Betty White's rules for life: Don't do drugs and stay off that smartphone!

Betty White is out promoting her new sitcom Hot In Cleveland. Last night, she was on The Daily Show, where Jon Stewart said he watched Golden Girls reruns and admired her “exquisite” timing — nice to see a young man respecting his elders. He also mentioned a Facebook campaign to make White the next Supreme Court justice. (A joke, but could she possibly be worse than — oh, okay, no politics here… )

White was sparky and lovable, but also tart-tongued. Asked what kind of material she didn’t like doing, White said, “I just don’t think drugs are funny, and I don’t like to make jokes about them.”

White’s anti-drug remark was interesting, since one of her laugh-lines in Hot From Cleveland (um, spoiler alert?) involves one of her co-stars sniffing the air around White and asking whether anyone has been smoking marijuana. White’s character says with mock nervousness, “What are you, a cop?”

After hearing her on The Daily Show, I think the writing staff of Cleveland had better start paying her the sort of respect Stewart did.

White was also on The View yesterday and was similarly, admirably blunt. Asked why they don’t make great game shows like Password any more, White pointed out that there had been a recent CBS revival of Password and that it flopped. White had figured out why: Many of the contestants didn’t have the gray matter White and her generation possess. She said they geared the remake for “young people,” she said, “you know, everything needs to be ‘young’ now, and they can’t think on their feet. They have to punch a… ” — and here she made a texting-a-smartphone gesture with her fingers, implying that the kids have to look things up instead of possessing basic knowledge.

I like this side of Betty White. Feisty, frank, not caring if she tweaks the young constituency that cheers her at every turn.

Also, White made a typically raucous appearance on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson last night. (Credit where it’s due: Craig was booking Betty on for comedy bits well before White-mania.) She came out dressed as a World Cup referee, plugged Hot From Cleveland, and joked about about getting breast implants:

I’ll be reviewing Hot From Cleveland in this space tomorrow. I wonder how many of her youthful fans are going to tune in to TV Land to see her there?

In the meantime, what did you think of White’s Daily Show appearance?

Comments (50 total) Add your comment
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  • Julz

    I think the fact that she doesn’t tweak her beliefs or thoughts based on the age of her audience makes her all that much more loveable.

  • TimW

    She IS smarter than we are. It’s Betty White’s world, and we’re lucky to live in it.

  • Lee

    That’s one of the things I look forward to when I grow old. I can say whatever I want, pretty much, and not have to worry about hurting someone’s feelings. “Oh, that’s just Grandpa bein’ his cantankerous self!” You can say the most outlandish things, and because you’re old, it’s suddenly adorable and endearing.

    • Lisa

      I agree that older people get away with saying things at times, except I’m wondering what you think Betty said that was outlandish. I agreed with everything she said and I’m half her age!

      • JJ

        Um, did you not see the interview and the hypocrisy exposed seconds thereafter?

      • Johnification

        JJ – if you’re referring to the pot joke, I see no hypocrisy. In fact, saying you don’t like to make certain jokes then cutting to you landing one in a clip is actually called “being a pro.”

    • Quirky

      Look at Helen Thomas. There are still certain things old people can’t get away with.

  • Jeff

    I love Betty White, but Password’s problem was the problem most new game shows have: they hire actors instead of contestants. Of COURSE the “contestants” they had were too dumb.

    • Johnification

      Except that Password’s format has ALWAYS been teams of contestant and celebrity.

    • Meli

      Struggling actors as game show contestants is nothing new. Farrah Fawcett, Steve Martin, and Tom Selleck were contestants on game shows when they were starting out.

  • Kirb

    I would think that if she had a problem with the marijuana line she would have vetoed it. Most drugs aren’t funny because people actively die or lose everything to them. Pot’s well, not on that level.

    • Carla

      I totally agree with you Kirb. Not that pot is completely harmless, but I think it is more on the level of alcohol, nicotine or even caffeine.

      • Jay

        In fact, alcohol and nicotine are MORE harmful than pot.

        …and ALL 3 of those you mentioned are more addictive.

        I just love to point out the hypocrisy in the marijuana prohibition whenever possible

    • Annabelle

      I agree with your comment about marajuana, but she mentioned specifically about jokes being written about the Grandma that smoke weed as stuff she won’t do. So the line from her new show is interesting. I also thought it was a shot to Jon Stewart–after all, he did star in Half Baked. :)

      • JJ

        First, I agree that it was quite interesting the timing of her statement and then the hypocrisy exposed seconds later by her own words. However, Stewart didn’t “star” in Half-Baked. It was a cameo

      • wasabi

        JJ, I’m not seeing the hypocrisy. She said she didn’t like making the jokes, not that she wouldn’t say them if they were in the script.

