Celebrate Betty White’s Birthday by Bingeing ‘Golden Girls,’ ‘SNL,’ and More on Hulu
January 17 might as well be a national holiday. Why? It’s the birthday of genuine national treasure, TV trailblazer, and permanent pop culture fixture Betty White! There is quite possibly no one in the history of the medium that is as prominent and important, and that’s not an exaggeration. 2019 marks her 70th year on TV–her 70th year, people! She became the first woman to host a show on her own in 1951 (Hollywood on Television) and the first woman to executive produce her own show in 1953 (Life with Elizabeth). She’s been nominated for 21 Emmys since 1951, and she’s won 5 of them. You look at Betty White, you’re looking at the greatest TV performer of all time.
That’s why today, Betty White’s birthday, is a great opportunity to celebrate the impossible range of this legend. Luckily Hulu has you covered when it comes to Betty White’s best TV moments! You can stream all of her two major shows, The Golden Girls and The Mary Tyler Moore Show, as well as plenty of her hilarious guest spots on everything ranging from Community to Saturday Night Live. Below you’ll find our list of the best Betty White episodes Hulu has to offer.
'The Odd Couple,' "Password" (1972)
Betty White was already a TV superstar by 1972 when she guest-starred on The Odd Couple alongside her husband Allen Ludden. After the end of her first sitcom Life with Elizabeth in the mid-’50s, White became a TV regular through appearances on daytime game shows. And since you can’t stream classic Match Game on Hulu (which is where White really shows out), this all-time best episode of The Odd Couple wherein Felix and Oscar appear on Password has got you covered.
Stream The Odd Couple "Password" on Hulu
'The Mary Tyler Moore Show,' "The Lars Affair" (1973)
When the MTM producers sought to introduce a new character named Sue Ann Nivens, a happy homemaker and vexing vixen, they wanted to cast “a Betty White type.” They thought they had no chance of getting a star like White on their sitcom, as much of a hit as Mary Tyler Moore was. They were wrong! White was happy to join the show, debuting in an episode where she steals Phyllis’ husband, and the part quickly grew from guest spot to full-fledged cast member.
Stream The Mary Tyler Moore Show "The Lars Affair" on Hulu
'The Mary Tyler Moore Show,' "What Are Friends For?" (1974)
Betty White and Mary Tyler Moore, two legendary sitcom actors, get to spend this episode bouncing off of each other to hilarious results. When Mary and Sue Ann go on a work trip, the two get closer than they ever expected–and Mary learns that there’s a real vulnerability underneath Sue Ann’s confident demeanor. Leave it to Betty White to make the show’s villain just a teeny bit sympathetic!
Stream The Mary Tyler Moore Show "What Are Friends For?" on Hulu
'The Mary Tyler Moore Show,' "Sue Ann's Sister" (1976)
The arrival of Sue Ann’s sister sends the happy homemaker into a downward spiral that leaves her depressed and bedridden. This episode features the first look inside Sue Ann’s apartment, a pastel boudoir unlike anything seen on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. These MTM episodes really display White’s comedic range, as she’s essentially playing the Blanche Devereaux of this show. In fact, the Golden Girls producers wanted White to play Blanche, based solely on her Emmy-winning turn as Sue Ann! White wisely chose to go a completely different route for her next hit show…
Stream The Mary Tyler Moore Show "Sue Ann's Sister" on Hulu
'The Golden Girls,' "In a Bed of Rose's" (1986)
And now we meet Rose Nylund, the polar opposite of Sue Ann Nivens but an equally–if not more so!–iconic sitcom character. White won another Emmy for this Season 1 Golden Girls episode when she finds out that another man has died in her bed after a lovemaking session. While Sue Ann might have worn that as a badge of honor, Rose is definitely disturbed by this turn of events.
Stream The Golden Girls "In a Bed of Rose's" on Hulu
'The Golden Girls,' "Isn't It Romantic?" (1986)
Golden Girls was always progressive when it came to gay rights, and this Season 2 episode is a fantastic example of that. When Dorothy’s college friend falls hard for Rose, the naive St. Olafian has to figure out a way to let her new friend down easily. This is one of the best Golden Girls episodes not just because of Rose’s plot line, but also because of Blanche complete confusion about what a lesbian is.
Stream The Golden Girls "Isn't It Romantic?" on Hulu
'The Golden Girls,' "72 Hours" (1990)
The middle part of Golden Girls‘ run is filled with very special episodes that somehow balance heavy topics with big laughs. Never is that more evident than in “72 Hours,” also known as the episode where Rose almost gets AIDS. Even though the show didn’t have regular gay cast members, they still wanted to address the AIDS epidemic. This episode debunks many myths, namely that AIDS is only contracted through unsafe sex (Rose’s scare comes after a blood transfusion) and that AIDS is a punishment (Blanche shuts that talk down, talks about her own scare, and details her safe-sex policy).
Stream The Golden Girls "72 Hours" on Hulu
'Saturday Night Live,' "Betty White/Jay-Z" (2010)
What’s the only good thing that Facebook has ever done? A petition got Betty White to host Saturday Night Live back in 2010, with musical guest Jay-Z. White was definitely no stranger to live TV; she was on TV back in the ’50s when it was all live. This episode not only proved that White still had it even in her 80s! This momentous occasion was marked by the return of a bunch of SNL’s all-star women, including Ana Gasteyer, Molly Shannon, Rachel Dratch, Tina Fey, and Maya Rudolph. This episode really celebrates White’s legacy as a TV trailblazer.
Stream Saturday Night Live "Betty White/Jay-Z" on Hulu
'Community,' "Anthropology 101" (2010)
Betty White continued her 2010 winning streak with a guest spot on Community, playing anthropology professor June Bauer. White’s wit definitely hasn’t dulled with age, as she catches the Community cast by surprise with her character’s eccentric antics throughout the episode. And if you’ve been wanting to hear Betty White sing Toto’s “Africa,” then this episode is for you. It’s the Betty White/Childish Gambino crossover you forgot happened!
Stream Community "Anthropology 101" on Hulu