Betty White's young fans give her 'SNL' boost
At 88, Betty White still has the “Golden” touch.
Just weeks after the actress was mercilessly tackled in a Super Bowl ad for Snickers, White could have another high-profile comedy gig on the horizon. The former “Golden Girl” is in talks to be a host of “Saturday Night Live,” Entertainment Weekly has reported.
And she can thank legions of young fans, nearly half a million of whom joined a Facebook campaign urging NBC to give her the job.
“More power to her!” supporter Alicia Kim said Monday. The 20-year-old Greenwich Village resident is nearly seven decades younger than White but said she feels a connection nonetheless. “She crosses off from older generation to younger generation,” Kim said. “She was on ‘Ugly Betty.’”
Despite White’s other recent stints, including the movie “The Proposal” and TV shows “My Name Is Earl” and “Boston Legal,” fans can’t seem to get enough.
“As old as Betty White is, she’s got a really new-school attitude: deep sense of irony, deep sense of celebration of cheesiness,” said Robert Thompson, a pop culture expert at Syracuse University. “I don’t think people are fans of Betty White to be mocking, there’s a great deal of affection toward her.”
An NBC spokeswoman Monday could not confirm the “SNL” talks, and White couldn’t be reached for comment, but her Facebook fan page buzzed with anticipation. “Show them how to do comedy!” one supporter wrote. According to the report, White would co-host the show with other female comics to help her manage performing on the 90-minute show.
Sharyn Jackson, 27, watched reruns of “The Golden Girls” all through college and continues to record them on DVR today. She’s even the co-organizer of the third annual “We Love The Golden Girls” drag party in the Greenwich Village.
“It’s about their attitudes,” said Jackson, of Jersey City, calling “The Golden Girls” “sexy old ladies.” “They walked around carrying themselves like they knew they were hot stuff.”
Like her “Golden Girls” character, Rose Nylund, White knows how to work it, Thompson said. “She doesn’t take her celebrity seriously. She knows her performance is tongue in cheek,” he said.
White’s charm is central to the “Golden Girls” drag celebration, set for next month at the Stonewall Inn. “I expect to be doing this party for the next 20 years. I could go forever,” Jackson said. “‘The Golden Girls’ are timeless.”
Taneish Hamilton contributed to this report.