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Betty White is 'scared to death' to host 'Saturday Night Live'

April 28, 2010 | 11:27 am

Betty_white With Betty White’s long-anticipated hosting debut on “Saturday Night Live” drawing near — May 8, to be exact — her fans wait with bated breath on what to expect from Hollywood’s newest — and oldest? — it girl.

Perhaps a beer pong rematch with "SNL" alum Jimmy Fallon? A skit with the Church Lady, White’s favorite "SNL" character?

“I haven’t any idea what I’m going to be doing,” White said Wednesday during a conference call promoting her appearance.

White may not know yet what her sketches will entail, but she said she does have veto power. And, well ...

“They promised me I wouldn’t have to do any nudity,” she deadpanned.

Her road to Studio 8H has been a long one. Over the span of her career, she’s starred in and won awards for her memorable roles on such shows as “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”  and “The Golden Girls.” And who could forget her frequent appearances on game shows like “Password” and “What’s My Line”? But with her recent scene-stealing role in last summer’s movie “The Proposal” and that comical Super Bowl commercial, Betty fever is sweeping the country. And, sure, she’s been asked to host before but turned it down because "it's so New York, and I'm so California."

But when a Facebook campaign led to another hosting invitation, her agent coaxed her to accept the offer.

“At my age — I’m an old broad — and at my age, to be invited to do a show as current as "Saturday Night Live," he thought would be a wonderful opportunity," White said. “ I said I’d rather watch it than do it … I trust his judgment. So here I am: Gonna do it, and scared to death.”

The episode will also feature appearances by a number of female "SNL" vets, including Tina Fey, who recently hosted the show with musical guest Justin Bieber; Amy Poehler; Maya Rudolph; Rachel Dratch; Ana Gasteyer and Molly Shannon. And Jay Z — whom White referred to as “the hottest thing since sliced bread" — will be the musical guest.

And though she’s a seasoned vet when it comes to live TV — “I grew up in live television. That’s no problem. I love live television” — she still finds the hosting gig daunting. And it’s not because of the long days and late hours of preparation. She’s worried about readability.

“I understand [they] work from cue cards,” White said. “I hope the print is big enough. If it isn't, I’ll do the show with my glasses.”

— Yvonne Villarreal

Photo credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times


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