Betty White's plan for 'SNL': 'Very little nudity'

Betty White has arrived in New York to prepare for her weekend gig hosting Saturday Night Live. She stopped by Today this morning to chat with Meredith Vieira and admitted she was scared to death, perhaps because she’s drawn the line for the writers at nudity, or rather, “very little nudity.” As EW’s Tanner Stransky reports in his feature on the 88-year-old Golden Girl in this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly, she’d been asked to host the show in the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, and had always politely declined. It was her agent who finally made her say “yes.”

Reasons to watch the clip:

• To marvel at how large the chairs Betty and Meredith are sitting in look

• To see footage of Betty with what I presume is her golden retriever, Pontiac (Tanner says she refers to him as “Mr. Perfect,” and he is)

• To imagine Betty cracking up at Tim Conway, who she says can “do her in”

• To hear her describe how her father, a traveling salesman, would bring jokes home from the road (If I ever have children, I hope they describe my sense of humor as “delicious”)

• To giggle when Betty tells Meredith that she makes her laugh — “not necessarily on this show”

• To get all riled up when Meredith abruptly says they’re out of time — no one cuts off Betty White!

More Betty White:
Gallery: Roles that prove Betty White has never gone out of style
Betty White Match Game marathon on May 8 is [BLANK]
Betty White wants to host the Academy Awards: ‘Type, nerds!’

Comments (45 total) Add your comment
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  • Noelle

    OK, the gag about “very little nudity” is already funnier than anything else on SNL this year.

    • ash

      Hee Hee. So true.

      • Jason

        I think she is funny, but this whole wave of support has gotten overblown, why not have Carol Burnett on SNL, SHE would definitely be funnier. If anything White was usually second banana to funnier women on all the various shows she did.

      • who cares

        Jason – you are an idiot

      • Jason

        @who cares – please elaborate, what is wrong with the statement I made, think of all the shows Betty White has been a part of, she was NEVER the female star, nor was she the funniest. I’m saying she is funny but this whole internet campaign was stupid and just smacks of something snowballing without any reason, because it was the fashionable thing to do

      • RJ

        Jason, just because she was never the Lead doesn’t mean she wasn’t important to the show. If fact, part of what makes her so good it that she could take on a “smaller” role and make it so memorable. I’ll grant you that the campaign is a little blown out of proportion but I think she is hysterically funny and deserves her shot on SNL.

      • James

        Jason- maybe thats the point! She never stood on the top of the heap but she’s been a hardworking dedicated actor, so its only fair she’s getting her due and I’m glad its all happening BEFORE she dies so she’s able to see just how much she is loved, second fiddle or not. Btw, you only help to add to the “overhype” when you take the time to comment.

      • rerun

        Jason, I kind of agree with you. It’s like Chuck Norris, ninjas, Betty White, whatever. She’s a really funny lady but there are other funny old ladies out there too. I guess in 6 months we’ll care about one of them.

      • Ted

        Jason’s right, folks. The whole Facebook campaign was annoying; on the plus side it helped underscore why I am not on Facebook and helped me feel smug and better than everyone all over again.
        The show’s live at 11:30. Betty’s 80-something, and usually in bed by then. I just hope this thing isn’t a train wreck. Watch for the requisite Golden Girls skit where she’s the only surviving “Girl.” I can almost guarantee they’ll do this, despite McClanahan still being alive. They did a MTM Show skit in the 70s or 80s that was very funny; let’s hope they don’t attempt this with today’s unfunny cast.

      • Terry

        And exactly how do YOU know what time she goes to bed?

  • Rose Nylund

    Betty White is second banana to no one!

    • Jason

      Sure she was, to the following, and tell me if I’m wrong:

      1. Golden Girls – Bea Arthur
      2. The Mary Tyler Moore Show – Mary Tyler Moore
      3. Mama’s Family – Vicki Lawrence, Carol Burnett
      4. Carol Burnett Show – Carol Burnett

      • Chris

        Pretty sure Golden Girls was a true ensemble and none of the “girls” played second banana to any of the others.

      • Another Jason

        Pretty sure that she was the lead on ‘The Betty White Show’ after Mary Tyler Moore went off the air.

      • tomm

        Betty won a Lead Actess Emmy along with Bea and Rue, so take that.

        Estelle won for Supporting.

      • A.J. Simon

        “The Betty White Show” was cancelled after 1 season

    • Rich

      Ted- How exactly do you know what time Betty White goes to bed?

