Everyone's favorite Golden Girl Betty White turns 95 today, and the world breathed a sigh of relief that she survived 2016. After all, with the numbers of iconic figures that the world lost last year - David Bowie, Prince, John Glenn, Debbie Reynolds, Carrie Fisher and countless others - there were quite a few of us holding our collective breath and praying that 2016 would not claim another victim. White has also garnered a career resurgence in recent years, thanks to a Snickers commercial that aired during the 2011 Super Bowl, shows like Hot In Cleveland and her review of Deadpool.
What #BettyWhite appears to have the most fun doing, though, is poking fun at herself, her friends, and sometimes even the image society might have of the elderly. In honor of Betty White's 95th birthday, here are some of her best moments:
1. Betty White Finally Hosts Saturday Night Live
Granted, when Betty White was in her heyday as the man hungry Sue Ann Nivens on The Mary Tyler Moore, SNL was basically just finding its footing, and by the time she moved on to her role as Rose Nylund on The Golden Girls, you would be hard pressed to find a young, hip audience interested in having a senior citizen known for playing a straitlaced elderly woman hosting the definitive variety show for their generation. However, all that changed with the Snickers ad the star appeared in, and the Facebook campaign to have her appear on SNL started gaining ground. Betty White fan David Mathews said, "Betty White is a person that truly transcends age, gender, race, socioeconomics and politics. Perhaps this is why she is as admired as she is."
When first learning of the Facebook campaign, White was humble and self-effacing, saying that the ultimate decision to have her host the show was up to Lorne Michaels. The campaign ultimately worked, though; White got her shot at hosting Saturday Night Live on Mothers' Day, 2010, and even though she isn't a mom herself (except to her pets), it was an appearance that worked wonders for the show.
2. Betty White As Rose Talks About St. Olaf
Virtually any time Rose would open her mouth to tell the other Golden Girls, "This one time, in St. Olaf," Rue McLanahan, Bea Arthur and Estelle Getty would almost certainly roll their eyes or groan softly. For viewers at home, it was pure magic; White perfectly nailed the wide eyed innocence with which Rose always saw the world, and her St. Olaf stories, while usually ending in some sort of grievous occurrence to one of her family members or some odd happening to the residents of St. Olaf, were dazzling bits of brilliance and comic humor.
3. Betty White Accepts Her Screen Actors' Guild Lifetime Achievement Award
2010 was the year that Inglourious Basterds snagged an upset victory over Avatar for Best Picture, but it was probably the best year ever for Betty White. The then-88 year old hit the stage to accept her award, and while she was very humble and genuinely excited about the honor, she showed her sometimes naughty sense of humor during the speech, noting that she knew a lot of the stars in the room and "maybe had" some of them as well. Sandra Bullock also had some fun introducing the actress.
4. Betty White Plays Nutcracker With Craig Ferguson
In December 2013, Betty White showed up on the Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson claiming that she was the newest ballet dancer with the New York City Ballet, claiming that she was broke. At one point, the jovial Scottish host seemed hard pressed to keep a straight face to White's sweetly delivered, sometimes naughty, lines. While the conversation skirted around the comedienne possibly having stolen Katy Perry's identity (she figured she could just "shave a few years off") and Ferguson supposedly trying to avoid making Nutcracker jokes, White was the hit of the night.
5. Betty White Gets Hot In Cleveland
So many episodes of Hot In Cleveland featured Betty White nailing any one of her colleagues - Jane Leeves, Valerie Bertinelli and Wendie Malick - with a zinger that it's hard to pin down her best to any one time. She was smart, sassy, and more than capable than holding her own with her younger co-stars. It was hard to believe that the hardworking nonagenarian was actually a 90-something senior; she was bright and had a sharp humor and resolve that belied her age. Her performance was definitely something to enjoy in Hot In Cleveland, and little wonder she was nominated for an Emmy for her work.
Happy Birthday, Betty White!
There's little doubt that Betty White appears to have plans to keep going strong well into her hundreds. Long may she reign!
Here's a glimpse of the flash mob that greeted White when she came to work at Hot In Cleveland two years ago when she turned 93.