When Betty White hosts Saturday Night Live for the first time in May, she only has two conditions: No nudity and no drug jokes.
“They promised me I wouldn’t have to do any nudity,” the 88-year-old jokes. But on the more serious side, she tells ET Online, “I won’t do dope jokes. I don’t think dope is a joke. That is about the only ‘no.’”
The Golden Girls star admits that although she’s been asked to host SNL before she’s always refused because she never felt she could do it.
But in 2009, a young fan began a Facebook campaign to get Betty invited to host the long-running NBC late-night show and the response was so incredible that the invitation went out once again.
“All of a sudden people would tell me that they saw the Facebook thing and all these people had joined in. I couldn’t believe it,” Betty says.
“At first I thought they were putting me on. It came out of left field. I was astounded. I told my agent to say, ‘Thank you, I appreciate it, but no thank you.’ He said, ‘You have to do it. If you don’t do it, I will divorce you.’ I love my agent, so I am doing it.”
On May 8 Betty will be joined by SNL alumni Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Molly Shannon, and Jay-Z will be the music guest.
Meanwhile, Betty is no stranger to live television and recalls doing five-and-a-half hours six days a week when she began her career, although she knows how things can go wrong.
“I was doing a song on The Jack Paar Show and all of a sudden I lost the lyrics,” she recalls. “It was a song I knew so well, ‘When I Fall in Love.’ I don’t know what happened. I sang something. I made up lyrics as I went along. That was sheer panic, and I have a feeling it is the same kind of panic I may feel when I do Saturday Night Live.”
While Betty is in New York she hopes to visit her Golden Girls co-star Rue McClanahan, who suffered a stroke in January.
“We talk about every three or four weeks,” Betty says. “She had a bum go. She had a triple bypass and then had a stroke. She is just doing fine. She is home doing better and better. And her speech is all cleared up. She is in great shape.”