An online campaign by Betty White fans to have the actress host ‘Saturday Night Live’ has paid off.
The 88-year-old actress will host the NBC show on May 8. But the episode won’t just feature the Golden Girl. It will also be a Mother’s Day special and feature the reunion of Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Molly Shannon, Maya Rudolph, Ana Gasteyer and Rachel Dratch. All former female cast members, most of whom are now mothers.
SNL executive producer Lorne Michaels tells ‘USA Today’ that he “always wanted” White to host but she wasn’t interested until she got wind of the fan campaign.
“It took on a groundswell,” Michaels says. “It isn’t something we would have said no to, but I was validated that, ‘Oh, that’d be fun.’ It was the outpouring of affection from fans, and we feel the same way.”
White explained how she had turned offers to host SNL down three times prior. “It’s so New York, and I’m not New York at all. But my agent said he’d divorce me if I didn’t do it, and I love my agent.”
“It’s lovely, and at my age it’s certainly unexpected. I’ve got so much energy, it’s ridiculous. I love working. My schedule is a feverish one, and I’m used to that.”
Michaels says he planned the cast reunion on the same episode, just in case White feels like she needs break from a skit or two. But he promises she is the solo host and can perform “as much as she wants to do.”
“She’s the mother of us all in comedy, so it will be a celebration of Betty White.”