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SNL Alum Bill Hader Recalls The Sweet Exchange He Had With Betty White After Their Famous Scared Straight Sketch

Betty White definitely left a lasting mark on TV, as she delighted multiple generations of viewers with her legendary comedic chops.  Though she was best known for her roles on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Golden Girls (and its spinoff), she's also remembered for her impeccable work as a host on Saturday Night Live. The late actress hosted the variety show in 2010, and it was definitely an episode to remember. Now, SNL alum Bill Hader has recalled a sweet exchange he had with White after one of the sketches. 

One of the best moments to come out of Betty White’s episode was the “Scared Straight” sketch, in which White and Kenan Thompson played a grandmother and grandson who attempt to steer some bullies straight. Though they attempt to do so by telling stories that are eerily similar to movies like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. In celebration of what would've been White's 100th birthday, Vanity Fair spoke with Saturday Night Live stars who worked on the beloved episode, including Bill Hader, who played one of the bullies. During the chat, he revealed the sweet and nostalgic words the actress gifted him:

I was a very soft touch on that show. It’s well documented I would [break] easily. Kenan and Betty made me laugh, and afterwards, she said, ‘I’m so sorry, sweetie. It reminded me of Harvey [Korman] and Tim [Conway] on Carol [Burnett’s] show.’ I was like, ‘This is so cool. She called me sweetie.’

At one point in the sketch, the It star's character noted that a story that was being told sounded like The Wizard of Oz. With that, Betty White and Kenan Thompson's character sat him back down in a chair, where White kept hitting him. Hader tried to keep his laughter in, but that's definitely a difficult task when working with such comedy experts. But White's words were definitely sweet and the fact that she compared the experience to the ones she'd have with her legendary collaborators is even more special:

Don't believe how funny the sketch was? Well, check it out for yourself down below, and try not to laugh:

Betty White, who appeared as host at the age of 88, became the oldest person to ever host the show. Following her death, NBC re-aired her episode from Mother’s Day weekend 2010. It was just one of many tributes that quickly poured in for the iconic actress. Many flooded the Internet with funny clips of White, whether they'd be from interviews with Joan Rivers, promotional videos or roast sessions at Sandra Bullock's expense. Needless to say, the actress lived quite a life.

When it came to the NBC staple, the star was also vocal behind the scenes. In 2020, SNL writer Mike O’Brien revealed that she rejected a unicorn sketch due to her manager not wanting any animals (the actress was a known animal activist). Though the segment never made it to air, things seemed to work out for the best, especially considering the other sketches on the episode were pretty hilarious as well.

It’s still hard to believe that Betty White is no longer with us, but fans can always honor her by watching her slew of movies and television appearances in her memory.

Passionate writer. Obsessed with anything and everything entertainment, specifically movies and television. Can get easily attached to fictional characters.