Exclusive: 'SNL' close to landing Betty White!

When a grassroots campaign involves both Facebook and a beloved Golden Girl, the scope of its influence cannot be underestimated. To wit: Sources confirm to me exclusively that Saturday Night Live is thisclose to signing TV legend Betty White to host the show for the very first time.

But there’s a catch — and a pretty cool one at that.

White would not be hosting alone. Rather, I hear SNL is putting together a “Women of Comedy” episode that would team the former Rose Nylund with several of her younger contemporaries. Ex-SNL MVP Molly Shannon is on board, I hear, and feelers have also been put out to Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. (An NBC spokesperson insists no one has been confirmed at this time.)

This tag-team approach will allow Lorne Michaels to appease White-on-SNL zealots (half a million and counting!) without making the 88-year-old shoulder the burden of all 90 minutes on her own. And hey, anything that gives Fey an opportunity to dust off her Sarah Palin impersonation — as she’s rumored to be considering — is okay with me.

Thoughts? Are you down with SNL‘s multi-host approach? Do you think SNL should borrow any of Ken Tucker’s genius skit ideas for White? Is all of this way too good to be true? Sound off below!

Photo Credit: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic.com

Comments (351 total) Add your comment
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  • Excited

    YES. YES. AND YES.

    • Jason

      If it’s “women of comedy,” how can they NOT have at least one scene with Mary Tyler Moore? She and Betty are close friends.

      • mj

        They can’t have Mary Tyler Moore on! She’s transformed herself into a human cat through plastic surgery. They are trying to attract viewers, not scare them away.

      • tw33z3

        Haha! spot on

      • Blurbank

        Carol Burnette! She and Betty could do the old Unis routine, but updated. Heck, even Vicky Lawrence could make a cameo as Momma!

      • Jack

        I totally agree that Carol Burnett should be included in this venture. She and White were excellent together on Burnett’s show.

      • KS

        Oh PLEASE let Carol Burnette be on this… the gods of comedy demand it.

      • Jeff Eastwood

        Blurbank, it’s Eunice, not Unis. And I agree, Betty and Carol together (whether as Ellen and Eunice or not) would be friggin awesome.

      • Stephanie Tanner

        They should get Jane Curtin (former female SNL cast member) and was on 3rd Rock From the Sun.

      • Julie

        Now where is THAT FB page??? Betty White and Carol Burnett? Too good to be true!

      • Emmett Kelly

        Mary Tyler Moore and Carole Burnett could appear as Siamese cat twins

      • doogieraz

        Oh- I completely agree with the idea of Burnett and Lawrence with Betty White and the addage that “The Gods of comedy demand it”!!! That is True to the tenth degree. I’m so proud I’m one part of the millions of Facebookers who’ve pushed this agenda!!! I’m recording that for to have forever!!!

    • amj

      This is exciting for sure! I would love to see this. Bring Jane Lynch on this one, although she does deserve an episode to herself as well. This would be awesome, but make sure you have some women writers in that room as well!

      • Mogie

        I definitely would love to see Jane on this but you’re right, she totally deserves her own episode.

    • Rosalie

      NO! Leave all the hosting to Betty White. she doesn’t have to be on every single skit! MOst those other girls would just be riding on coatails to try to get publicity for their NBC shows. Let it be Betty White alone. If someone comes in and co-hosts, bring in Rue, her old co-star.

      • Richard

        I agree: Betty should be the ONLY host.

      • H

        Absolutely. Let her do it alone! Molly Shannon? Ugh.

      • lynne

        She is 88 years old. Even if she does only five sketches, the costume changes, set movement may be tough.

        I love her (and the Golden Girls) but I don’t want her to have to stress out too much physically. And people are going to be disappointed if you feature her as the sole host and she only appears in four sketches.

      • Kip

        Didn’t Rue McClanahan have a stroke recently?

      • Paloma

        I second. I’ve had more than enough of Shannon, Poehler and Fey. Let them just have Betty White.

      • Michele

        If they had her in a few digital shorts her skit number would rise and she wouldn’t have so many costume changes…..

      • skl

        Betty White at 88 can still run rings around comedians half her age, but I do love the idea of her joining forces with other pwerhouses such as Jane Lynch, Carol Burnett and ..oh what the heck! let’s toss in Joy Behar from The View.

      • Lydia Skloven

        Facebook fans want Betty White, not congregation. Let Ms. White determine whether she’s up to it. This discussion smacks of ageism!

    • goodcombo

      Two words- Co-host Sandra Bullock. OK, three.

      • genius

        Goodcombo, those two words would be “Hot Sauce” from her visit to Craig Fergusons show.
        Now I have to youtube the clip again for a good laugh tonight.

      • sdm

        My thoughts exactly. Bullock and White have great chemistry together.

  • Megan

    Only if they add Jane Lynch to the lineup.

    • stephanie

      Yes!

      • beth knott

        they have to do the possessed chicken sketch,I think Lorraine Newman, didit in the 70’s–hilarious…

    • kimmie

      Jane Lynch! How perfect is that>?!

    • Mary

      OMG, that would be amazing!

    • Janis

      Yes!!

    • David

      Yeah! Excellent suggestion! Add Jane Lynch to the group and you got it made!!! I watch anyway just to see my beloved Betty!

