Of course, this is a show whose announcer, Don Pardo, is 92 and still going strong. And, as Pardo pointed out when I saw him in L.A. in January at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' Hall of Fame Induction ceremony, the show still employs two wardrobe women even older than he, still working in their late 90s.
Betty has been a TV star since they plugged in the first cameras back in the late '40s, and went on to create iconic characters in The Mary Tyler Moore Show's Sue Ann Nivens and The Golden Girls' Rose Nylund. But this will be her first appearance on the NBC late-night comedy staple (although published reports state that Betty says she's turned down Lorne Michaels' offer to host 3 times in the past.)
So far, 2010 has been an amazing year in Betty's ever-growing career; there was her much-loved Super Bowl ad for Snickers, her lifetime achievement recognition at the SAG Awards, and now this. Of course, Betty, and The Golden Girls, remain as popular as ever among new generations of young viewers, as Sharyn Jackson proved this past weekend with her Golden Girls party at New York gay bar The Stonewall Inn, packed with young straight girls cheering at clips of the show.
It's perfect timing for SNL, catching Betty while she's hot, and in time for Mother's Day to boot. The appearance will also feature the return of some of our favorite funny ladies from the show's past, including Maya Rudolph, Amy Poehler, Molly Shannon, Rachel Dratch, Tina Fey and Ana Gasteyer. And you can bet there'll be a Golden Girls sketch. My vote: Gasteyer as Dorothy, Dratch as Sophia, Poehler as Blanche, and the one and only Betty White reprising the beloved role of Rose.