After fans took to Facebook to launch a campaign to get veteran funny girl Betty White on “Saturday Night Live,” it was announced earlier this week that she would in fact be making an appearance on the show in some capacity. Now comes word that the star will be hosting the show in May.
White will be onboard for the May 8 episode, which also happens to be Mother’s Day. The show will feature appearances by a number of female “SNL” vets including Tina Fey, who will also host the show on April 10 with musical guest Justin Bieber; Amy Poehler; Molly Shannon; Maya Rudolph; Ana Gasteyer and Rachel Dratch.
In an interview with USA Today, “SNL” executive producer Lorne Michaels admits he “always wanted” White to host the late-night comedy program.
“Years ago, I turned it down three times,” White says. “It’s so New York, and I’m not New York at all. But my agent said he’d divorce me if I didn’t do it, and I love my agent.”
And while White has starred in and won awards for many of her memorable roles on shows like “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “The Golden Girls” and last summer’s movie “The Proposal,” and has even more recently caught the eye of Robert Pattinson , it was her very funny Super Bowl commercial that was the catalyst for her getting the coveted gig on “SNL.”
“It took on a groundswell,” Michaels says of the Facebook campaign, which began in response to White’s appearance in the Super Bowl spot. “It isn’t something we would have said no to,” but the campaign “validated that, ‘Oh, that’d be fun.’ … It was the outpouring of affection from fans, and we feel the same way.”
White herself is excited about all the attention. “It’s lovely, and at my age it’s certainly unexpected,” she said. “I’ve got so much energy, it’s ridiculous. I love working. My schedule is a feverish one, and I’m used to that.”