One of the ‘Golden Girls‘ stars revealed why working in television has gotten more difficult over time.
Betty White recently told the Sydney Morning Herald that “the audience has certainly changed because when I started in television is when television started.”
“It was all brand, brand new and exciting. Over the years, naturally the audience has heard every joke, they know every premise, they know where you’re going even before you start,” White continued.
Working for as long as White has certainly had its perks. In 2018, White was awarded a Guinness World Record for her 80-year tenure in the entertainment industry. Her career began shortly after her graduation from high school in 1939 and continued to this day. ‘Golden Girls’ continues to be one of the most popular television shows as well.
However, White cautions that the audience today is much tougher to write for. She says the ‘Golden Girls’ might not have made it on TV if it were pitched today. Plus, the internet has made it much easier for people to research a comedian before seeing them perform. This has also made some people “jaded,” White said.
“That’s a tough audience to write for and to surprise, so the writers have a real chore now. Sure, there are new viewers, kids growing up, but they’re a very, very sophisticated, jaded audience,” she continued.
Betty White Is ‘Grateful’ To Be Considered A Comedian Today
White got her start in entertainment when she was eight years old on a radio program called Empire Builders. Her first break into television came just three months after her high school graduation. The show was called The Merry Widow.
Since that time, White has appeared in hundreds of shows for television, radio, film, and theatre. Because of her wide-ranging resume, many people consider White to be more of an actor than a comedian. For that reason, the ‘Golden Girls’ veteran considers herself to be fortunate whenever someone refers to her as a comedian today.
“If you call me a comedian I will be very grateful. I will thank you profoundly,” White told The Herald. “No, I love doing comedy. It’s fun once in a while to do a serious part but I really enjoy doing comedy because I love to laugh.”
A Golden Girls Career That Continues To Shine
Betty White continues to appear in movies and television series but has taken fewer acting roles in recent years. Instead, she’s appeared in several programs as “herself.” White has a total of 354 film credits as herself, according to IMDB.
In 2021, White plans to appear as herself in The Hollywood Moment at Home Edition with B.J. Korros and Hollywood Insider.