All the times Betty White made TV the best place in the universe
All hail Betty White, queen of TV. Her latest gig? Appearing on season 11 of Bones. According to Deadline, she’ll play Dr. Beth Mayer, “an accomplished, sharp as a tack squintern who is brought in to assist in a murder linked to fantasy football — which just happens to be one of her many areas of expertise.” Yes, I will watch the hell out of that episode. I will watch anything Betty does.
The 93-years-old superstar, dubbed the most trusted celebrity in America, has been successfully working her way through Hollywood for over 70 years, a fact which dawns on me every time I stumble across a video of her that’s filmed in black and white. How one woman can get up every morning and go to work doing what she loves for decades leaves me in awe, and I find myself compulsively checking YouTube for new Betty White clips so I can continually appreciate how talented she is. With this list, I’m hoping you can too.
In preparation for Betty’s SNL stint (which I’ll get to in a minute), Ellen Degeneres invited White to the show so that she could practice keeping her composure on live TV. For a few minutes, the talk show host attempted to make White crack, wearing goofy glasses and playing silly magic tricks, only to have Betty get the last laugh. I don’t know what’s funnier, Betty’s clever twist at the end or her impressive deadpan expression the entire time:
Fact: Betty White is fond of making sexual innuendos, especially in her late night show appearances. On this episode of Johnny Carson in 1979, White dresses up as Eve and complains to Adam about the crumbling state of their “marriage.” Their nude outfits may not have been very convincing but Betty’s acting makes up for it.
Betty White is quite fond of game shows: she met her husband Allen Ludden on one when he started hosting Password in 1979 and she has appeared in over 15 other programs, including Family Feud, Pyramid, and just about every game involving passwords. Her enthusiasm for such shows can be seen in the above clip from Password where she correctly guesses her partner’s mystery word (skip to 1:57 if you’re impatient):
4) When she became one of the first female TV producers.
Betty White was making strides for women before that was even a thing. In 1953, the sitcom star helped produce the show Life with Elizabeth with George Tibbles, eventually gaining an Emmy nomination for her work.
5) When became the oldest SNL host (and one of the finest)
“I’m 88 years and a half years old so it’s great to be here, for a number of reasons.” This is how Betty opened Saturday Night Live in 2010 and it only got better from there. After a successful Facebook campaign, the producers asked White to appear on the show and, despite her fear of NYC, she agreed, making her the oldest SNL host in history. Also, did you see that episode? Sheer brilliance.
Because these two were really, really cute together in The Californians sketch.
Humble as always, Betty White approached the stage to claim her 1987 comedy award with a look of complete shock. “Now this is a joke,” she said as she accepted the statue, packing her 30-second speech with jokes like it was her job.
When one of her co-stars called out sick to a Golden Girls rehearsal, forcing one of the producers to step in and read her lines, Betty decided to make the best of the situation, continuing with the scene and adding her trademark comedic touch:
Long story short, congratulations, Betty, on being an inspiration to all.