on “The Golden Girls” and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” becomes the oldest person to host the long-running, late-night TV sketch comedy show “Saturday Night Live” (SNL). White’s hosting gig came about, in part, after hundreds of thousands of her fans signed onto a Facebook campaign rallying for it.

Born in Oak Park, Illinois, in 1922, Betty Marion White attended high school in Beverly Hills, California, before launching her career in radio and television, an industry still in its infancy at the time. She was a pioneering TV talk show host and producer in the 1950s, and also became a frequent celebrity panelist on TV game shows. In the 1970s, she played the acerbic, man-hungry “happy homemaker” Sue Ann Nivens on Mary Tyler Moore’s hit sitcom. Beginning in 1985, White co-starred as naïve, St. Olaf, Minnesota, native Rose Nylund on “The Golden Girls.” When the popular program ended in 1992, White went on to guest-star in a long list of TV shows, often using her sweet, wholesome appearance and sharp, sometimes raunchy, sense of humor to great comedic effect.

In late December 2009, a 29-year-old fan started a Facebook campaign dubbed “Betty White to Host SNL (please?)!” That March, after nearly half a million fans had joined the campaign, it was confirmed White would host the show on May 8, 2011. Lorne Michaels, SNL’s Canadian-born creator and executive producer, later said the show had tried to get White to host at least three times in previous decades but was unable to make it work with her schedule.

“Saturday Night Live,” which debuted in October 1975, is known for its topical parodies and impersonations, and for pushing boundaries with its sketches. The show has introduced a long list of memorable characters and catchphrases that have become part of pop-culture history. Over the years, it also has launched the careers of such performers as Bill Murray, Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, Mike Myers, Adam Sandler, Chris Farley, David Spade, Jimmy Fallon, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Andy Samberg, Kristen Wiig and Kate McKinnon. SNL features a different guest host and musical act each week. Comedian George Carlin hosted the first-ever episode of SNL in 1975; that same year, actress Candice Bergen was the first woman to host the program. In 1982, 7-year-old Drew Barrymore became the youngest person ever to host SNL.

As SNL’s eldest host, White earned positive reviews, and the show, which featured musical guest Jay-Z, drew its highest ratings in 18 months. The octogenarian actress later won the seventh Emmy Award of her career for her SNL appearance.


2010 Betty White becomes oldest Saturday Night Live host

TO TELL THE TRUTH - "Episode 102" - Comedian Iliza Shlesinger joins our celebrity panel to hilarious effect. In this episode we have one of the highest grossing Tupperware sales people who just happens to be a drag queen, shark attack survivors and somebody who jumps off buildings for a living. While on fire! "To Tell The Truth" Episode 102 Series Time-Period Premiere, Tuesday, June 14 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET). (Kelsey McNeal/ABC via Getty Images) BETTY WHITE

On this day in 2010, 88-year-old actress Betty White, known for her former roles on “The Golden Girls” and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” becomes the oldest person to host the long-running, late-night TV sketch comedy show “Saturday Night Live” (SNL). White’s hosting gig came about, in part, after hundreds of thousands of her fans signed onto a Facebook campaign rallying for it.

Born in Oak Park, Illinois, in 1922, Betty Marion White attended high school in Beverly Hills, California, before launching her career in radio and television, an industry still in its infancy at the time. She was a pioneering TV talk show host and producer in the 1950s, and also became a frequent celebrity panelist on TV game shows. In the 1970s, she played the acerbic, man-hungry “happy homemaker” Sue Ann Nivens on Mary Tyler Moore’s hit sitcom. Beginning in 1985, White co-starred as naïve, St. Olaf, Minnesota, native Rose Nylund on “The Golden Girls.” When the popular program ended in 1992, White went on to guest-star in a long list of TV shows, often using her sweet, wholesome appearance and sharp, sometimes raunchy, sense of humor to great comedic effect.

