Here’s to tonight’s host of Saturday Night Live! Ms. White has been on television since the very beginning, in 1939, when television was just an experiment and no homes had sets. She co-produced and starred in one of the first sit-coms when television began broadcasting, “Life With Elizabeth.” She appeared in an early talk show and in commercials and other series and game shows. And she found romance on television in her real life, marrying Password host Allen Ludden.
My favorite of her roles was Sue Ann Nivens, the “Happy Homemaker” on the fictional Minneapolis television station where Mary Richards produced the news on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” Her ribald and often acid humor contrasted delightfully with her dimpled smile and musical voice. She put them to good use as a murderer on “Boston Legal.” Many people remember fondly her addled but always sweet and optimistic Rose on “The Golden Girls.” And she all but stole “The Proposal” from Sandra Bullock. Her faux “behind the scenes” video, where she pretended to be a demanding diva, was far better than the movie it was promoting.
A group dedicated to making her the host of “Saturday Night Live” got half a million supporters. It wasn’t the producer of the show they had to persuade. It was White herself, who had turned down previous invitations to host. She graciously accepted this time, and it is a great way to end the season. If only she could join the cast as a regular!