First, Betty White landed her Saturday Night Live hosting gig thanks to Facebook. (And it seems the Betty White Facebook insanity has yet to end — there’s now a campaign for The Golden Girls star to appear on Glee and one for her to host the Oscars.) Now it’s Carol Burnett’s turn in the spotlight. Someone has launched a Facebook page urging SNL to invite Burnett to host. Already, more than 54,000 people have endorsed the idea, which, historically speaking, would be somewhat ironic. When Saturday Night Live launched in 1975, The Carol Burnett Show was an established sketch-comedy television hit. But the original SNL crew thought her act was too corny and purposely veered in a more irreverent direction. “We loved Carol Burnett, we respected her, but we were trying to be different than that,” musician Paul Shaffer told Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller for the authoritative book Live From New York. Maybe that friendly rivalry is why Burnett never hosted an SNL show. (Though she did once have a walk-on during a 1985 episode hosted by Harry Anderson.)
I’m all for Burnett hosting an episode next season. That should give her time to fondle Sandra Bullock, get tackled in a Snickers commercial and whatever else one has to do these days to become a cuddly senior. The only people I can think of who are rooting against her are Hollywood talent agents. If she succeeds, other entertainers may begin to question if they need professional representation at all.