    • Celimene

      No! Jane Lynch needs to be host of her own show.

      • Mike the Janitor

        Yes. Celimene is correct. Jane Lynch is great. She should host alone.

      • Teresa

        Who is Jane Lynch?

      • Monica

        I agree. If they add a ‘Jane’ I also think it should be Jane Curtin. She fantastic!

    • Kerri L.

      Amen! Although Jane Lynch and Betty White would each do great on their own too.

    • Zo

      Ditto that! Great idea!

    • mj

      Having her on with Betty White would be hilarious!!

    • bondfool

      If NBC wasn’t willing to let the Glee cast perform on the Macy’s Parade, they aren’t gonna let Jane Lynch host SNL.

    • BlatantURLPimpingMustDie

      Jane Lynch will never happen. Anyone remember how NBC famously un-invited the “Glee” moppets from doing the Macy’s Parade?

      • SAM

        Another awesome boneheaded move by NBC! Stay Classy Zuckerman or whatever his name is!

      • Anna

        Moppets? Aren’t they all in their twenties?

  • Ed

    I like all those women, but Betty White could host on her own.

    • ew-bot

      too true. I’m in with guesting Jane Lynch tho. I think they’d be great together.

    • amj

      It’s entirely possible this was Betty’s idea, consider that she might like this!

    • bondfool

      It’s sort of robbing her. There’s no point in hosting if you don’t get to be THE host. You might as well just be a “special appearance.”

  • Jim

    Pretty good idea. Three cheers for mass appeal.

  • Jenna

    o wow cool

  • Rosa

    Betty White is the HBIC.

    • Mimi

      LOL!!

  • DVaRmy

    somebody in Ken’s post mentioned a Golden Gossip Girl…that could be funny.

  • Darrell Wiggins

    OMG!!! LOVE! IT!!

  • Grady

    NICE! Love this news!

  • Anita

    That sounds awesome!

  • Erin

    How about Lily Tomlin or Carol Burnett?

    • Betsy

      OMG – a dream ep!!

    • shawshank

      I feel having multiple people host is like saying, “You’re not good enough to host on your own.” And Betty White is not in that category. She should host on her own. Of all the ideas, at least having her host with Carol Burnett or Lily Tomlin would make a little bit of sense. But having her host with Shannon, Fey and Poehler… there’s no connection there. The multiple hosts idea isn’t a bad one, but should only be utilized with B-level hosts, like Mindy Kahling and Jenna Fischer-there’s a hosting team. But really Burnett, Tomlin, Fey, Poehler, Jane Lynch and Betty White all deserve their own show. It would be an injustice to let Taylor Swift, Taylor Lautner and January Jones each host their own show, and then lump White, Fey and Poehler together, just because they are all “Women of Comedy”

      • Xtine

        I totally agree. Unless Betty feels she is unable to do the whole show on her own, they ought to let her fly solo. At the very least, if you’re going to pair her up with anyone, it should be with fellow co-stars from her previous shows or other women from the same era as her. She has no connection with those women, perhaps she could host with Sandra Bullock, whom she’s made it abundantly clear she likes and they just did a flick together. I’m just saying a more appropriate pairing is in order. Love and kisses Betty!!!

      • Dave1955

        She’s eight-freaking-eight! Of course she’s good enough to host on her own, but we don’t want to kill her in the process! A 90-minute live television show is very strenuous.

        Let her have somebody help her out, for crying out loud. It doesn’t diminish her fabulosity. (I just made that word up. Pretty good, isn’t it?)

      • Susan

        I agree with shawshank, where is the connection

      • Jessica

        Betty said previously that she was flattered but couldn’t host a whole show without being too exhausted. I think this is an excellent compromise.

      • Lisa

        Oh please, it’s not about being good enough. She’s EIGHTY-EIGHT. My mom’s only 85, and she can barely make it through a meal without dozing off.

        She is still as brilliant as ever, but stamina disappears with age.

      • Cherie

        As long as Betty does the opening monologue, I think she’d be considered the host.

        Tina Fey as Sarah Palin would be great because Betty White did a skit on Craig Ferguson where she called Palin “that crazy b****”.

    • tlw

      That would be fantastic!

  • Stephen T

    I have been suggesting the multiple hosts for awhile as a way to and excitement to the shot. Not sure Molly Shannon is such a good 4th person, I would prefer Elizabeth Banks or that chick from Glee. I also suggest the cast of “It’s Always Sunny…”

  • Jacob

    Boffo idea, boys! Let’s run it!

  • @ImStillToni

    Thanks Ausiello!!! Just joined the FB group and the thought of White, Shannon, Fey, and Poehler makes me giddy (what about Maya Rudolph? SNL lost its soul when she left). I think it’s an tribute to not allow the whole show to fall on White and so many fans would LOVE to see these women share the stage (I know I can’t wait to see it.)

    • Flaming Moe

      It lost it’s soul when Maya Rudolph left? Really? No seriously, really?

      • Jennifer

        Flaming Moe, I’m with you. Seriously? lmbo.

  • Nerwen Aldarion

    Ironically I had just finished reading Ken’s recap “If Betty White hosted” and I checked the main page again to see if any new headlines had popped up!

    what are the odds?!!!!

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