So, How Was Betty White on SNL: The Best of All-Time or The Best Ever?
By all accounts, last night went pretty damn well for the 88-year-old Golden Girl, the oldest host in the show's 35 year history. If we're gauging immediate critical reaction chiefly online -- and why shouldn't we? -- then White came through in a big way on the penultimate episode of this season's Saturday Night Live. Echo chamber, be damned.
If we're judging based solely on Twitter, White singlehandedly saved comedy, stopped time, cemented lasting peace in the Middle East, performed the Lost finale as a one-woman show, cleaned up the oil spill in the Gulf and offed Justin Bieber. All set to a Jay-Z medley.
The Internet (re-)made her, now the Internet can praise her. And, indirectly, themselves.
In all, last night's episode of Saturday Night Live was so momentous that it scored a first-thing-in-the-morning wrap up not just from the blogs, but from blogs belonging to newspapers, including Dave Itzkoff at the New York Times. Itzkoff was correct to note that "most of Ms. White's jokes boiled down to some version of her (a) saying something totally inappropriate for her age, or (b) making some kind of subtle -- or blatant -- sexual innuendo," but he calls that observation "picayune." Watching old ladies cursing is always more fun than thinking about watching old ladies curse, repeatedly!
Perhaps the real standout of the episode was the much anticipated return of ladies of SNL past, including Molly Shannon, Amy Poehler, Rachel Dratch, Maya Rudolph, Ana Gasteyer and queen bee Tina Fey. Rachel Sklar took the opportunity to tell Christopher Hitchens to suck it, which he probably needs every few hours or so. Itzkoff called it "a rare occasion on which the mostly male "SNL" cast took a backseat to its women."
In a moment of dissent, USA Today offered up the backlash, offering that the show "didn't know what to do with [White]." While noting that "90 mediocre minutes with White is still preferable to time spent with most anyone else," overall: "She just deserved better. And after a 35 year wait, so did we." Someone had to do it.
When it comes to the middle ground, as noted yesterday, for those of us who were as enamored by the build-up, didn't catch the show last night and can't afford DVR, thank Hova we can just stick to the clips: Hulu has a bunch.