By David Bickel
It seems like right now, everyone is in love with Betty White. She was the darling of the Super Bowl with her commercial for Snickers or Buncha Crunch or whatever that was; she’s being cast in every single movie, whether the feisty grandma character she plays is organic to the story or not (I understand she just landed a role in the sequel to “300”); and she was invited to host Saturday Night Live after a petition on the current census was signed by over two hundred million Americans.
I hate to sound like a contrarian, but I’m against all this. Deeply against all this.
Let’s look at the facts:
1) How does Betty White being the flavor of the month affect other feisty old ladies who want to play grandmas who have no filter? Answer: It puts them in the poorhouse. Say you’re an old lady actress who makes her living playing the grandma who says naughty things, is overly sexual, or likes to rap. Thanks to Betty White, you’re no longer on a soundstage, you’re on the unemployment line. You know the cliché of old ladies who have no money and are forced to eat cat food? The current batch of Fancy Feast eaters have Betty White to thank for that. Classy move, Betty White.
2) How do you think all this Betty White attention makes Cloris Leachman feel? You ever think of that? If you recall, last year, when Cloris was on “Dancing With the Stars” she was America’s favorite old lady. Now, she’s been tossed out of our lives and is probably eating cat food somewhere. And to make it worse, they worked together on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” (and no doubt hated each other’s guts then, as both were essentially playing the same part, the outwardly-sweet-but-actually-prickly-passive-aggressive-friend). I still love you Cloris. You can be in my Snickers or Buncha Crunch commercial any time.
3) Betty White is an animal rights activist. You know who else is an animal rights activist? Volkert van der Graaf. He assassinated Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn in order to “protect weaker groups in society” (it’s all true, I read in on Wikipedia). Is that your grand scheme, Betty White? To worm your way into the hearts of Americans, gain their trust, then commit cold-blooded murder on behalf of chickens and puppies everywhere? Yes, I will admit, if that was your plan and you did go on a murdering spree, that would be pretty damn cool. But that does not make it right. You’ve just been put on alert, Betty White.
I guess the point I’m making here folks is that while blindly falling in love with Betty White is a nice idea in theory, in practice, it can be more dangerous than you realize. Way more dangerous.
All that being said, it is really adorable when she curses.
David Bickel is a veteran TV writer/producer whose book Creepiosity hits bookstores in June. Find out more at www.creepiosity.com and become a Facebook fan of CREEPIOSITY today.