The Farr Side: Betty White remains unstoppable as comedy force

David T. Farr

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like her or doesn’t have a fond memory of one or more of her television roles through the years. She’s just as much a part of TV as the television screen itself. And, at 88, she’s just as strong as ever.

The Saints won Super Bowl XLIV, but some may argue that White came away the winner. Her Snickers commercial was what folks were talking more about the next day. It still cracks me up.

White has always been a favorite of mine, even before her days as Rose Nylund on “The Golden Girls.” 

White is one of those people who transcends time. People of all ages appreciate her work and recognize her. Recent movies like “The Proposal” also keep her in the limelight. She held her own against the movie’s stars, Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds, as the crazy grandmother of Reynolds’ character.

She has played key guest roles on “My Name Is Earl,” “Boston Legal” and “That ’70s Show.”

I was flabbergasted when I realized she had never hosted “Saturday Night Live.” How could one of TV’s funniest people never host one of TV’s funniest shows? I joined the group on Facebook that begged, “Betty White To Host ‘SNL’ Please.”

“SNL” executive producer Lorne Michaels answered the call. Apparently he had tried to get White to host for years, but she had politely declined. 

Not this time. Despite her own fears of being seen too much in the public eye, White was convinced. It didn’t hurt either that her manager threatened to divorce her if she didn’t do it. 

White is set to host this weekend’s Mother’s Day Eve show (May 8) with musical guest Jay-Z. 

That’s a line I never thought I’d write: Betty White and Jay-Z together. You can bet there’ll be a skit featuring the two.

Michaels pulled out all the stops for White’s appearance. He recruited an all-star group of famed female “SNL” alums, including Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Ana Gasteyer, Molly Shannon, Maya Rudolph and Rachel Dratch. 

This is going to be a great moment for all involved and for comedy fans.

For those who call White’s recent successes a comeback, forget about it. She has been here for years, and by the looks of it, she’ll be here for a few more. White plays a crazy librarian on the season finale of “The Middle” May 19, as well as the new original series “Hot In Cleveland” on TV Land opposite Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves and Wendy Malick.

Later this summer, she also lights up the big screen as Grandma Bunny in the comedy “You Again” with Jamie Lee Curtis and Kristen Bell.

David T. Farr is a Sturgis (Mich.) Journal correspondent. E-mail him at farrboy@hotmail.com.