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Posts Tagged ‘SNL’

By now everyone and their mother has heard about, read about, or seen Betty White’s star turn on “Saturday Night Live.” White, at 88 the oldest host the show has ever had, was recruited thanks to a huge fan movement on Facebook. Mission accomplished: White demonstrated why shn266442514828_8596e remains not just a show-business legend but a consummate performer with pitch perfect timing. 

In a night filled with the pleasures of seeing returning veterans like Cheri Oteri, Rachael Dratch, Ana Gasteyer, Maya Rudolph,Amy Poehlner, and Tina Fey, White more than held her own. The show tackled the age difference between the cast and its guest (about half a century or more) head-on in a way that was funny, yes, but also generous and even celebratory. The generation gap was nowhere in evidence; clearly bawdy humor knows no age restrictions. 

White’s skill as a television comedian isn’t a surprise, given her years of experience, some 56 years by her own account. But the excitement generated by her eighty-eight and a half year-old presence seemed to mean something more. Sure, Betty White is the grandmother (great-grandmother?) the audience probably wants. She’s also, in an age of heightened awareness of our own and our loved ones’ morality, the antithesis of the despair that old age represents. In the real world, there are wheelchairs and nursing homes, strokes and Alzheimers, isolation and depression; on “SNL” there is Betty White. Who among us would not be pulled in and held in a state of hopeful suspended animation by the thought of being half the active, engaged and thoroughly entertaining Ms. White deep into our ninth decade?

On the other hand, Betty White gave a kick-ass, thoroughly invested, totally funny performance. At any age, she is a television treasure. Rock on, Betty.

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In the news, the campaign dominates, of course. Is anyone not looking towards the finish line with the usual mix of anxiety and relief? Those stories dominated but there were some unusual twists and other tales worth reviewing.

  • Colin Powell endorses Obama. My favorite part of the interview centered on a subject most public figures have been too afraid to mention until now, which is that while Obama isn’t Muslim, who cares?  If a young Muslim-American wants to grow up to be President, why not? I’ve had some issues with Powell’s “good soldier” routine in the past but for highlighting the stupidity of continuing to equate all Muslims with terrorists, kudos.
  • Sarah Palin appears on “Saturday Night Live.”  I watched the show, which on balance was far inferior and less funny than previous shows had been (there was an entire skit about calling a colleague “fart-face”). Can’t these actors read cue cards and look at the person they’re playing off?  Even an amateur speech maker can look up from notes occasionally. As to Palin’s appearance, it confirmed my earliest impressions; she’s definitely an entertainer, destined to make tons of money with her own talk show someday.
  • “Joe the Plumber” isn’t actually a licensed plumber.  Joe is, however, apparently sick of the attention, or rather, the scrutiny. Hey Joe, that’s what fifteen minutes of fame is all about. Seriously, who cares?
  • High school cheating is on the rise. Okay my young friends, here it is, plain and simple: as to whether cheating is wrong, yes. As to whether “everyone’s doing it” is an acceptable excuse, no. As to whether bringing in cheat notes, “borrowing” an exam from a friend, copying from the Internet or using the exact wording from a book or article (it’s called “plagiarizing”) is actually cheating, also yes. As for whether oral sex is actually sex, also yes.
  • Mr. Blackwell, publisher of the “Worst-Dressed” list, dies. OMG, are we going to have to rely on Joan Rivers to tell us who’s tastefully clothed and who’s not? Say it ain’t so, Joe!

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