"Happy Mother's Day, Motherf*ckers": Betty White Delivers A Legendary Episode Of SNL

With all of the hype leading up to Betty White's hosting gig on Saturday Night Live, it seemed impossible for the show to live up to everyone's expectations. But once Betty White showed up on stage, the impossible became possible:

The show kicked off with a Lawrence Welk cold open, featuring the returning ladies of SNL: Maya Rudolph, Ana Gasteyer, and Molly Shannon, alongside Kristen Wiig's "Denise" character. As soon as White appeared on stage, the audience broke out into enthusiastic applause, and the excited energy never went down after that:
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White's monologue was probably the best of the season, as she poked fun at herself, and at the Facebook campaign that got her to the show, but seemed genuinely thrilled to be there:
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The theme of the night seemed to be getting Betty White to say filthy things, which, in any other episode, probably would have seemed tired and boring, but was hard to resist this time around. Here, White joins Gasteyer and Shannon for a revival of their "Delicious Dish" characters, in a skit that centers around the word "muffin."
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There were several MacGruber shorts throughout the evening, which makes total sense, as the MacGruber movie is set to premiere soon, but because having pre-taped segments would allow White (who, the show constantly reminded us, is 88 1/2 years old!) to take a breather in between skits.
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But White's best moments came during live skits, such as this "Gingey" skit, where she constantly tries to inform a very March-esque family that their sister, Gingey, is a lesbian, dropping lines like, "Just let her stay home and lez," along the way:
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And during this Scared Straight sketch, which was one of the points in the show that seemed to drag down the rest of the night's high-energy atmosphere, until White's character saved it:
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Weekend Update provided a platform for many of the show's female alums to showcase old characters and classic bits, including Maya Rudolph's Whitney Houston and Molly Shannon's Sally O'Malley, who was upstaged by White's "Dotty O'Donoghan":
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Really?! With Seth and Amy also made an appearance, and later became Really!? With Seth, Amy, And Tina. Having Fey and Poehler at the Update desk only pointed out how much of a drag the segment (featuring Seth Meyers' "hilarious" pedophilia jokes) has become since they left:
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Tina made another appearance in the show, playing a census worker in a sequel to a skit that featured Christopher Walken and Tim Meadows starred in 10 years ago:
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One of the highlights of the night, a digital short featuring the SNL cast sweetly singing the Golden Girls theme song to White, followed quickly by White performing her own insane metal version, hasn't been released online yet (music restrictions, probably), but it was perfectly done and represented the entire feeling of the show: that the cast truly did love and respect Betty, and that Betty was having a great time defying everyone's expectations. My favorite skit of the night was probably CSI;Sarasota, featuring White and Rachel Dratch as CSI detectives trying to solve crimes in a retirement home, though that's not online yet, either, again probably due to music restrictions or some such, though I'll keep an eye out for it.

Overall, it was a great show. White was one of the best—if not the best—hosts of the season, and seeing the returning women of SNL was a reminder of how excellent they are and how good the show can be when the writing and characters are there. You just got the sense that everyone on stage was excited to be there, and ready to put on the best show possible, and it translated into a high-energy, extremely fun evening for the audience at home. Seeing older characters return was somewhat bittersweet, however, as it was a reminder of how much certain actresses and their creations are missed.

But perhaps the best part of the show was that it reminded the audiences at home that Betty White is not just some 88-year-old woman who can get laughs by saying dirty things (though that seemed to be the basis of several skits); she's also a brilliant comedian, with killer timing and the ability to keep up with—and outshine—people 60 years younger than she is. It will be interesting to see if SNL picks up any other Facebook-fueled hosting campaigns, now that White's guest spot was such a success. Next week, SNL legend Alec Baldwin hosts the season finale. He has a very, very tough act to follow: this was one of the best episodes in years.

If you're interested in watching the entire episode, you can do so here.