What a delight to watch Betty White hosting Saturday Night Live. I’ve been a fan since I first saw her on “Life with Elizabeth” back in the 50’s. That 15 minute show was fun to watch and Betty had a way about her that wasn’t foreign or forced. You knew her. You nodded your head at her antics. Her performances were not contrived. It was the closest thing to a bumbling real person as one could get.
Her comments about “Facebook” being an incredible waste of time hit the mark. No one wants to admit it, least of all me, that I spend waaaay too much time on “Facebook” and not enough time learning how to write and edit these things. What I especially liked about her performance on Saturday, was the naturalness with which she got into every skit that she was in, which I think were all of them including “Weekend Update.” I guess the guest host is supposed to do that but not someone who is nearly 90 years old. For me, watching White was like visiting an old friend, someone I think I know because of her TV work over the years (and years). She came across as not prudish or “the kids today…” approach of an old bitter woman sitting on her porch with a shotgun on her lap and tea-bags hanging from her hat. The NPR sketch about the muffins was hilarious with its not too subtle double entendres and lack of prudishness. I think Alec Baldwin’s dead pan version on the “Delicious Dish” is still my favorite with his Christmas recipe for his “schwetty balls.”
I think the enduring aspect about Betty White is that she has become timeless still retaining the innocent silliness that made her a part of our family way back in the dark ages of black and white TV. Her humor and delivery seems to appeal to different people across different generations. I wonder if this is why so many of the SNL alums were on hand to participate in Saturday’s show. Facebook may seem a waste of time, but it got Betty White back on the air. For a brief 90 minutes SNL became funny again and we were the better off for it.