Saturday Night Live is rerunning an episode with Betty White in all her wonderful glory. That was back when she was a young 88 and a half years old and explaining hayrides and pokes.
We’re still mourning America’s Golden Girl, but it makes us feel better to see Betty White on stage, as she charmed and flirted her way through 90 minutes of blissful comedy. On May 8, 2010, when White hosted the iconic sketch comedy show, all was still right with the world. It also proved to be a terrific Mother’s Day episode.
When Betty White, wearing something dark and sparkly, stepped out onto the stage of Studio 8H, she immediately owned the audience. After all, her fans put her there. SNL asked her to host after a Facebook petition generated hundreds of thousands of signatures. At 88, she became the oldest host ever. White’s appearance in a Snickers commercial prompted folks to begin campaigning for her to get the SNL gig.
Betty White then playfully skewered old age and social media in her monologue.
“Many of you know I’m 88 and 1/2,” she said. “So I’m glad to be here for a number of reasons.”
Keep in mind, this was spring 2010. Your parents and grandparents still hadn’t fully taken over Facebook and the social media company wasn’t near as toxic. So take it Betty White: “I really have to thank Facebook. I heard there was a campaign for me to host Saturday Night Live, I didn’t know what Facebook was, until now.”
And her thoughts on Facebook: “Sounds like a huge waste of time,” Betty White said to the delight of the audience. “I never say people on it are losers, but that’s only that’s because I’m polite.”
Here comes another old zinger: “At my age, if I want to connect to old friends,” she said, “I’d need to use a Ouija board.”
Want more Betty White? “Yes, we had poking, but it wasn’t something you did on a computer, but something you did on a hayride … under the blanket.”
Then at the end of the monologue, she said she loved the Saturday Night Live audience so much that she wanted to take them all on a gigantic hayride. And she pointed at the men she wanted to take. It makes us so happy and sad to see Betty White like this. She really could be a combo of her two most famous characters: Sue Ann Nivens (Mary Tyler Moore Show) and Rose Nylund (Golden Girls).
And speaking of Sue Ann, White spoke to reporters in the days leading up to her hosting gig. She had this classic line:
“And of course I love Sue Ann. She was so rotten. The neighborhood nymphomaniac. I would love to bring her back for a minute, but I don’t know if that would be legally possible.”
Sue Ann never was far away. In the last week of her life, Betty White flirted with both Ryan Reynolds and Robert Redford. And she did so on Twitter, which isn’t Facebook.
Jay-Z was the musical entertainment. And the rapper/business mogul dedicated his performance of “Young Forever” to Betty White. The show drew an audience of 12 million.
Betty White was so good in the SNL episode that she won an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress In A Comedy Series.”
For a sneak peek of the episode, check out her monologue: