The Ladies of Saturday Night


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[tweetmeme source=”JohannaAP25″] In case you live under a rock, the Facebook driven Betty White episode of Saturday Night Live finally happened this past weekend. the episode was a “Women of Comedy” night, reuniting past female cast members Rachel Dratch, Tina Fey, Ana Gasteyer, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph and Molly Shannon.

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It was amazing. If you missed it, you need to  get on your OnDemand, Hulu it, usurp your neighbor’s DVR– whatever you need to do to get it done. Your life will be illuminated.

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Betty White came out for her monologue wearing an appropriately sparkly Golden Girls-esqy twin-set. She opened by thanking Facebook– “a huge waste of time”– for getting her on the show as a host at the age of 88 and a half years old, “So it’s great to be here for a number of reasons… But now I’m here tonight because you wanted me to be, and I feel so loved.”

With so many other hilarious ladies in tow, White definitely benefited from the revival of plum sketches and characters from the past decade or so, in addition to a some favorite current bits such as Kenan Thompson’s scared straight routine.

But about those old best of the best favorites…

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Ana Gasteyer and Molly Shannon brought back “Delicious Dish” on NPR with a hilarious double-entendre centered around Betty White’s muffins. There was a giant muffin as well. This challenge to the classic Alec Baldwin “Schweddy Balls” skit required a lot of tweeting and– I am going to go out on a limb– that muffin easily gives the balls a run for their money.

Molly Shannon was back later with another legendary character that brought me right back to junior high days of watching SNL: Sally O’Malley was back,  fifty (sidebar: I really hope that in a few years when Shannon actually is fifty, they have her back to reprise yet again) and kicking just as defiantly as ever. However, Dotty O’Donaghan was on set to challenge Sally as AARP representative extraordinaire: White’s Dotty is 90, and thus a just a touch less active that Sally: “I like to stand, I like to bend– and I like to sit.” Sass, sass and more sass; that is what you get from Betty White always.

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Will you just look at those cheek bones? Plus, based on the continued existence of Sally O’Malley’s dressy sweat suit situation, I wonder if they still have Ana Gasteyer’s dress from her days singing awkward tunes with Will Ferrell as Bobbie Mohan-Culp, because I was pretty sure that I saw that exact dress at a thrift shop on First Avenue recently… but perhaps I was mistaken.

And do you note how thoroughly amused Seth Meyers is in the image above? Beyond the complete delightfulness of Episode 1575 as a piece of entertainment peppered with White’s surprisingly dirty mouth, razor-sharp delivery and cheekbones, let us take a moment to reflect on the giddiness of the entire cast and brigade of guest stars. People were on the verge of completely losing it throughout the night. During the Weekend Update segment, Meyers just gave up and reveled in the performance as a spectator.

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And it just kept getting better.

“Really!?” came back, first with Seth and Amy, and then out of the necessity of a Greek commentator, Tina Fey joined in to chastise the Greek economy. Reaction to the Greek retirement age of 54 years old: “Greek people in America work the register at the diner ’til they die!

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And while Meyers always looks to be on the verge of breaking, even Poehler had a few moments of twitchy lips during Fey’s rant. It was indicative of the all-star evening… really. During the Lorenzo McIntosh scared straight sketch, Bill Hader oscillated between looking like he was having an aneurysm or the best time ever. It was probably the latter.

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Towards the end of the show, the entire ensemble sang “Thank You for Being a Friend.” And then White said that although they had done a very nice job, she preferred her own heavy metal version.

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Everybody has their preferences.

America prefers Betty White. And the Ladies of Comedy. And their versatility and genius. And I wish wish wish that every week could be even half as fantastic as this one.

Oh and if this Weekend Update said anything, it said that Seth Meyers could really use a buddy up there, even though we’re clearly all fans.

I could go on. I could recap Maya Rudolph’s hilarious stint as Whitney Houston on Update. I could discuss Amy Poehler and her baby bump kicking it as Gingey, the turn-of-the-century lesbian tomboy. I could note how hilarious it was to see Betty White introduce Jay-Z.

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Instead, I will leave you with my favorite bumper photo of the night and urge you to watch the episode yourself and stop being a failure at life.

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