by: Rob Johnston Updated:
PITTSBURGH - Betty White has been called “America’s comedic sweetheart,” and I completely agree, especially after chatting with her on Monday about her new NBC show.
White’s career in show business has spanned more than 60 years and is showing no sign of stopping. From starring in movies and television shows to authoring seven books, the seven-time Emmy Award winner is easily one of the busiest stars in entertainment today.
I felt honored when she took some time out of her busy schedule to talk to me about her new show “Betty White’s Off Their Rockers.”
As a fan of her work, I was really looking forward to speaking with White. I was hoping she would be just as adorable as she seems on television, and she actually exceeded my expectations. She was charming, energetic and passionate about her latest work.
“It’s a fun, silly format,” White said about “Off Their Rockers.” “It’s a hidden camera show, very much like the old Alan Funt shows except with older people getting the jump on younger people.”
NBC said “Off Their Rockers” is taking senior stereotypes and blowing them out of the water with a cast of sassy septuagenarians who are hip, sexy and ready to party. America's favorite comedy sweetheart sends a fearless band of senior citizens to the streets to pull shockingly hilarious pranks on the younger generation.
White recently celebrated her 90th birthday. Wow! Happy birthday, Betty! I asked White if she ever thought she would premiere a brand new show at this age when she first broke into the business.
“Isn’t that silly?” White laughed. “When there’s no sense, there’s no feeling. When you’re having a good time it’s hard to say ‘no’ to stuff,” White remarked with a smile.
White is the perfect person to host a show about mischievous senior citizens because she comes across to viewers as innocent and unassuming. This famous persona made me wonder if she had ever pulled any great pranks of her own.
“I am not a prankster. I don’t get into those things, oddly enough. It seems silly for me to be doing this kind of a show, but it’s fun when you’re not involved. When you’re not the ‘prankee,’ it’s great fun,” said White.
White fondly recalled her time in Pittsburgh performing “South Pacific” and “The King and I,” mentioning that she enjoyed her time in the city very much.
I suggested that she bring her new hidden camera show to Pittsburgh, as I am sure there are many older people who would love to take part in the antics.
“I would love it!” said White.
Speaking with such an accomplished performer, I had to ask for the secret to her success.
“Oh, I don’t have a secret. I am just the luckiest old broad on two feet. I am 90 years old and am blessed with good health. That makes a big difference,” said White.
“Betty White’s Off Their Rockers” premieres Wednesday at 8 p.m. on NBC and Channel 11.