Compared to my 96-year-old great grandmother, Betty White is more reminiscent of some 50-year-olds I know than most of her contemporaries. She turned 90 in January, and along with all the wisdom that can come from a woman of her stature, she also holds seven Emmy Awards. Her popularity has had a bit of a revival in recent years, but she’s never faded from being one of the most talented comedians of our time.
You’d expect someone at her age to be retired, maybe knitting, and getting some much deserved R&R from a lengthy career, and life. But not Betty. No, she’s too busy working still. With a few TV projects going on seemingly concurrently, the one she’s getting the most buzz for is Off Their Rockers, returning to NBC on April 4. She told us she was presented with the idea for the senior citizen prank show after seeing a popular version in Europe. She said, “I don’t have the power to say no, I like what I do too much.”
And in that sentence you understand the secret to her ability to seemingly not age. “I’m 90 years old and I just don’t go away,” she quipped, and we’re glad she won’t. She told us that she’s “blessed with good health” and that she inherited good genes. It’s her love of this industry and her work that keeps her going, and that makes her “happy as a lark.”
That love of her career is the reason you’ll see her hosting Off Their Rockers, an hysterically funny TV prank show, while most of her peers are just sitting back watching it.
Chris Coelen, her fellow executive producer on Off Their Rockers, said that we shouldn’t read too much in to the program, but admits that it’s sending a “great message.” He talked to us about how fun the show is and how it’s meant to make people laugh, and he loved that “seniors are in roles driving all of the action.” Isn’t that the best medicine of all, no matter your age? He said that we all “have preconceived notions of older people, and we play with those,” on the show. Betty’s certainly tearing down every stereotype in the book. While you won’t see her performing any scenes, admitting she’s “not good at that,” you’ll see her rocking her duties as host with her subtle humor that appeals to any age.
Betty’s positive attitude is no doubt an ingredient in her long life and lengthy career. She told us that she was part of “the first [TV] broadcast ever done in Los Angeles.” Talk about a “where were you when” moment! Going from that all the way to Off Their Rockers in 2012, we’ll fully accept Betty’s advice to “appreciate the good stuff when it happens,” as it’s happening. It’s obvious she practices her message to “accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative.”
Exercising your funny bone, maintaining a positive attitude, loving your life and what comprises it, (and having legions of adoring fans) can certainly make age irrelevant. Betty serves as a healthy role model to young, old and everyone in between.