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Thread: Q & A with Betty White

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    Super Moderator twitchy2.0's Avatar
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    Default Q & A with Betty White

    Q& A with Betty White: At 88, this dame's still game


    By John Shearer, Getty Images for ATI

    Betty White says of the SAG acronym: "It makes me nervous. I always want to put my arm under my boobs."




    By Susan Wloszcznya, USA TODAY

    Between celebrating her 88th birthday (she prefers a string of intimate dinners) and preparing to shoot a TV pilot, Betty White who receives the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement award Saturday found time to chat by phone, her trusty 5-year-old golden retriever snuggled at her side, with USA TODAY.

    Q: People are making a big deal out of how Meryl Streep and Sandra Bullock are enjoying such success at ages 60 and 45. But you're 88 and going strong. What is your secret?
    A: I'm so pleasantly surprised when I get asked to do something, I always say yes. Retirement is not in my vocabulary. They aren't going to get rid of me that way.

    MORE: White will be a SAG honoree

    Q: Your dedication as an animal advocate is well-documented. I would think they instinctively flock to you, like they do with Snow White. When was your last encounter of the feathered or furry kind?
    A: It kind of works that way. Animals read you like a book. I wish we could read them as well. I'm going to a zoo board meeting tomorrow. I'm never away from them. My golden retriever, a career-change guide dog named Pontiac, is right next to me. I didn't name him, but I like to think of the Indian chief, not the car. When the car company went out of business, I sat him down and said, "Honey, it's not anything you did."

    Q: Somewhere you acquired this amusingly naughty comic persona that has served you well. Where did it come from?
    A: I think from sitting around the Sunday morning breakfast table with Mom and Dad. Dad was a traveling salesman, and he would bring his jokes home. He would say, "Honey, you can take that joke to school, but I wouldn't take that one." That's where the double-entendres came from. What you don't say is funnier than what you do. Now they let it all hang out. It's all single-entendre.

    Q: You have been involved with TV practically since it first started. What do you think of the medium now and how it has changed?
    A: My husband (the late game-show host Allen Ludden) used to say he married a pioneer in silent television. I began in 1949. Back then, the audience treated it like a little miracle. Now, the minute a show starts, they know the entire story line. It's hard to surprise them. They keep hiring very young writers with no frame of reference. Older writers are more subtle. And subtlety is a rare commodity. My favorites are Two and a Half Men. And Frasier.

    Q: You always seem game for anything, whether it's schmoozing with Kathy Griffin's mom on her D-List reality show or giving the finger to Ryan Reynolds in an online comedy video or doing an Ugly Betty White skit on an awards show. Is there anything you won't do?
    A: I guess not. Last Friday, I did a Snickers commercial. I was playing football with these young guys, and one knocks me backward into a mud puddle. They had stunt women to do the actual fall. But I had to lie there for hours in the freezing muddy water.

    Q: Has Robert Redford yet addressed your unrequited love?
    A: My answer to the question "What haven't you done in your career" is always Robert Redford. I've never met him and I would be embarrassed if I did.

    Q: You have another movie comedy, You Again, coming out this fall with Kristin Bell. What else are you up to?
    A: I have a guest shot on a TV pilot in February. It's called Hot in Cleveland, about three gals who are on their way to Paris to get some action. The plane experiences mechanical difficulties and lands in Cleveland. All these guys start eyeing them, and they figure why go to Paris? I am doing it provisionally. If it gets picked up, I don't think I want to do another series. I love the work. But what if a movie comes along?
    Q& A with Betty White: At 88, this dame's still game - USATODAY.com
    "Creepy, like when Tom Cruise laughs." - Bloodhound Gang

    "I don't know anyone who likes Justin Bieber." - Seth Rogen

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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    I love her. And she was so awesome on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show". I think her character was like a Martha Stewart type.

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    Elite Member Laurent's Avatar
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    I love her, she's awesome!

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    Elite Member msdeb's Avatar
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    i so love this woman!
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    Gold Member Mercer's Avatar
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    Q: Somewhere you acquired this amusingly naughty comic persona that has served you well. Where did it come from?
    A: I think from sitting around the Sunday morning breakfast table with Mom and Dad. Dad was a traveling salesman, and he would bring his jokes home. He would say, "Honey, you can take that joke to school, but I wouldn't take that one." That's where the double-entendres came from. What you don't say is funnier than what you do. Now they let it all hang out. It's all single-entendre.

    Somebody please explain?

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    Elite Member mistify's Avatar
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    SHe was so funny on Kathy Griffins show. SHe is a firecracker.
    "Shit, I think I just confused myself. QUICK! Somebody hand me chalk, a chalkboard and Will Hunting's brain!" michael k -dlisted

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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mercer View Post
    Q: Somewhere you acquired this amusingly naughty comic persona that has served you well. Where did it come from?
    A: I think from sitting around the Sunday morning breakfast table with Mom and Dad. Dad was a traveling salesman, and he would bring his jokes home. He would say, "Honey, you can take that joke to school, but I wouldn't take that one." That's where the double-entendres came from. What you don't say is funnier than what you do. Now they let it all hang out. It's all single-entendre.

    Somebody please explain?
    It sounded like she was saying that she always had the appreciation, and capacity, for risque humor, but knew how to how to cultivate a wholesome comic persona when required.

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    Gold Member Mercer's Avatar
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    Thanks. That's what I got out of it too.
    The daddy quote that devides double entendres into single ones goes over my head though...

    "Honey, you can take that joke to school, but I wouldn't take that one."

    I'm not getting it.

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    Super Moderator twitchy2.0's Avatar
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    I'm guessing some of his jokes weren't appropriate for kids and he didn't want her getting into trouble at school?
    "Creepy, like when Tom Cruise laughs." - Bloodhound Gang

    "I don't know anyone who likes Justin Bieber." - Seth Rogen

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    Gold Member Mercer's Avatar
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    Ok, thanks for clarifying. As it is a direct quote from her dad, and everybody's guessing just like me I'll call it stupid. If that was such clever one back then... I go with the modern 'entendres'. Because those I understand.

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    Elite Member LynnieD's Avatar
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    Love her more than I can express!

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    Elite Member Laurent's Avatar
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    I remember watching Betty and Rue McClanahan on "Mama's Family" from the late 70s/early 80s and they were an almost exact role reversal of who they played on "Golden Girls." Betty was the trampy, manipulative Ellen and Rue played the demure, goody-two-shoes Aunt Fran.

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    Elite Member HWBL's Avatar
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    To be 88 and still have such a sharp mind and be in the know about the way
    the business is run these days, wow. I'm sure the fact that she LOVES what
    she does helps her age better, too.
    Warren Beatty: actor, director, writer, producer.

    ***** celeb

  14. #14
    Elite Member LynnieD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laurent View Post
    I remember watching Betty and Rue McClanahan on "Mama's Family" from the late 70s/early 80s and they were an almost exact role reversal of who they played on "Golden Girls." Betty was the trampy, manipulative Ellen and Rue played the demure, goody-two-shoes Aunt Fran.
    She played a tramp on The Mary Tyler Moore Show too, and played it very well! Love her love her love her.

    If you can ever catch any old Match Game reruns on GSN with her on it---it will seriously make your day. Hilarious and awesome.

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