- 1.24.11 - 9:00AM
- - by
- Eliot Glazer
Who Will Be the Betty White of 2011? Help Us Pick!
2010 was the year of Betty White. In 2009, she chewed scenery in The Proposal and parodied her own performance in Funny Or Die. The next year, she was everywhere: starring on the sitcom Hot in Cleveland, guesting on Community and -- thanks to a popular Facebook campaign -- hosting one of the highest-rated episodes of Saturday Night Live in history. Behold the power of the internet, where Betty guzzling booze with David Letterman in celebration of her 89th birthday is currently a viral hit (and her comic book is flying off the shelves).
Now it's 2011, and there are a slew of beloved actresses who could potentially steal Betty's title this year, if Facebook users (or savvy publicists) gather in enough numbers to push them to the center of the zeitgeist, or at least to Lorne Michaels's office.
I've made a list of "women of a certain age" who have been in Hollywood long enough for you to know who they are, but not necessarily long enough to cement them a spot on Dancing With The Stars, which helped rejuvenate the careers of old broads Florence Henderson and Cloris Leachman. And take it from me, the guy who permanently tattooed one of The Golden Girls into his skin -- I know a worthy over-the-hill actress when I see one.
When you've read them all, vote for which actress you love most. In two weeks, Urlesque will count the votes and campaign for the winner to host SNL.
Jackee Harry...is most popular for her Emmy Award-winning role on 80s sitcom 227 and in the Rodney Dangerfield vehicle Ladybugs, but she's since remained relatively out of sight (while collecting residuals from the syndicated sitcom Sister, Sister). But between launching her own brand of milkshake in Los Angeles and brilliantly sidestepping the accusation that she was wasted on Bravo's Watch What Happens: Live (p.s. she was TANKED), the busty beauty obviously deserves a primo return to the spotlight. And, P.S., there's already a Facebook campaign to get her to host Saturday Night Live. And you can make her your ringtone!
Lily Tomlin...already hosted Saturday Night Live three times between 1975 and 1983, but the woman is too funny to keep off this list. A crafty writer and performer, she rivals Steve Martin in terms of versatility and intellectual prowess. Although she hasn't been on the cultural radar as of late, she is, indeed, an American treasure, and has three (1, 2, 3!) active Facebook campaigns pushing her to host the show again.
Blythe Danner...plays patient Grandma Dina in the wildly successful Fockers franchise, and already hosted Saturday Night Live in 1982, but that doesn't mean she couldn't return to Studio 8H. She's won Emmy and Tony awards and has appeared in almost one hundred films. Yet she's still best known as Gwenyth Paltrow's mom, which would be okay if most people didn't resent Gwenyth Paltrow for being pretty, skinny and rich (and detailing this on her loathed lifestyle website, Goop). Oddly, here, nepotism works against Blythe.
Dame Judi Dench...is the Actor's Actor. She's racked up enough awards for her performances in television and film to line her bathroom walls with gold, and she's played James Bond's boss M for fifteen years.
Unless you're Mary Poppins, a British accent like Dame Judi's doesn't much paint you as "warm" stateside. But she'd definitely use that English no-nonsense attitude to knock it out of the park on SNL.
Olympia Dukakisis an Oscar winner, and has been in, like, a thousand movies (my personal favorite is as Grandma Rosie in the Look Who's Talking series). She's essentially the go-to actress for the role of the ethnically ambigious wise old woman. Problem is, she's never really clicked with audiences in any one particular role, and her first cousin, Michael, was a political dud in the 1988 elections, which -- one might argue -- dragged her down with him by street cred alone (JK that's ridiculous).
I love this woman but, let's face it, she's not Facebook campaign material (or is she?).
Carol Burnettwas America's sweetheart when her variety show dominated the airwaves in the 1970s. Not unlike Lucille Ball, she was a feisty redheaded fireball whose hilarious antics captured American's hearts. She was everyone's silly aunt, and with a self-titled TV staple on her résumé, and especially after her star turn on Glee, she is next in line after Betty White as America's Funny Grandma. Like Lily Tomlin, she has three Facebook campaigns (1, 2, 3!) urging her to host SNL. But Carol definitely has the edge here.
Phylicia Rashad...was beautiful, inspiring and terrifying as the sexy, flavorful and often temperamental working mother Claire Huxtable on The Cosby Show. (If you were in court, you'd definitely want Huxtable on your case, and if you were her kid, YOU LISTENED GOOD.) She's since grown into a refined, well-respected actress of stage and screen, too. Unfortunately, she's probably not quite fit for the world of sketch comedy, but only because she exudes royalty, and a regal queen is not necessarily the right type of gal for slapstick humor.
Sally Kellermanearned a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for her portrayal of "Hot Lips" in the 1970 movie MASH. If you don't know who she is, it's okay -- she basically fell off the face of the planet before resurfacing with a brand new latex face and, er, "new career" as a jazz singer (listen on her MySpace page). I just included her on this list because she's batsh*t crazy and appears to only care about reinventing herself as Billie Holiday. Needless to say, she's never going to host Saturday Night Live. She does, however, use Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, although I think I may be the only one paying attention.
By now you must have a favorite. Don't you want to see her on SNL? Well whichever actress gets the most votes in our poll, Urlesque will campaign online to have on the show. And we'll ask every blogger we know to pitch in.
Which actress do you choose to be the next Betty White? Vote now!
|Carol Burnett||309 (48.9%)|
|Blythe Danner||14 (2.2%)|
|Dame Judi Dench||38 (6.0%)|
|Olympia Dukakis||34 (5.4%)|
|Jackee Harry||87 (13.8%)|
|Sally Kellerman||11 (1.7%)|
|Phylicia Rashad||37 (5.9%)|
|Lily Tomlin||102 (16.1%)|
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