  • Rick

    The new Password was a dumb as the New Match Game etc. They hire D-list actors to be on who use the show as a spotlight for their (un) funny comedy rather than play the game. It was excruciating to try to watch it play out.

    • Stevex

      Not always – I saw it on the day Craig Ferguson was one of the celebs, and it was amazing to watch someone with his quick mind absolutely kill on that game. The other celeb that day was Serena Williams, and she WAS painful to watch.

      • Dawn

        Ditto Stevex. Craig was really good at it…and not hard to look at in the jeans he was wearing! (Sorry) Can’t find the clips on YouTube since YouTube yanked Malinky’s site. Got to see another side of Craig–seems to be remarkable at whatever he tries.

  • Jason

    I think it is unfortunate that this website doesn’t follow Betty’s example and delete the inaccurate drug promoting comments. I have worked as an RN in a psych hospital for over 10 years and I can tell you from experience that pot IS worse than alcohol, caffeine and nicotine. It leads to worse things and keeps people off their psych meds. Think about where you buy it.

    • who cares

      are you gay

    • Jay

      uhmmm…. alcohol leads to those same things. You are just naive and ignorant

    • angela

      I’m sorry but that has got to be the dumbest thing I have ever read. Alcohol and ciggies are far worse then pot. Regardless of what you may believe pot isn’t some gateway drug.
      Maybe people with already psychotic tendancies would have issues – but don’t lump us in with your patients.

    • JJ

      that was one of the most ignorant, narrow minded comments I’ve seen. There is no way you are a medical professional. You do know the American College of Nurses ENDORSES medical pot genius!

      • angela

        haha classic! Put that in your pipe and smoke it Jason

    • Ethan

      I suppose it’s worth saying that the lungs weren’t meant to inhale smoke. Other than that, I don’t understand where you’d reach this conclusion from, because it does seem contradicted by scientific evidence. What about pot do you feel is worse than alcohol and cigarettes?

      • angela

        Yes pot isn’t great for your lungs – but far less chemicals then you’d be inhaling smoking a ciggie.
        The only thing worse about pot smoking is the inevitable munchies that follow.

    • Gina

      Yea…that would be people that are ON psych meds…are you assuming the whole population is?

  • n

    What a lovely, hilarious, brilliant woman. She deserves all of her success.
    They don’t make comics like Betty anymore, huh?

  • wildchild1954

    Hurray for Betty! She’s one of the last of the really great actresses.

  • Betty White’s fan

    I love Betty White! I think it is a waste of time for her to do all these interviews about the new show for TV Land’s “Hot In Cleveland”. It is not going to be like the Golden Girls. The TV Land wanted Betty to help them give a big boost rating like she did for NBC’s Saturday Night Live. The TV Land is a cable network. It won’t pick up the best viewers TV rating.

  • just me

    I just love this woman. Have been a fan since the 70s–MTM, Match Game, etc. We should all be so lucky to age as gracefully and as well as she has.

  • val

    I believe television and all the stupid reality shows have dumbed down america in general. People don’t think for themselves anymore. If it isn’t cool or current or pc it isn’t worthy. I am amazed that this wonderful lady is actually listened to. She along with the rest of her generation have a great deal to teach.

  • MoonChild

    My question is just this: how did Betty appear on late shows on both coasts on the same night? I realize both shows are taped at around 5 p.m.; did she hop on a plane after The Daily Show and go right to The Late Late Show? Just curious about the logistics…

    • Johnification

      I really hope that “Hot in Cleveland” isn’t Betty’s “Life with Lucy”.


      Craig Ferguson often tapes his show weeks in advance.

  • Hungarian Mango

    Will give a break already with Betty White.

  • Ambo

    I’ve liked Betty White since the Golden Girls. This “comeback,” if you will, is the best thing. She is talented, graceful, beautiful, and funny as hell! I’m happy for her.

    Thanks for giving kudos to CF for booking her on the show pre-White Mania. Jay Leno also used to have a bit called “Will Betty White Flinch?” Hilarious!

    Congrats Betty, on a lifetime of success!!

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