Monday, May 10, 2010
WHEN "OLDER" STARS ATTRACT "YOUNGER" AUDIENCES - SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE WITH BETTY WHITE , DESI ARNAZ & MORE - NBC-TV - CIRCA 5/8/10 & 2/21/76
NBC-TV'S SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE is a bastion of youthful viewers , with teens and millennials constituting a significant component of it's late night audience, and members of generations X & Y well represented in the celebrated, but crowded, writers room.
But, last Saturday Night, it was a radiant, raucous 88 year old host, Golden Girl Emeritus, Betty White, who delivered platinum ratings and sterling reviews for the peacock network. The high octane, comic offering served up the show's largest audience in the last 18 months, besting a November, 2008 episode hosted by another super senior, Arizona Republican John McCain. The former presidential contender was a lad of 72 when he shared the SNL spotlight with Tina Fey, portraying his then-running mate,Sarah Palin.
Executive Producer Lorne Michaels mounted a fast and furiously funny, Mother's Day Episode, in which the wondrous Ms. White , who made her LIVE television debut in 1949, was supported in vibrant fashion, by the show's current, comic cadre and supplemented by six amazing, SNL alumnae. Tina Fey, Rachel Dratch, Amy Poehler, Anna Gasteyer, Maya Rudolph and Molly Shannon brought fierce funny to the stage of the vaunted STUDIO 8H.
Here's how HULU.COM telescoped Betty White's Saturday Night star turn:
Betty White wasn't the first octogenarian to successfully host NBC's risky, satirical show that was designed to target and tag younger viewers.
Early in SNL's history, an 80 year old, senior citizen named Miskel Spillman, won a contest to host. She was a silver-haired sensation, who shared her 1977 episode with comedian/actor/writer Buck Henry, an SNL stalwart, as her co-host
But in 1976, a legend with one of the most inventive minds ... and most indecipherable accents ... of early, network television, Desi Arnaz, emerged from semi-retirement to gave a tour de force performance on the stage of STUDIO 8-H, with his son Desi Jr. as his co-star.
Here are three clips from the DESIARNAZFAN1951 YOU TUBE SITE, including an amazing musical finale to this episode from February 21, 1976.
OH, LUCY, I'M ON YOU TUBE!!!
THE BIRTH OF I LOVE LUCY
THE GRAND FINALE