Best of Betty White
Honouring the death of a comedy legend
At the onset of a New Year, the life of a legendary actress came to an end. Betty White of Golden Girls fame passed away on 31st December, 2021, just shy of her 100th birthday.
In honour of her death, I’d like to share a poem I wrote long ago when another comedic legend had passed on, along with some memorable quotes from Betty’s life as a brilliant actress and a wonderful human.
When a Comedian Dies
When a comedian dies, will her funeral play her jokes? Will the funeral goers shed tears of laughter instead of grief? Will her coffin hold a recording of her comedy, and her tombstone hold a punch line as her quote, so whenever people visited the cemetery, she could make them laugh from within her grave? When a comedian dies, do her fellow comedians put on a show in front of her coffin to pay their respects? Will her elegy contain riddles or will it be a stand-up? Is it wrong to laugh at the funeral of a comedian? Isn't that what she would've wished for? Is it weird that when watching her comedy now, it makes people weep instead of smile? When a comedian dies, does laughter die with her? Isn't it ironic that she gets to fill people's lives with joy as they grow up only to take it all away at once when she leaves? Then, is she really a comedian? Or a barbarian in her scheme to make the world break its heart one day? When a comedian dies, why does the world cry? Is it because she failed to make them laugh? Or is it because they know she's never going to make them laugh again?
SOME OF BETTY WHITE’S BEST QUOTES:
"Get at least 8 hours of beauty sleep. 9 if you're ugly."
“I may be a senior, but so what? I’m still hot.”
“People have told me ‘Betty, Facebook is a great way to keep in touch with old friends.’ At my age, if I wanted to keep in touch with old friends, I’d need a Ouija board.“
“The Older You Get, The Better You Get, Unless You're A Banana."
On casting a black dancer:
In 1954, Betty White was criticized after having Arthur Duncan, a Black tap dancer, on her show. Her response: "I'm sorry. Live with it." She then gave Duncan even more airtime. The show was canceled soon after.
On LGBT marriage:
"I don’t care who anybody sleeps with. If a couple has been together all that time – and there are gay relationships that are more solid than some heterosexual ones – I think it’s fine if they want to get married. I don’t know how people can get so anti-something. Just mind your own business, take care of your own affairs, and don't worry about other people so much.”
And finally, to remind you that a passing year, a new phase, a greying strand, and a wrinkling face isn’t so bad:
“It’s not a surprise, we knew it was coming—make the most of it. So you may not be as fast on your feet, and the image in your mirror may be a little disappointing, but if you are still functioning and not in pain, gratitude should be the name of the game.”
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