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October 4, 2015

Another View: Last Night's 'SNL' Was a Little Lazy and Embarrassing

by Bob Sassone, posted May 9th 2010 4:00PM
Betty WhiteHello! My name is Bob and, yes, I'm the old fogey stick-in-the-mud crankypants who wasn't thrilled with last night's 'Saturday Night Live.'

OK, to be fair, I did laugh out loud more than once, and with any comedy show (especially 'SNL') that's a great sign. Betty White's monologue was quite good and she's the type of person who can take any material she's given and make it good, even if she's just pausing or doing a double take or making a face. I just wish that the writers had put a little more imagination into the sketches she was in.

Last night's math went something like this: Betty White + sex jokes = comedy gold!

Except it wasn't comedy gold. Yes, the first seven sex jokes were funny and made me smile and laugh, but the next 27 were not. It's almost as if the writers said "hey, the audience is going to get a kick out of White saying these dirty things! It's gonna be hysterical!" And the studio audience did seem to love everything that White did. She did a great job, but wasn't the whole "88 and a half year-old says naughty things" vibe a bit much? A bit too easy? And weren't a lot of the jokes ones that you could see coming?

Almost every sketch she was in had White talking about lesbians or having sex or kissing her grandson or her dusty, cracked muffin (a sentence I never want to write again). And let's be honest, that last sketch was just "Schweddy Balls" with a few words changed. If this was the stuff that actually made it on the air, the stuff White approved of, I can imagine the ideas the writers had that didn't get the green light. Was the C word involved? I'm just happy that they didn't have that sketch where the close family French kisses each other.

This isn't to take away from the great job White did hosting the show. There was enough good stuff in this episode to give it a thumbs up I guess, and White has earned the right to do whatever the heck she wants to do. She's a legend and deserved the massive applause she got last night. I just wish the writers were a little bit more creative in the stuff they wrote for White, doing something beyond putting her in a funny wig and having her talk about intercourse and oral sex.

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Yeah, I adore Betty White & did laugh at the skits I saw, but that was probably because I love her so much. I thought the same thing, all they did was make a very elderly woman say shocking things & that was their laugh machine. Sure it's funny in small doses, but it was quite obvious that's all they think they could make her funny at, was shock jokes. This just isn't true. SNL should be able to do better with such a great actress/comedian.

May 13 2010 at 3:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Those of you who haven't seen much SNL lately may be surprised to learn that this episode really wasn't much better than the rest of the season. That's because SNL is better in general than you realize.

May 12 2010 at 8:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Loved the episode. I bet Betty gets an Emmy nod for hosting.

May 10 2010 at 12:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree that the writing really was a one-hit wonder, having Betty White saying "naughty" things throughout the episode... AND I really wish they parodied some of Betty White's most memorable past characters like the Golden Girls and Mary T. Moore show.

But with that said, I think this was one of the funniest episodes of SNL in a long time...where basically every sketch had at least a laugh or two, and most of them came because of the comedic timing Betty White has and her utterly undeniable charisma on screen.

The other reason was all the recent SNL female graduates that came back and showcased some of their most famous characters.

Besides Kristen Wiig, the current female cast is seriously lacking in that area. Ex) They don't have characters, they just show up in the background of the Kristen-centric or male-centric sketch.


May 10 2010 at 12:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Betty did the best she could with the material she had to work with....she was great, the writers, not so much.

May 10 2010 at 10:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I am a fan of Betty White and a longtime fan of SNL. I thought the show with Betty was just to raunchy especially for an 881/2 year old.

May 10 2010 at 2:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Philip Harlon

I agree...

but that can be said every week for almost every guest.

The writing is just REALLY weak to often and only so much star power can save it...

but Betty White and Jay Z for that matter were both outstanding!

May 09 2010 at 11:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have to disagree. While SNL is long past being the great comedy sketch show it used to be, last night's episode was one of the better ones in a very long time. Quite frankly, I think that had more to do with having some of their best female former cast members in so many of the sketches.

As for the NPR sketch, yes it was basically Schweddy Balls all over again, but it was still funny. It would have been funnier if they could have brought Alec Baldwin back as her son, which would have made for a very funny sketch considering all the dusty, cracked muffin talk.

May 09 2010 at 9:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm not sure what exactly you're complaining about-the dirty jokes or the fact that Betty White was telling them. SNL is on at 11:35 at night and runs until 1 in the morning-it's not exactly made for young kids or even the Sarasota crowd... so, yeah, it can get a little smutty. I thought this was one of the best episode in years-a host with good comedic timing and that's willing to be self-deprecating to an extent. As for the cast, I was shocked to actually see them perform and put some effort into it-perhaps the great Betty White set the bar for them, because most of the time when I flip by SNL, the cast members do nothing but pose, waiting to be the next big thing.

May 09 2010 at 9:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought it was one of the best episodes in a long time.

It was great to have a lot of the "old" female cast members back.

May 09 2010 at 8:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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