Saturday, November 2, 2013

Betty White

I don't know what you do when you go to sleep at night, but I lie down on the couch under a really nice fuzzy blanket, with Polly snuggled up on my back and I just let my brain wander. I don't really think much about the day that has ended or the day that is coming up.  I try not to worry about a lot of stuff any more (ever since my mother moved to Atria, which gave me insomnia for months).  I just let my brain take flight and think about whatever happens to pop into it.

Last night it was Betty White.  Who knows where that came from (except that I had watched an episode of Golden Girls).

I've been fascinated by Betty White for a long time. Betty White is the history of Television.  Seriously.  I remember reading that she was actually on the very first television broadcast.  She was working at a station that was going to send an experimental program in-house to the people in the building.  Betty White was in front of the camera.

She sang songs on an experimental station in 1939.  1939!   How many people can say they were on television in 1939?  I'm 70 years old and I wasn't born in 1939...or for 3 years later!

Ten years later she was co-host on a daily variety show and took over as solo host in 1952, when she was live on airfive hours a day six days a week!  She also starred in a sit com called Life with Elizabeth, which I remember watching in my first years as a TV watcher.

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We all know the big shows she has starred in, like her appearances on Password, where she met husband the late Alan Ludden, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Golden Girls and now Hot in Cleveland, with lots and lots and lots and lots of appearances on lots and lots and lots and lots of shows, including Saturday Night Live.  She keeps describing herself in every interview I've seen with her since she turned 90 (she's now 91) as "the luckiest broad in show business."

But as my brain floated into the stratosphere thinking of Betty White, I wasn't thinking of any of her television appearances.  I realize that if I had the chance to interview Betty White, there is one very important first question I would ask her:

What was it like to visit with KoKo?

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I am fascinated  with Koko the sign-language signing gorilla.   I have seen videos of a few celebrities visiting her, including Robin Williams (that was hilarious) and Mr. Rogers.  But Betty White, long-term animal activist, had the opportunity to visit with Koko...and as the photo shows, they obviously got along well together.

I would love to sit and listen to Betty reminisce about the experience.  How long was she there?  What was it like to kiss as gorilla?   Did the two of them talk together (did Koko sign for her)?

I think Betty and I would get along well, since we are both such big animal lovers.  And she seems to have made out with quite a few...

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She's obviously my kinda gal.

(I worked at Logos this morning.  Susan says that yesterday was a madhouse and that, based on how much candy they gave out, they may have had more than 1,000 kids through the book store between 2:30 and 6 p.m.! I'm sorry I traded my day!)

1 comment:

Kwizgiver said...

I've listened to a couple of Betty White's memoirs and completely enjoyed her. What a career!