      • K2

        Ted, My parents are as old as Betty and they go to bed after midnight! When I visit them, I have to tell them to keep it down, so I can sleep!

  • Emma

    I would love to see Carol Burnett do SNL but let’s face it, Betty is getting the attention because she is still out there bringing the funny. The last thing I saw CB do was an episode of SVU last year and it was kind of disappointing (more because of the writing than her performance).

    • Rick

      The strength of writing is what makes someone funny or flop – the role of the actor or actress is overrated – they just have to be competent.

      • Johnification

        I agree that comedy is in writing, but it takes a very special level of talent to be comfortable and connected to that writing, stay out of its way, and not try to “be funny”. THAT is what makes an actor great. And it completely justifies the notion of talent.

    • time4bedlam

      And Betty White still looks like Betty White. Carol Burnett’s looking more like Joan Rivers these days

      • A.J. Simon

        who cares what they look like?, unless you’re into old women. Personally whoever is funnier is my criteria

    • Terry

      I would like to see Carol Burnett do SNL, but would love to see Tim Conway. But I wouldn’t get my hopes up, SNL prefers hip actors or newsmakers as opposed to actual talented comedic performers.

      • A.J. Simon


  • Skippy

    I think Betty White was the funniest gal on “The Golden Girls.” She may not have been the lead, but she definitely had the best lines! And I would like to think, when you refer to Ms. White, instead of saying she was second banana, which I definitely do not agree with, maybe state that Betty White complimented whatever entertainment venue she has and currently is a part of. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a show with her in it when she wasn’t hysterically funny! Betty White is no “second banana” to anyone. She can and does hold her own just fine.

    • tomm

      Again, Bea, Betty and Rue were the leads of ‘GG’. And so frigging what? Betty is a true class act. I can’t see the Botoxed actresses of today lasting as long in the biz as Ms. White.

  • James

    I cant wait for Saturday! This is going to rock!

  • Krissy

    Oh James–

    Yes, you’re right! Are you happy now??? Actually, I don’t really think you’re right–I just thought you needed some ego massaging~~

    • Krissy

      Sorry–I meant Jason!!!

      James–you’re just fine!! :-)

  • Nostradamus

    This will be the most watched SNL since the first live episode after 9/11. Mark it down.

  • sparkle the gym bag

    i remember as a kid seeing her on a game show and thinking wow is really hot for an older chick…and that was in 1966..can’t wait for saturday…loved her on Boston legal…

  • LDSK

    Why NOT Betty White is may question. Seriously! Did you see her speech when she received her lifetime achievement award. That was funny! I don’t care if she barely makes it through the opening monologue before falling asleep…I guarantee she will still be funnier than any of the other no talent hacks they’ve had on the show this year.

  • will

    Don’t forget this is still SNL. I think a lot of people are going to be let down. Betty White is awesome but not SNL.

  • Stephanie

    Any actor knows, the leads are boring. It’s the secondary, or character, roles that are more interesting to play AND to watch. Think of any major play or movie and the supporting actors are much more “juicy” roles, and thus it takes much more talent to play them! Rock on, Betty. Who cares if she is the flavor of the month because of the Facebook campaign. It will be a good show.

    • Terry

      Absolutely. I automatically think of Cheers and how little I cared about Sam and Diane, Sam and Rebecca, heck, Sam and anyone, just give us some more Norm and Cliff.

      • A.J. Simon

        Are you seriously retarded or what? Cheers without Sam or Diane would not have lasted long at all, especially during the first few seasons. Their chemistry drove the show, it eventually ran its course. When Rebecca came, it was like a female Sam came on the show and it was great. Norm and Cliff, aside from a few standout episodes were one note characters. Granted, Sam degenerated into a one note joke towards the end, but the early seasons portrayed him as a more interesting character, just watch the season 1 episode “Endless Slumper”

  • Julia

    I hope she’s as great as I want her to be. Good luck, Betty!

  • Aimzee

    It is best to not set up too high of expectations for Betty on SNL. Then we can just sit back and enjoy the comedy and talent the show will present. I cannot wait to see what surprises are in store for us!

  • mary

    I love her! I am looking forward to watch Betty on SNL this coming Saturday night. Hope she will do well.

  • Mary Hill

    I have watched shows with Betty White for years,and have never seen one I didn’t like! SHE IS AWESOME!!

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