GOLDEN FEUD: Bea Arthur vs. Betty White!

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All these years, we’ve just assumed that the cast of The Golden Girls were best buds, but in an interview last night on The Joy Behar Show, Betty White revealed that Bea Arthur was “not that fond” of her. And in Hollywood actress speak, that means Bea Arthur was a “RAGING BITCH TO ME.” Or so I assume.

Read more details about Betty and Bea’s relationship as well as insights into Estelle Getty here.

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Betty White Joins Troy and Abed on ‘Community’

Some might argue that Betty White is over-exposed, and truth is… they’re right. But I still love the lady, and while last night’s season premiere of Community wasn’t perhaps as amazing as I had hyped it up to be in my head, I did particularly enjoy Betty’s bit with Troy and Abed over the closing credits. If you missed it, take a look at the clip above, and if you want to learn more about last night’s episode, check out this very cool interview where show creator Dan Harmon explains all his pop culture references from the premiere:

Vulture: Community Creator Dan Harmon Explains the Genesis of Every Reference on Last Night’s Episode

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AND WHATNOT: Remembering Rue; Also, Herpes on ‘Jersey Shore,’ Tom Brady Rumors, and Oh Yeah, AT&T Has Ruined EVERYTHING

Gizmodo: AT&T Just Killed Unlimited Wireless Data (and Screwed Everybody in the Process) (thanks Malibu Judie)
New York Daily News: Betty White: Rue McClanahan’s death ‘hurts more than I ever thought it would’
Fishbowl DC: Joynt Lets Readers in on ‘Real Housewives’ PR Madness
NPR: Fake Mars Mission: ‘Real World’ Meets Space Travel (thanks jash)
Reality Blurred: VH1 requires Celebrity Rehab cast, crew to take herpes meds; Jersey Shore is “a herpes nest”
Boston Globe: Brady quiet on contract
HuffPo: New ‘Housewife’ Jennifer Gilbert Loses Airtime, Cut From Reunion Special

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DEAD CELEBRITIES: Rue McClanahan Edition

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They always happen in threes. First Gary Coleman, then Dennis Hopper, and now our third fateful death of the week: Rue McClanahan, who is best known for playing Blanche on The Golden Girls. The actress was 76. This is a rather sad turn of events, especially now that The Golden Girls has received a new injection of nostalgic adoration, thanks to the resurgence of Betty White.

I actually met Rue McClanahan about five years ago. Back then, I worked down the hall from a casting office, and every day, random celebrities would saunter past en route to auditions. It was kind of awesome for me, what with my love of gawking. One day, Rue McClanahan herself walked by, and while I was very excited, I thought I’d act professional and remain in my seat. Luckily though, a little girl whose mom also worked in the hallway happened to step into my office about five minutes later.

“Why is there a Golden Girl in the hallway?” she asked me. I explained that Ms. McClanahan was in fact here for an audition. The girl nodded and then announced a desire to meet her. Well, who was I to deprive a little girl of her dreams? With pen and paper in hand, the two of us marched down the hall and introduced ourselves to Rue. I tell you, the woman was as sweet as molasses (sorry, I feel a need to speak in Southern-style similes). Rue signed an autograph for the girl and then asked us a few questions. It was such an endearing moment that I spied nearby auditioning actors Kristen Johnston and Chris Penn (also dead now) smiling at the scene. Class act, that Rue McClanahan.

Now this leaves just Betty as the last standing Golden Girl, outliving Blanche, Sophia, Dorothy, and even Stanley (not to mention Harry Weston, if you want to talk Empty Nest). Sadness all around.

For more information, click here. (thanks for the heads up, Neil)

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Betty White Shines on ‘Saturday Night Live.’ Also, Three Unaired Skits!

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At long last, Betty White took center stage as the host of last night’s Saturday Night Live, and I think everyone was both delighted and relieved that her stint proved to be one of the best, if not the best, of the season. With so much hype around the Golden Girl’s appearance, it would have been a major disappointment had the episode turned out to be a bore.

Lorne Michaels wasn’t about to let that happen though. For this special installment, he recruited a gaggle of the show’s best comediennes from the past ten years to join White on stage: Tina Fey, Ana Gasteyer, Amy Poehler, Rachel Dratch, Maya Rudolph, and Molly Shannon (noticeably absent: Cheri Oteri). The infusion of energy from this extended cast elevated the material, especially as many of the former cast members resurrected some of their beloved characters and bits from their tenure. It all added up to an hour and a half of great TV, and for once, it seemed like we weren’t watching a sketch show but a party. Throw in the nonstop stream of Tweets and Facebook updates starting at 8:30 PM out here in California, and it felt like a party everyone was invited to (not to cheese out too much).

Of course, watching all those wonderfully talented actresses on stage, it truly underscored some of the deficiencies of the current cast. It’s hard to take lightweights like Abby Elliot, Jenny Slate, and Nasim Pedrad seriously when stacked next to the likes of Molly Shannon and Amy Poehler (to be fair, Pedrad shows the most potential of the group, but still, the only recent female recruit since Kristen Wiig to show breakout talent has been Michaela Watkins, and NBC axed her for no good reason — still angry). Nevertheless, I suppose what we can take away from the experience is that when there’s a host who truly inspires the writers and a talented cast who can bring the material to life, Saturday Night Live can still shine. And when there’s not, well, we’re stuck with Will Forte singing at the Weekend Update desk.

For now though, let’s continue to bask in last night’s show. It was so frequently interrupted by spates of applause that several skits were cut from the telecast. Fear not though. NBC has placed them online. After the jump, the return of Debbie Downer, “Bronx Beat,” and Helen Madden, licensed joyologist. (Sadly, no Mary Katherine Gallagher).

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