By Ken Tucker
Updated July 29, 2020 at 06:21 PM EDT

Bowing to a grassroots movement to get the funniest senior citizen in show business front-and-center, SNL had Betty White host one of its best entries of the season last night. There was a peculiar cold-open in which Kenan Thompson played a live-action version of Cleveland from The Cleveland Show starring in a parody of The Blind Side. But Betty White started saving the show almost immediately. In her opening monologue, she claimed to be the “457th woman Tiger Woods slept with,” and offered a withering critique of his stiff apology from earlier this week.

There was the inevitable Golden Girls parody, with Abby Elliott playing Blanche and Jason Sudeikis looking fine as Bea Arthur’s Dorothy:

White showed just how spry she still is in an Olympics sketch, impersonating a skiing Lindsey Vonn. (Extra credit to Bill Hader for doing a fine version of a snowboarding, high-on-life Shaun White.)

Next up was a deft take-off on the recurring role White used to have on Boston Legal, with Darrell Hammond making an SNL cameo in James Spader’s role:

And in the fine tradition of SNL game-show parodies, there was a full-scale Match Game sketch, with White pretending to seize control of the show from host Gene Reyburn (a clever Will Forte). Note, too, how well Kristen Wiig is used as an extra-screechy version of The Bob Newhart Show‘s Marcia Wallace:

Musical guest Katharine McPhee was skull-crackingly dull.

Next week: Jennifer Lopez hosts.

[Do you wish Betty White would host SNL for real? Write to NBC and Lorne Michaels, or maybe you’ll want to join the Facebook group.]

For more: Exclusive: ‘SNL’ close to landing Betty White!

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Episode Recaps

Saturday Night Live

The original late-night comedy sketch show from the one and only Lorne Michaels.

  • TV Show
  • 46
  • TV-14
  • Saturdays at 11:30 PM
  • Lorne Michaels
  • NBC
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