I would be remiss as a comedian and as a feminist if I didn’t talk about how amazing Betty White was on SNL. The Broadsheet and Feministing posts already say most of what I’d want to say– that White was a natural, that some of the jokes were kind of stupid but she rocked them anyway, and that she’s proof that women (and old people!) can be funny.
I’d like to add, though, that I’m an SNL loyalist. I pretty much came into consciousness watching SNL– my family had a cat named Toonces, I had Eddie Murphy’s “Mr. Robinson” sketches memorized will I was still watching Mr. Rogers, and my parents have watched the show every week for probably 25 years. People love to shit on SNL, and say it’s not as good now as it was before, but people have been saying that ever since I was 5, and there’s been some damn good stuff on since then. Which is all to say that, today, as people write about how awesome the show was but how shitty SNL is, I don’t think it’s very fair. But, to each his own.
The White episode was, without question, one of the best shows I’ve seen in a while, consistantly funny all the way through. It was a big night for girl power, too, with the return of Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Rachel Dratch, Molly Shannon, Maya Rudolph, and Ana Gasteyer. These six are some of the best cast members to come out of SNL in recent history, and they, too, are a wonderful counter-argument to the “girls aren’t funny” popular narrative. It was great to see all of them and be reminded of how effortlessly funny they are. And speaking of effortlessly funny, Betty White might be the most naturally hilarious performer I’ve seen in my entire life. Her command of every sketch was incredible. Even if some of the jokes were goofy, watching her was so much fun that I enjoyed pretty much every minute of the episode.
Plus, how amazing is it to see a woman who looks like Betty White introduce Jay Z? Very amazing, especially when she adds “If I had a dime for every time I’ve said that I’d have one dime.” Here’s the monologue, and I recommend watching the whole episode on Hulu.