In late December 2009, a 29-year-old fan started a Facebook campaign dubbed “Betty White to Host SNL (please?)!” That March, after nearly half a million fans had joined the campaign, it was confirmed White would host the show on May 8, 2011. Lorne Michaels, SNL’s Canadian-born creator and executive producer, later said the show had tried to get White to host at least three times in previous decades but was unable to make it work with her schedule.

“Saturday Night Live,” which debuted in October 1975, is known for its topical parodies and impersonations, and for pushing boundaries with its sketches. The show has introduced a long list of memorable characters and catchphrases that have become part of pop-culture history. Over the years, it also has launched the careers of such performers as Bill Murray, Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, Mike Myers, Adam Sandler, Chris Farley, David Spade, Jimmy Fallon, Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. SNL features a different guest host and musical act each week. Comedian George Carlin hosted the first-ever episode of SNL in 1975 that same year, actress Candice Bergen was the first woman to host the program. In 1982, 7-year-old Drew Barrymore became the youngest person ever to host SNL.

As SNL’s eldest host, White earned generally glowing reviews, and the show, which featured musical guest Jay-Z, drew its highest ratings in 18 months. The octogenarian actress later won the seventh Emmy Award of her career for her SNL appearance.


Betty White is naturally talented

Betty Marion White was born Jan. 17, 1922, in Oak Park, Ill., but Betty has always been a California girl at heart — and for most of her life. She may have been born in the midwest, but her father, Horace White, an electrical engineer, moved the family to Los Angeles when Betty was only about 2 years old. From an early age, the young Betty was able to get a good feel for show business given where she lived. Already living in Los Angeles certainly gave her a solid edge in building a career in television. And one of the best things about Betty is that she had raw, natural talent in front of the camera (and behind the scenes as well).

Although she's an award-winning actress, Betty has actually never taken an acting class in her life. Many of the most talented and revered Hollywood actors have usually taken a few acting lessons in their lives, but Betty's acting chops all come from within. According to Insider, she simply didn't feel at ease with acting lessons.

"I just want to bring as much natural as I can. I'm not saying that people who take acting lessons are false. They're much better than I am, but it doesn't work for me."


A beaming Betty White made a triumphant return home, all smiles as she arrived at the airport in Los Angeles after making TV history as the oldest ever host of Saturday Night Live!

"I'm 88-and-a-half-years old, so it's great to be here for a number of reasons," joked White in her opening monologue.

All that performing clearly didn't tire out the feisty 88-year-old. She was heading to the show's after party at 1:30 a.m., way past her bedtime.

"Betty, how did it go?" an INSIDE EDITION producer asked her.

"We got through it," she replied.

White's glowing reviews are still pouring in.

The Today show said, "White hot." USA Today called her "excellent" and The New York Times raved, "All it took to reinvigorate a 35-year-old comedy show was the presence of an 88-year old woman."

The Golden Girl wowed America, singing, dancing, and showing most of all that she hasn't lost a beat of her perfect comedic timing.

In a sketch about the U.S. Census, Tina Fey played a census worker, asking, "How many people live here?"

Fey asked, "So, you don't live here?"

"Oh, you mean including me? Three," said White.

It was a star-studded ladies night as SNL's famous female alums, including Tina Fey and Amy Pohler, returned for White's big night. There was so much good material, some skits had to be cut. NBC just released a sketch that never made air in which White plays the grandmother of SNL's classic character Debbie Downer.

The TV legend clearly won over cast members, who sang her praises after the show.

"She's fantastic. She had so much energy," said Fred Armisen.

Amy Pohler said, "Oh it was great!"

"She's unbelievable. So fun, as young as ever," said Ana Gasteyer.

"It was absolutely the greatest moment of my life. She is a machine and had more energy than all of us put together," added Bobby Moynihan.

Musical guest Jay-Z gave a special shout out to the beloved actress as he dedicated his song "to the most incredible Betty White."

And at the end of the show, White was presented with two huge bouquets of white roses.


