Betty White demonstrated how it's done as host of this week's Saturday Night Live. Drawing on her six decades in comedy, she was the consummate pro at 88 years old—sweet, sassy, salty, charming and clearly game for anything. "I'm not new to live TV," she reminded the audience at the top of the show, and recalled that she had starred in a sitcom that aired live back in 1952. "Of course, back then, we didn't WANT to do it live. We just didn't know how to tape things." A perfectly timed beat. "I don't know what THIS show's excuse is."
The show was a reunion of sorts for SNL alumnae, including Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Ana Gasteyer, and Molly Shannon. But White was queen bee, appearing in nearly every bit throughout the 90-minute span—and never failing to punch it up. And in a filmed short that should find a robust afterlife online, SNL cast members paid tribute to White by singing Thank You for Being A Friend, the theme of her classic sitcom, The Golden Girls. "Oh, that was just lovely," said White. "But I think I prefer my version," whereupon she pulled a black ski mask over her face and led a growling, rip-roaring death-metal rendition. Check out video clips from her appearance above.