Thanks to grassroots Facebook campaign, actress Betty White to host 'Saturday Night Live'

Betty White, whose career spans seven decades, will host a special Mother's Day episode of Saturday Night Live on May 8, thanks to a grassroots Facebook campaign.

Dana Edelson/NBC/AP
Cast member Kristen Wiig and Betty White appear on the set of 'Saturday Night Live,' Tuesday in New York as they film promotional videos for White's upcoming appearance on the late night comedy show on Saturday.

A Facebook campaign has landed actress Betty White a gig as host of Saturday Night Live on May 8, adding the late-night sketch comedy show to a showbiz resume that spans seven decades.

In January, David Matthews, of San Antonio, launched the Facebook page "Betty White to Host SNL (please?)!" after Ms. White appeared in a popular Super Bowl ad for Snickers candy. By mid-March, several hundred thousand Facebookers had signed on to Matthew's petition, and it was announced that the former Golden Girl would be hosting a special Mother's Day episode on May 8.

The special episode will bring back six former cast members, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Molly Shannon, Maya Rudolph, Ana Gasteyer, and Rachel Dratch, along with musical guest Jay-Z. There is no word on whether White and Jay-Z will perform a duet.

In a sense, hosting SNL brings White's long career to a full circle: Her first TV job was in 1949, on a live sketch comedy show titled "Hollywood on Television." From there, she starred in and co-produced a sitcom based on a "Hollywood on Television" sketch titled "Life With Elizabeth," which garnered White her first Emmy Award.

In the 1950s and 60s, White hosted a talk show and several game shows, gaining the sobriquet "First Lady of Game Shows." In 1973, she joined the cast of the Mary Tyler Moore show as the snide, perfectionist "Happy Homemaker" Sue Ann Nivens, a role that proved hugely popular.

Her second signature role came in 1985, as the simple-minded St. Olaf, Minn., native Rose Nylund on "The Golden Girls," whom White portrayed for 8 years.

Beginning in June, White will again appear in her own sitcom, as Elka, the house caretaker on "Hot in Cleveland," a sitcom on TV Land.

As for Matthews, who started the Facebook campaign, he'll be at the live show and he says that he hopes to meet White. Matthews should be careful what he wishes for: White told the Seattle Post-Intelliencer that she'll meet with Matthews on one condition:

"If he doesn't mind me, you know, beating him up for getting me into this trouble,"


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