It's still amazing to think back to the time when Neil Patrick Harris was the innocent kid star of Doogie Howser, M.D. Harris has transformed since, with How I Met Your Mother, various movies, and terrific singing and dancing.

He's someone expected to have multiple SNL hosting gigs, yet he only did it in early 2009. He showed his singing chops in some Broadway-themed skits and even played the Doogie theme, to the delight of Doogie fans.


Betty White set to become oldest-ever host of 'SNL'

Betty White has her own idea for how she should begin her appearance this weekend on "Saturday Night Live." White, a beloved TV icon, has been told the crowd will likely go nuts when she takes the stage at the beginning of the show. "I would love it if they introduced me and, `Here's Betty White,' and nothing, no applause, no nothing, the audience just stares back at me. I think that would be fun."

That's not going to happen. At 88, White is about to become the oldest host of the NBC comedy showcase, after a Facebook campaign tapped into her amazing cross generational appeal. By late this week, 507,672 fans had joined the "Betty White to host SNL (please?)" Facebook site.

And to think White doesn't even have a Facebook account. "No, I'm a technological spaz," she told reporters on an NBC conference call.

And while she says she's "scared to death" to do the show, it's not because it's live, a twist that rattles most of today's TV performers. White, as she herself points out, was doing live television back when all there was was live television.

She started out in radio and got her first TV exposure on the West Coast in 1949. "I was on five-and-a-half hours a day, six days a week for four years when I started my career in Los Angeles, so I love live television." She says that TV trial by fire was "like going to television college. It was a good experience."

White, of course, is best known from her roles on two TV classics. She played TV homemaker Sue Ann Nivens on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and dim-witted but lovable Rose Nylund on "The Golden Girls." She was also a familiar face for decades on dozens of afternoon game shows, including "Match Game," "Hollywood Squares" and "Password." She met her late husband, Allen Ludden, on "Password."

A true TV pioneer, by the early `50s she was already starring in her own series, "Life with Elizabeth" (for which she won her first of six Emmy Awards in 1952). She went on to become the first female host of a daily network talk show and make countless appearances opposite "Tonight Show" hosts Jack Paar and Johnny Carson.

Sure, things occasionally went wrong on live TV, says White. "I was doing a song on Jack Paar's show and all of a sudden I lost the lyrics," she says. "I made up lyrics as I went along but that is sheer panic. And I have a feeling it's the same kind of panic that I may feel when I do Saturday Night Live."

What has White spooked is what to others is a security blanket -- the fact that, with constant re-writes right down to air time, "SNL" hosts and cast members rely on cue cards during the sketches.

"I never have been able to work from cue cards," she says. "I memorize everything or ad lib it." White would rather do the show without wearing her glasses but, if you see her Saturday night with specs, it's because the cue card print isn't big enough.

Part of White's appeal today is that she continues to work. As David Letterman said on his show this week, she's like the weather this spring, "sunny and in the 80s."

Ever the trooper, she's shocked audiences with ribald lines on edgy cable fare like "The Comedy Central Roast of William Shatner." "I've always had a bawdy sense of humour," she told one critic, suggesting it helped her family get through tough times growing up.

She continues to guest on talk shows like "Chelsea Lately," "Lopez Tonight" and, especially, "Late Night with Craig Ferguson."

"That's been the most fun of anything I've done," White says of her appearances with Scottish-born comedian Ferguson. "The one thing is, we can't ever make eye contact when we're together or we both crack up. We just tickle each other. I love him."

White also is getting set to embark on a brand new TV series. She'll be joining sitcom veterans Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves and Wendie Malick on "Hot in Cleveland," a comedy coming to TVLand. "The pilot got picked up so fast it blew our minds," says White, who starts working on the series the day after she returns to California from shooting "SNL" in New York.

The premise finds Bertinelli, Leeves and Malick renting a house together in Cleveland, where White's character has been a housekeeper for 50 years. "And they inherit me along with the house," says White. "And of course I'm a pain in the neck."

