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Snippet of Comedy Tragedy Marriage: Betty White: First Lady of Television

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Last Played: January 03, 2022
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Join hosts Stan and Maude in Comedy Tragedy Marriage. The two discuss Betty White's documentary and her early career in radio and television.
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So anyway, it shows lots of beautiful old archival footage from, like, her first TV appearances. And when she back in the days when she was a brunette, which most people don't remember, I was barely aware of the fact that her hair had ever been anything other than blonde. Um, sadly, no one left from Golden Girls was available interview. She's outlived all of those broads. So, um, it was just a very warm, fuzzy, feel good kind of documentary that I felt like we needed something just like this. Exactly. And it is It is certainly, um informative. Um uh, and of course, from her time on the Golden Girls, Uh, and and on the Mary Tyler Moore Show, where she played against type there, she kind of played into her type with a little flashes of of, of edge on golden girls. But, um, she's always been in my life. I mean, she's been on television since before I was born. Way before I was born, uh, she she started in radio in California, and, uh, that radio show transitioned into a television show, then the very, very early days of television back when they would play records on t V. But people said we can hear the records on the radio anytime. We want to hear you people talk. Yeah. What are you talking about? What are y'all talking about? Apparently the camera would still be on them because it was a live show and, uh, way before videotape, and they would be chatting, but they couldn't hear them as the records were playing. So they ditched the records after the first week and had to come up with something. And apparently it was just kind of a chat show, chat variety. Um, well, that was the Betty White. Well, the Betty White Show was was chatting and singing and dancing. Yeah, I'm not thinking a variety in the classical sense. I'm thinking variety, like, um, off the cuff. You know what? What the heck are we doing here? Kind of a variety of, you know, improvisational stuff that they would have had to do to fill the time. And that radio show on TV featured her and, uh, the DJ having this sort of married couple like banter back and forth, and they were approached about turning that into a TV show. And it's one of the first sit com. Yeah, and it was shot in a theater. I mean, was it was shot live in a theater, Um, and on very cheap looking sets. And it was just a very short scene that we saw with the slingshot. It was funny. Well, because she has brilliant timing, brilliant timing, and it just goes to show that human nature is what it is. We find the same things funny. It transcends age genre. Um, good. Good writing is good writing and good to make a big deal of and good delivery is good delivery. And, you know, it's like good music is good music. It doesn't matter how you dress it up or dress it down. If a song is well written, it works. However, you play it right and sing it. Comedy is the same, I think, and she, uh, that she was approached by NBC to do a half hour chat show five days a week, which she thought was I've been doing live radio and live TV for already years. It's no big deal. And she had this half hour chat show, um and, um, and that transition into her doing game show appearances. Yeah, a thing that Alex Alex Trebek was also interviewed for this, Um, he brought to light a very interesting bit of trivia about Betty White that at least as of 2018, she is the only female game show host to win an Emmy Award. That's true. I love her so much. She's one of the very few female game show host. Curious for real. You can count them on your hand. I can't even think of another one, can you? Um, MEREDITH Vieira hosted How to be Who wants to be a million? How to want to be a million. You don't want to be wants to breathe. Um, but yeah, Aside from those two and the weakest link lady, I don't even know her name. She was the British lady. Who? Yes, um, but yeah, that there are very few. And she's the only one that has one an Emmy award for her hosting of a game game show, which I just think is too cool. But then again, that's Betty White. She's a pioneer. Um, she just I loved where they talked about, um during the sitcom days. They were shooting in like a pit and the audience was up above them and she would climb up on the ladder before the show started to do the audience warm up. That's unheard of now. High paid, you know, sitcom stars and television show stars have people who do that for them. Betty White was her people. Well, yeah, because nobody knew what they were doing when they were making that sitcom. I mean, this was this had to be in the forties. Let's look it up, shall we? And yeah, And she, you know, she was a producer on the show. She's one of the first women who was a producer in television. Of course, she and Lucille Ball are members of a very elite club there. Yes, um, and you know, it's She's groundbreaking in numerous ways. For instance, on her talk variety show, she had a tap dancer, a dancer, an African American man, Arthur Duncan, who we went on to see on The Lawrence Welk Show later, and because her show was on the network, it aired in the South. Well, people in the south apparently did not want to see a black man on TV, the high, and they complained and they threatened boycotts and such as that. And she said, Uh, he's on the show. He's staying on the show again a pion.
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