Last night’s episode of SNL was the best I’ve seen all year. No doubt due to extensive planning once “Golden Girls” star Betty White was slated to host the show, the evening was full of amazing skits and relevant topical commentary (something the newer casts of SNL are more known for). And the mix of original material — like the “Scared Straight” skit with Keenan Thompson and White playing inmates — and revisitations of older recurring skits like “Magruber” and “The Lawrence Welk Show” was almost perfectly balanced.
As Betty White stood in each of her skits, hands politely crossed in front of one another with that infectious smile and cute little squint, I couldn’t help but think how much SNL is in need of stronger cast members. With Tina Fey and Amy Poehler gone, the current cast lacks those one or two members who are clear leaders of the pack. The “ensemble” feel of the cast is suffering a lot this season as well. It was ridiculously refreshing to see Ana Gasteyer, Fey, Poehler and Molly Shannon grace the stage for a bit, though. Man, do I miss them!
Though I’m sure White won’t be called up for a permanent position, she brought a wonderful surge of comedy to the show…one that I hope won’t die down by next week.