Over the weekend, Michael “Raisin Bran” Ausiello broke the news that head Saturday Night Live honcho Lorne Michaels is “thisclose” to booking Betty White to appear on the late-night institution as a co-host on some sort of “Women of Comedy” night. As happy as it makes us that the 88-year-old comedy legend will (most likely) take the stage at Studio 8H, there are more than a few reasons that this whole crusade is giving us pause.
• It’s Not Like Betty White Has Been Snubbed by SNL in the Past
After reading through hundreds of Facebook comments on the Betty White to host SNL (please?)! page, there seems to be a unifying belief among many of the commenters that Lorne Michaels has somehow overlooked White all these years. Well, as White herself told Diane Sawyer, “[The people at SNL] asked me about three times years ago, and it was a matter of scheduling.” But it wasn’t simply the fact that the bookers weren’t being flexible with White: “I was scared of it, if you must know,” she confessed to Sawyer. Perhaps she’s gotten braver and more confident as the years have progressed, but if that feeling still persists in White, she shouldn’t feel the need to do something just because the Internet asked her to. Speaking of which …
• Lorne Michaels Will Live to Regret His Decision to Bow to the Will of the Internets
We love the Internet, we really do. After all, it is the very source of our livelihood! That said, we have learned over the years that if you give the Internet a pixel, it will take a mile. And now that Michaels has shown (or, rather, is about to show) that he is the type of person who will cave in to the demands of the Internet, he is opening up Pandora’s
Box Blog and is almost certainly going to be besieged (even more than usual) by fan groups demanding that their patron saint gets a chance to utter “Live from New York, it’s Saturday night!” Remember this when one of your friends inevitably sends you an invite to join their inane “Carrot Top Deserves the Respect of Lorne Michaels” Facebook group sometime in the next few weeks.
• The Whole “Women of Comedy” Concept Is a Total Cop-Out
This one angers us the most. It’s not that we don’t love “Women of Comedy,” because we most assuredly do (you go!), but don’t be fooled — the hosting-by-committee approach is a straight-up weak sauce way to appease the ravenous appetites of the Internet. We’d rather see White pop up unexpectedly as a guest in a skit or do a funny bit during Weekend Update than see her relegated to helming only a sketch or two, while the likes of Molly Shannon, Kathy Griffin, or (eek!) Chelsea Handler gets to handle the other sketches. Either give White the chance to host the show or don’t!