Betty White’s Transcendent Debut as the Happy Homemaker

We all know Betty White is awesome — it’s possible that by now the U.S. citizenship process includes swearing an oath to our patron saint of graceful aging. But it’s worth looking back at the episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show in which she first appears as the delightfully bitchy Sue Ann Nivens, the “Happy Homemaker” of WJM. She’s manic, she’s passive aggressive, she’s delusional, and she’s just plain “bananas,” as Phyllis (Cloris Leachman) aptly puts it. The climactic showdown between Betty and Cloris is a transcendent clash of comedy titans. Betty deserved an Emmy just for her improvised knee-kick to the open oven door.

Seriously, do yourself a favor and indulge:

For more Mary Tyler Moore Show, see my book blog here.

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