Did anyone miss Betty White hosting Saturday Night Live on May 8th? Now 88, which prompted her quip that there were a number of reasons to be glad to be on stage, the “Golden Girls” television veteran was superb, and garnered SNL its highest overnight ratings in 18 months.
White thanked — and ridiculed — Facebook, where half a million fans lobbied for her to get the gig, and now has boosters eyeing the Emmys and the Oscars. All of which prompted the Los Angeles Times to cover the trendlet, declaring, “Suddenly, at least in parts of the blogosphere, it’s hip to be old — a paradoxical twist for a youth-obsessed nation that injects, pulls and carves away any semblance of age. The ‘olds’ (as sites like Gawker.com dub those old enough to remember rotary phones) are the subject of Facebook fan pages, YouTube shows, Twitter feeds and even fashion blogs.”
We’ll see if it sticks. Neither of the reasons given in the article (youthful narcissism and the fact that the old are “almost exotic creatures in our fractured modern lives, glimpsed only on major holidays”) made much sense to me, and internet memes are pretty ephemeral. But perhaps a cultural shift is gaining a toehold.