Betty White set an example for seniors by appearing on Saturday Night Live earlier this month, proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that aging is not obstacle to an active, spunky, and even spontaneous lifestyle. Betty White, 88 years old, didn’t require an adjusted work schedule, and in fact, she actually appeared in every single skit on the show (a feat not even attempted by some agile sports figures who have appeared on SNL in the past).
White’s appearance was spurred by an internet campaign demanding to see her as host of the popular late-night show. What’s so funny about Betty White is the shock value she brings by allowing incredibly surprising and sometimes apppalling things to come out of her mouth, in spite of her sweet and innocent persona. That shock value has always been a part of who Betty White is and what she does, but it somehow seems funnier now that she’s 88 years old.
The announcement that Betty White would appear as the host of SNL on May 8th caused a reaction from some organizations serving the aging population, such the Assisted Living Federation of America, who requested that SNL use this opportunity to fight ageism and the misconceptions that the public — and presumably, particularly the younger generations — have regarding seniors.
ALFA noted in a letter to Lorne Michaels, the executive producer of SNL, that the fastest-growing facet of the population is comprised of individuals 85 and over. Among them, many have remained as committed to living an active lifestyle as Betty White has. Assisted living facilities and retirement communities are sometimes viewed as places seniors go when they’re no longer interested in being vibrant and active, but on the contrary, these communities offer a variety of activites and opportunities for seniors to remain engaged and active well into their 80s, 90s, and beyond.
Do you think Betty White lived up to expectations on SNL? Share your thoughts on her appearance in the comments section below.
Image Copyright JSmith on Flickr