‘Golden Girls’ Star Betty White Holds Impressive ‘Saturday Night Live’ Record

by Samantha Whidden
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She’s usually known for her roles on Golden Girls and The Mary Tyler Moore Show, but there’s one record that Betty White currently has that not many people know about.

In 2010, the actress became the oldest person to host NBC’s hit TV sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live.

According to the History Channel, plans for Betty White’s SNL hosting gig were started in late 2009, when a fan took to Facebook with the campaign, “Betty White to Host SNL (please?)!” By March 2010, nearly half a million fans had joined the cause. In May 2010, the show confirmed that she would be hosting. She hosted the May 8, 2010 episode with music performances by Jay-Z. 

Betty Battled Stage Fright During ‘SNL’ Hosting Gig 

In Betty’s 2018 PBS special, Betty White: First Lady of Television, her agent, Jeff Witjas, states that the actress had a look he never saw before and stated, “Never again.” Jeff also explains that Betty had dealt with a vigorous week of rehearsal before the episode aired.

“Maybe I pushed her a little too far and a little too much, because I was pushing her out of her comfort zone.”

He then says White immediately relaxed after her remark.

“She looked [at me], went right back into the regular Betty White right after she said it,” he recalls. 

Betty White also confirmed that while she had developed stage fright at the time, she doesn’t consider it a bad thing.

“It’s a lifesaver because the panic that sets in, you have to [counteract] and you have to get a handle on it in order to do what you’re doing. So the stage fright is what puts the edge, I think, on a performance.”

Along with her agent, various co-stars and friends of Betty White appeared on the documentary, including Jennifer Love Hewitt, Valerie Harper, and Ryan Reynolds. 

Betty White Recently Celebrates 99th Birthday

In January 2021, Betty White celebrated her 99th birthday. The actress revealed to People at the time, “I am blessed with good health. So turning 99 is no different than turning 98.”

She also states that having a sense of humor is really what keeps her going. “Don’t take yourself too seriously,” she explains. “You can lie to others – not that I would – but you cannot lie to yourself.”

“Just looking at the positive side and not dwelling on the downside. Takes up too much energy being negative. Also having a good agent who keeps me busy all the time.” She also speaks about the negative side. “I don’t like the other side. The positive side is a lot more fun.”

Betty White’s most recent motion picture gig is in Toy Story 4 as Bitey White, a toy tiger that is stash away in Bonnie’s closet. She was also in the TV series short Forky Asks a Question, in the episode What is Love? 

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