Betty White is the single greatest person who ever lived.
I feel that I could wrap this up and hit “send” right now and I’d have fully satisfied most of my readers. For this is the power of The Betty.
This past Saturday, Betty White made history by becoming the second most awesome thing Facebook has ever done, right behind that group with Nickelback and the pickle. Her SNL was the most watched since a pre-election 2008 episode which people only watched to see Tina Fey do more Palin stuff.
Between The Proposal, the constant syndication of The Golden Girls and now this, 2009 and 2010 have officially been two of the best years of Betty’s entire career. And her existence has been the best 88 of the world’s entire career.
Of course, SNL wasn’t just about Betty. It saw the return of Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Rachel Dratch, Molly Shannon and Ana Gasteyer, the latter three of whom are all deserving of a Betty-style surge in popularity and ubiquity.
This of course got me thinking. Who else in this world is so beloved that they deserve this kind of year?
This is a harder question than one might think. Because lots of people deserve a comeback or a good year, but this has been more than any of that; this has been basically a 12-month hug. This is not, “Oh, look how popular she is right now.” This is, “You are our grandma and we love you and so help us, when you die, you take a huge chunk of our souls with you. I would take a bullet or a bite in the ass from a marmoset for you.”
I only feel this way about so many people. Tina Fey and Sandra Bullock are probably the only other living ones, with Madeline Kahn, Gilda Radner and Patrick Swayze being the ones who sadly left this world before they could have their years of constant adoration. So who in this world even deserves to be on the same list?
One person might just be Steve Guttenberg. Please hear me out.
Okay, so the other two of the Three Men and a Baby/Little Lady guys have had successful and respectful careers, particularly Danson, who was so insanely awesome on Damages that I could spit. People look at these men as real actors, not just that overgrown Ben Savage with the “Bun in the Oven” shirt from Police Academy. But is this fair?
Through the eyes of an understanding soul, The Gutte’s career can be seen as one giant charitable act. Did you know that Tom Hanks wasn’t originally going to play Josh in Big? That part was originally offered to Guttenberg. Did you know that Bill Murray wasn’t originally going to play Peter Venkman in Ghostbusters? Of course you didn’t, you fool, because you are unaware that this too was originally offered to The Gutte. He turned that one down to put on that “Bun in the Oven” shirt and be in Police Academy.
To some, this was a poor decision that lead him down a C-list path. To me, these were the ultimate gifts to cinema. Big was the blast off for Tom Hanks’s career. Without Big, it’s possible he would have forever been the dude from that crossdressing show.
If you’re not with me on this one, what about Tim Curry? Because who in this world doesn’t love Tim Curry? He was singlehandedly responsible for the sexual confusion of thousands of young men and women the world over. He is now adorably chubby and pillow-like. He says the word “no” as though it’s spelled “neyeeoh.” He is awesome. And yet, he’s never been the A-list bottle of rock sauce he should have been. Perhaps in the twilight of his years, we can repay him for all he’s given us by treating him like the greatness he is.
If I had my way for a comeback, I’d request that Fat Renee Zellweger get a year or two of popularity. Because the thin one is very pointy. She juts. Like a bunch of ball bearings in a cheese cloth.
All that said, possibly the most likely and most due for a proper comeback/Betty-esque time of celebration is Bette Midler. There is not one of us (assuming “us” is only referring to girls and gays in this world) who hasn’t had our lives touched by this woman. If you’ve seen Beaches and not cried, I hate to be the one to tell you this, but you apparently have cancerAIDS of the soul, and I cannot help you. If you’ve ever seen her farewell song to Johnny Carson and not cried, the cancerAIDS has traveled to your entire awesomeness center, and you officially possess no awesomeness. Bette’s awesome, and frankly, they just don’t make ’em sassy, bawdy and with “Bett” as the first syllable of one’s name anymore. She’s all we got.
Of course, no one deserves all the love and accolades even a fraction as much as Betty does. Betty has been there for each and everyone of us since as long as most of us can remember, or as long as most of our moms can remember. She is funny. She is sassy. She is awesome. She is Betty, and there can be only one.
Courtney Enlow is a writer living in Chicago and working as a corporate shill to pay the bills. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.