Betty White: The Actress Holds a Unique Record on ‘Saturday Night Live’

by Madison Miller
Photo by: D Dipasupil/FilmMagic

This past Saturday, controversial figure Elon Musk was the host of the popular comedy show, “Saturday Night Live.” His appearance brought in a lot of viewers, but also was polarizing and caused some cast members to skip the show.

On May 8, 2011, a universally beloved entertainment icon took over the “SNL” stage. Betty White, known for her roles on shows like “The Golden Girls” and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” and movies like “The Proposal” and “You Again,” took over one of the most popular stages in comedy. At the time she was 88. White is now 99 and funnier and more extravagant than ever.

Betty White on ‘Saturday Night Live’

When she appeared on the “SNL” stage, she actually became the oldest person to ever host the show. “SNL” has been around since 1975. The fact that she is so universally beloved is what got her to the show in the first place. According to History. com, there were hundreds of thousands of fans that signed a Facebook campaign rally to get her on “SNL.”

The campaign was called “Betty White to host SNL (please?)!” Then half a million fans joined the campaign enthusiastically. She was eventually confirmed as the host of the show. White’s appearance was marked with her usual strokes of comedic gold. Her raunchy and sharp humor played out well in the show’s sketches.

She actually ended up winning her seventh Emmy Award of her career from this “SNL” appearance. She was joined by Jay-Z as her musical guest. The two helped draw in the show’s highest ratings in 18 months at the time.

In her opening monologue, White said, “When I first heard about the campaign to get me on ‘Saturday Night Live,’ I didn’t know what Facebook was. Now that I do know what it is, I have to say, it sounds like a huge waste of time.” She also joked that, at her age, she would need an ouija board to connect with her old friends.

One of the most popular skits from her hosting gig was called “Scared Straight: Bullying with Betty White.” She played Kenan Thompson’s grandmother that was talking to three school bullies at the police station.

In another skit, she went up against Tina Fey, a census taker. She hilariously jokes about her name, trips to Ellis Island, and a retired stripper name.

Betty White Tips for a Long Life

Betty White has had a long and extraordinary career that is still ongoing. When people ask her how she has lived to 99, she often has a humorous remark to explain her longevity in this world. From a diet of hot dogs and vodka to keeping up her laughter to staying busy, White has a secret formula for long life.

She told People that her sense of humor keeps her going. She said, “Don’t take yourself too seriously. You can lie to others — not that I would — but you cannot lie to yourself.”

White also told Katie Couric in a 2017 interview that she loves to work and doesn’t want to stop. She said, “First of all, keep busy. Don’t focus everything on you, that wears out pretty fast. It’s not hard to find things you’re interested in, but enjoy them and indulge them, and I think that can keep you on your toes.”

White has been working pretty consistently in the industry since her very first sitcom, “Life with Elizabeth,” in 1953.