Obviously, I’m not surprised at the massive acclaim for Betty White’s stunning performance on Saturday Night Live. As a long-time fan, it was just a given to me that she would blow the doors off the place. It’s what she does. It’s what she’s always done.
But even with such a huge outpouring of praise, there are bound to be haters… this is the internet, after all. And that’s fine. Not everybody likes the same things and I respect that. Yet when it comes to blatantly ignorant haters, it’s more difficult to remain calm. Especially when they claim to be a professional television critic.
Case in point, an article titled Betty more foul than funny on ‘SNL’ by Paige Wiser at the Beacon-News.
Wiser is listed as a “television critic” but is so woefully ignorant about television that it has me wondering if she purposely wrote her asinine article as link-bait just so she can get some hits to her column (Oh noes! It’s working!). The alternative would be really embarrassing, but unsurprising. Anybody can be a critic on the internet, no matter how (un)educated they are on the subject they’re writing about.
The “review” is short, so I’ll just take it apart…
“America — via Facebook — demanded that she host after she was featured in a hilarious Snickers ad during the Super Bowl. During her opening monologue, White admitted that she’d never heard of Facebook. ‘Now that I do know what it is, it sounds like a huge waste of time,’ she said. That was pretty much the last ladylike thing she said.”
— And we’re already off to a bad start here. SNL had Betty White on to be FUNNY, so when you criticize her for being unladylike, it just shows that you don’t understand the concept of the show. SNL is, and always has been, crude, rude, shocking, foul, and sometimes even blasphemous. If you don’t “get” that, then I can only assume that this is your first time watching SNL. If it’s not, then it begs the question… did you honestly expect SNL to change what they do just because Betty White was on? What would be the point of that?
“White had the writing talents of the “SNL” staff at her disposal, not to mention special guests Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Rachel Dratch, Ana Gasteyer, Molly Shannon and Maya Rudolph.”
— And here is where the ignorance begins. Apparently Paige Wiser thinks that when a guest host appears on SNL, they are the ones who take the reigns of the show and orchestrate everything that ends up airing. Well, I hate to burst your bubble, but they don’t. Hosts pretty much show up, perform the material given them, and leave. Sure they can make suggestions or veto material they don’t feel comfortable with… but they don’t have anybody at their “disposal” nor do they determine what other performers get to do (or not do). To imply that Betty White was supposed to show up and take control of the show is categorically absurd.
Even so, the jokes for White invariably fell into one of three categories:
1. Betty White is old.
2. Betty White has a filthy mouth.
3. Betty White is happy to promote the “SNL” tie-in movie “MacGruber,” no matter how many skits it takes.
— This is where I totally lost it, because we transcend ignorance and head straight for dumbassery. First of all, NEWSFLASH: BETTY WHITE IS OLD! Were the writers supposed to ignore this fact and treat Betty as if Angelina Jolie were hosting? Creatively, exactly how would ignoring Betty White’s age make for a better show? By writing age-appropriate material, the writers were only making use of the guest-hosts attributes and abilities to write the best sketches possible. It’s what they do every week. When Justin Timberlake hosts, should they ignore the fact that he’s a singer? When Peyton Manning hosts, should they ignore the fact that he’s a football player? Are you stupid? Second of all, NEWSFLASH: BETTY WHITE HAS ALWAYS HAD A FILTHY MOUTH! You’d think that Paige Wiser would have done some fucking research before writing her column, but apparently that would require her to get off her ass and actually work for a living. “Playing blue” is what has made Betty White beloved by her millions of younger-generation fans (and many long-time fans alike, including this one). If you only know Betty from her role as sweet and innocent Rose Nylund on Golden Girls then you’re ignoring some pretty significant history. Fortunately, the writers at SNL actually knew WHO THE FUCK BETTY WHITE IS when they wrote for her. Because if they were as ignorant as Paige Wiser, we would have had an hour-and-a-half of sweet Golden Girls parody bullshit. That’s NOT why people wanted Betty on SNL. Lastly, NEWSFLASH: MACGRUBER HAS ALWAYS RUN IN THREE PARTS!! Again, I am compelled to wonder if Paige Wiser has ever watched a single episode of SNL before this one. The “catch” for MacGruber is that he blows up at the end, and yet they pick up with the next installment as if nothing ever happened. So when Paige Wiser has the fucking audacity to imply that Betty White appeared in the three-part MacGruber sketch because she’s happy to whore out a movie… well, it only goes to show that this TV critic is about as stupid as a box of rocks. Might try actually researching something before writing a column next time… otherwise you just come off looking like a pathetic link-baiting whore.
It was funny when White was talking trash during the Snickers ad. It was not funny when “SNL” had her get more specific with “crotch massager,” “The Wizard of Ass” and an extended muffin metaphor. She’s a Golden Girl, not Hit-Girl.
— Wow. Just wow. Apparently Paige Wiser is not only an ignorant fucktard, she also has a real problem separating reality from television. YOU DO FUCKING REALIZE THAT GOLDEN GIRLS WAS FICTION, RIGHT? Again, “Rose Nylund” was just a part Betty White played… it’s not who she really is. It makes me wonder what would happen if Paige Wiser ran into Christian Bale on the street. Would she think he was Batman? Here is a level of dumbassery that just makes me sad. SNL knew EXACTLY what to do with Betty White… let her fucking BE Betty White! It’s even more disturbing to realize that Paige Wiser is also professionally confused between advertising and television. Ads are family-friendly fare that are run during daytime hours. SNL is FUCKING LATE-NIGHT TELEVISION! There’s a reason that the show starts at 11:30.
“At least the crowd gave White some love with drawn-out applause, and even Jay-Z dedicated “Young Forever” to the “most incredible” 88-year-old. And while the comic opportunities may have been sub-par, White herself has never been more game — whether sporting a white afro as part of a “Scared Straight” program or donning sunglasses for every punchline of CSI: Sarasota.
‘You think we’ll ever catch this guy?’ asked Dratch.
‘It’s like my underwear,’ said White, fumbling with her sunglasses. ‘Depends.’
You think Betty White deserves a better tribute? Definitely.”
— And here is where Paige Wiser’s reputation as a television critic is completely obliterated. Those lines she’s quoting from “CSI: Sarasota” were a dead-on parody of David Caruso’s laughably bad one-liners from CSI: Miami. The fact that Paige Wiser is either too stupid to see this (or hasn’t seen an episode of CSI:Miami) pretty much tells you all you need to know about her career as a television critic. ‘Cancelled’.
I know I should just ignore ignorant shit like this when I see it, but Paige Wiser is correct about one thing: Betty White deserves better. Even from critics who have no fucking clue what they’re talking about. If you didn’t like the show and Betty White turned you off because you didn’t appreciate the foul humor she performed, then that’s your opinion and so be it. As I said, not everybody enjoys the same thing, and I’m fine with that. But don’t go ripping into SNL and Betty White because they didn’t change who and what they are to meet your personal expectations. Your job as a critic is to comment on what things are not what you imagine them to be.
So fuck you Paige Wiser. Fuck you sideways you ignorant slut.*
*A joke which will probably be lost on Wiser, because she is blissfully unaware that Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtain used to host the Weekend Update on SNL long before Seth Meyers. It’s called research, Paige Wiser. RESEARCH.