Betty White Is Golden As Host, Jay-Z Performs Medley Of Hits On ‘SNL’

Episode also featured return of Tina Fey, Rachel Dratch, Ana Gasteyer, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph and Molly Shannon.

At 88 1/2 years old, “The Proposal” star Betty White proved she’s one of America’s hardest-working grandmothers as she cursed, kicked and roughed up young hoodlums on this week’s episode of “Saturday Night Live,” featuring musical guest [artist id="1269"]Jay-Z[/artist].

Eschewing its usual political cold open, the show opted for a “Lawrence Welk Show” Mother’s Day tribute sketch, bringing back many of the series’ famous female stars, including Rachel Dratch, Tina Fey, Ana Gasteyer, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph and Molly Shannon. White’s appearance in the sketch garnered prolonged applause from the studio audience.

Later, in her opening monologue, White joked about her age and the Facebook campaign that brought her to the “SNL” stage.

“When I first heard about the campaign to get me to host ‘Saturday Night Live,’ I didn’t know what Facebook was,” she said. “Now that I do know what it is, it sounds like a huge waste of time.”

Not surprisingly, White played some variation of a grandmother figure in nearly every sketch, to hilarious effect. She drove a motorized scooter as MacGruber’s nana, whom he confessed his undying love for and ultimately (and oh-so awkwardly) proposed marriage to. She donned a khaki jumpsuit to play tough-as-nails Grandma MacIntosh in Kenan Thompson’s recurring “Scared Straight” sketch. And in a jab at CBS’ older viewership, she portrayed a crime-fighting senior citizen in the
spin-off “CSI: Sarasota.”

Fans of White’s classic television show “The Golden Girls” also got a treat as the cast sang a version of the series’ theme song, “Thank You for Being a Friend,” during the night’s Digital Short, with White revamping the ditty into a scary, ear-busting screamo version.

Several of the returning “SNL” alumna also reprised their most
memorable characters, including Shannon’s kicking and stretching 50-year-old Sally O’Malley and Rudolph’s Whitney Houston. Gasteyer and Shannon also resurrected their NPR “Delicious Dish” hosts, chatting up baker Florence Dusty (White) about her signature muffins. “My muffin hasn’t had a cherry since 1939,” White deadpanned.

When MTV News caught up with White earlier in the week during
rehearsals, she said she had practiced a couple of sketches with Jay-Z , but none of them ultimately made Saturday night’s live taping. Nonetheless, White said she was thrilled to hang with Jay-Z in order to raise her cool quotient. “I’m very excited about meeting him, and I bragged to all my friends who think I’m over the hill,” White joked.

The feeling must have been mutual as the rapper dedicated featuring Mr. Hudson to the “most incredible Betty White.” Earlier in the show, Jay-Z performed a medley of his hits, beginning with two singles off of the 2003 Black Album, “Public Service Announcement” and “99 Problems.” Following a short interlude of ” ’03 Bonnie & Clyde,” he then dove into his 2009 hit “Empire State of Mind,” with Bridget Kelly singing Alicia Keys’ part.

Next week’s season finale of “SNL” will feature host Alec Baldwin, who will tie his Oscar co-host and “It’s Complicated” co-star Steve Martin for most times hosting at 15. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers will be the musical guest.