Social Media Queen Betty White Upstaged By The Olympics?

Can going viral on a Facebook Fan Page get you you a gig on Saturday Night Live? If fans have their way - Betty White might be the first actress to score such a deal. She may have started her showbiz career back in the days of "I Love Lucy," but today you haven’t hit the big time until you’ve gone viral.

On February 13, a little over a month after the fan page was created by 29-year old fan David Matthews, "Betty White to Host SNL (please?)" has racked up more than of 250,000 fans on the number one social networking site in the world. Today's status update stated, "We are a QUARTER MILLION STRONG! And...(unofficial) word is that SNL *HAS* reached out to Betty White's publicist... and Betty *IS* willing to do it! We are almost there!"

Betty White on PasswordBetty White on PasswordSo what qualifies this Golden Girl for the SNL plum hosting job. Well there is that long-stint on the popular game show "Password." But more recently, White received the Screen Actor Guild's Lifetime Achievement Award for entertaining audiences for over 60 years with her dead-on comedic timing. Dating back to the 40s, White's career has been enhanced by notable roles as the lusty Sue Ann Nivens on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, the airhead room-mate Rose Nylund on The Golden Girls and recent guest appearances on Boston LegUgly Betty WhiteUgly Betty Whiteal, in addition to a starring in Ugly Betty White, a parody of the successful comedy show, Ugly Betty.

Not one to slow down, the 88-year old actress starred opposite Sandra Bullock in the 2009 motion picture The Proposal. But perhaps what really catapulted her back into center stage was an ad for Snickers during the 2010 Super Bowl XLIV game with veteran actor Abe Vigoda. The commercial was rated number one on the USA Today Super Bowl Ad Meter- and was the catalyst that spawned the online Facebook campaign for White to host NBC's Saturday Night Live. With close to 1 million views on YouTube, check out Betty's prowess on the Gridiron.

The lady's a champ...or I guess in today's lingo, you would say Betty White's a real meme! But will thisSocial Media GamesSocial Media Games viral campaign achieve it's goal and land her that coveted gig that has eluded her up to now? Some say, the only thing that stands in her way is the Olympics (which is a social media event in and of itself - see "Vancouver 'Social Media' Olympics To Outpace Beijing.") With potentially over a 16-day run on NBC (yes, SNL's network) - based on weather delays, the Winter Olympics might just rob this Golden Girl's shot at taking the Gold!

The next SNL show's host is Jennifer Lopez on February 27th which makes March 6 the next open date. If that date is booked, were looking at the Ides of March, and we all know what doom that portends. So will the social media circles in which White is circulating continue to support her a month down the road, or will we be moving on to the next viral story? According to Andreaitis in her TrueSlant report, "Will we tune in on Saturday night two weeks from now with hopeful anticipation? Very possibly not. If it happens, we'll catch it on Hulu the next day."

Andreaitis goes on to say, "As Betty White knows, timing is everything.  In this case, the timing could not be more off. You see, there is a new formula for today’s multimedia economy:"
  • Digital Presence + Story Arc = Window of Opportunity
Hopefully this is not the scenario that will play out and White won't go the way of so many others - 'Meme today, gone tomorrow!' Take our POLL and let us know if you think White will win her next starring role on SNL, or if other things are in store for her.

Update: March 11 - The rallying cries on Facebook proved too loud for Lorne Michaels to ignore, and Betty White will be hosting the sketch comedy show on May 8, NBC tells USA Today.
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