The theme of this weekend's "SNL" is Mother's Day and while White knew few details at the time of the network conference call last week, various moms are expected to be saluted. White singled out Dana Carvey's Church Lady as a sketch that always tickled her.

Asked if she was worried that the only man on the show might be special musical guest Jay-Z, White snapped right back to her man crazy Sue Ann character: "I hope not. But if there isn't, I'll hit on every member of the crew."


TV Stardom

White&aposs career received an enormous boost from her next television series, The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Playing Sue Ann Nivens, White showed audiences that behind her sweet smile lay a sharp wit. Her character served as a co-worker to the show&aposs star, Mary Tyler Moore, in a Minneapolis television newsroom. When she wasn&apost pursuing her male colleagues, Sue Ann could be counted on to make funny, yet poignant, quips at Moore&aposs expense. White won two Emmy Awards for her work on the series.

In sharp contrast to her Sue Ann character, White played the sweet and naive Rose Nylund on the popular 1980s sitcom The Golden Girls, along with co-stars Rue McClanahan, Bea Arthur and Estelle Getty. The show looked at the lives of four, elderly, female friends, and its success proved that there was an audience for programs featuring older characters. The series landed among the top-ranked shows during its seven seasons on the air, and it won numerous awards, including another Emmy Award for White.


5 Facts About Betty White

Betty White turns 99 today, January 17, 2021. Due to COVID, White’s celebration will be with two feathered friends who come to visit her each morning. She told CBS ,”Running a mile each morning has been curtailed by COVID, so I am working on getting ‘The Pet Set’ rereleased, and feeding the two ducks who come to visit me every day.”

We can’t think of a better way to celebrate her than to give you five things you might not know.


Betty White

Betty Marion White Ludden (born January 17, 1922), better known as Betty White, is an American actress, comedienne, singer, author, and television personality. With a career lasting over seven decades, she is best known to contemporary audiences for her television roles as Sue Ann Nivens on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rose Nylund on The Golden Girls. After the death of co-star Rue McClanahan in 2010, she is now the only Golden Girl still living. She currently portrays Elka Ostrovsky in the TV Land sitcom Hot in Cleveland. She currently hosts the practical-joke show Betty White's Off Their Rockers.

Betty White has won seven Emmy Awards (six of which were for acting) and has gotten 20 Emmy nominations [2] over the time during her career, including being the first woman to ever receive an Emmy for game show hosting (for the short-lived Just Men!) and is the only person to have won an Emmy in all female performing comedic categories. In May 2010, she became the oldest person to guest-host Saturday Night Live, for which she also won a Primetime Emmy Award. Betty White also holds the record for longest time between Emmy nominations for performances – her first was in 1951 and her most recent was in 2011, a span of 60 years – and has become the oldest nominee as of 2012 [update] , at age 90. She has made other appearances on the game shows Password and Match Game and portrayed recurring roles on Mama's Family, Boston Legal, The Bold and the Beautiful, and Community.

Filmography

She has over 50 titles in movies and television. If you click the links you can view all of her filmography.


Betty White becomes calendar pin-up girl

Even at 88 years-old, Betty White is proving you are never too old to become a centerfold. Now America's Golden Girl has her own pin-up calendar.

After a Facebook campaign to have her host NBC's Saturday Night Live succeeded, the Emmy Award winning actress is posing in a calendar with a series of photos related to her successful career. One photo, which is pure camp and certainly geared to her gay fans, shows White posting with three sexy shirtless men.

White, the only surviving member of the 1985 hit Golden Girls, is currently starring in the new hit television comedy Hot in Cleveland on TV Land.

The Betty White Calendar, due for release in September, will cost $12.99. The proceeds will benefit Denver-based Morris Animal Foundation, a US wildlife charity.


Watch the video: Betty Whites Lifestyle 2021 (January 2022).