Saturday, May 8, 2010

Preview: Betty White Hosting 'SNL' with Musical Guest Jay-Z Could Prove to be Historical Meeting Between Social & Mass Media

I am elated that I am a part of a group on Facebook that urged, begged and pleaded to get a beloved comedic icon to host Saturday Night Live. At first, I was leery...and a tad cynical, but I have always been a fan of the Emmy Award winning actress and animal rights activist. So, I signed up...not thinking anything would actually come of it. Then it happened. She would finally host (I say that only because legend has it that 'SNL' producer Lorne Michaels tried to get her to host three previous times). And tonight, Betty White hosts 'SNL' with musical guest Jay-Z, and I look forward to being VERY entertained. It is good to see that sometimes, something as simple and fleeting as a fan page on a social networking site could actually render some power with execs in really high places, in those buildings that touch the sky. Who da thunk it? I just want to see a good show and see what the Nielsen TV ratings say about it.

Betty White is a national treasure in my eyes with her wit, stone-faced and well-timed comedic performances have won audiences over for six decades now. From The Mary Tyler Moore Show to The Golden Girls and even her regular walk-ons on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and her numerous high profile guest spots on a variety of shows this past decade, we have always been treated to a bravura performance of quality, a 'golden' standard that speaks of excellence.

Jay-Z, as the episode's musical guest, is a wonderful choice. This multiple Grammy Award winning talent has a sound that has been part of the soundtrack of this past generation. His grit and grandeur with his style is not only poetic, but the pulse and vibe of trends that have been set long ago.

I think tonight's show will be a feather in not only NBC, Lorne Michael's and Saturday Night Live's cap, but an ultimate fan's dream come true. Imagine David Matthews, the man who began the Facebook campaign, who will be at the show. He hopes to meet Betty White, and she has reportedly promised to meet him, IF “he doesn’t mind me, you know, beating him up for getting me into this trouble,” said Betty White.

Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Molly Shannon, Maya Rudolph, Ana Gasteyer and Rachel Dratch all former-SNL alumni are all also returning for the episode and the fact that it is airing on Mother's Day weekend is also a wonderful programming faux pas.

If for anything, it should be a wonderful tribute to a very deserving entertainer and humanitarian. It is borderline historical, or could very well be - the marriage between social media and mass media. I think this is an excellent stepping stone in the right direction, and very timely.

Okay, Betty White - no pressure now... go out there, girl... take Jay-Z by the hand and you all go out there and make some history, money and maybe bring NBC out of the ratings cellar - if only for one night.

Photo from Access Hollywood.