Even though she was nominated for her first Emmy six decades ago, she is still one of American comedy’s hottest commodities.
In the last few weeks alone, Betty White has landed a Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album and picked up a Screen Actors Guild Award for her work on Hot in Cleveland.
She also turned 90.
And just before jetting back to L.A. to do press for her new animated film, the star – whose fame spiked after a Facebook campaign to have her host Saturday Night Live – is performing two shows at Vancouver ComedyFest.
“She’s actually coming here the morning of her shows and flying out the very next morning. It’s crazy. There is no one busier in the business than Betty White,” says ComedyFest artistic director Will Davis. “So it’s a huge honour for us.”
Mr. Davis says the star wasn’t easy to get – but because she opted to fly commercial rather than take a private jet, the fest is able to donate $25,000 to one of her favourite charities, the Morris Animal Foundation, before introducing the comedy legend.
“She’s so good at the unsaid, which is an incredible talent that you can’t teach. And it’s usually a little racy,” says Mr. Davis with a laugh. “She’s very quick-witted – but she’ll also say things that leave you filling in the blanks.”
Other highlights of the star-studded fest include Mr. Show legends David Cross and Bob Odenkirk, who are writing new sketches for their performance, as well as take-no-prisoners comic Margaret Cho, Chappelle’s Show co-creator Neal Brennan, WTF podcast hero Mark Merrin and many more.
Vancouver ComedyFest runs through Feb. 26. For a complete schedule, visit comedyfest.com.