It’s official: ‘Saturday Night Live‘ has locked in Golden Girl Betty White to host, on May 8th. That night, she will oversee a “Mother’s Day”-themed reunion of show alumni Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Molly Shannon, Maya Rudolph, Ana Gasteyer and Rachel Dratch.
What brings the 88-year-old comedy queen to Studio 8H – despite having turned down the hosting gig three times in the past – is a grassroots movement born on a social media site.
The Facebook group “Betty White to Host SNL (please?)!” has lobbied for months to score the ‘Mary Tyler Moore Show’ vet the plum gig, and only saw its effort amplified after White starred in one of this year’s best-received Super Bowl commercials (a Snickers spot in which she talks smack to a burly linebacker).
Explaining her past reluctance to play host, White told USA Today, “It’s so New York, and I’m not New York at all.” But in light of the current groundswell, “My agent said he’d divorce me if I didn’t do it,” she shared, “and I love my agent.”
‘SNL’ boss Lorne Michaels confirms that the online “outpouring of affection from fans” is to credit for his overdue overture to White.
“She’s the mother of us all in comedy,” Michaels says, “so [May 8th] will be a celebration of Betty White.”
Though White is that night’s one and only host, Michaels told her she may appear in as few – or as many – sketches as she likes.
White, for her part, seems rarin’ to go and give ‘SNL’ her best shot. “I’ve got so much energy,” she declares, “it’s ridiculous.”