It's the end of an era. A culture-defining, couch-jumping, Matt Lauer–berating, Brooke Shields–bullying, publicist-sacking, psychiatry-denying, temporarily-career-enfeebling, tabloid-enriching, adorable-clonebaby-producing, Beckhams-befriending, hairy-fat-suit-wearing, Burj-Dubai-scaling, Def Leppard–singing era. The end of an era we all hoped would last a billion years, but which, in the end, spanned a mere five. But doesn't it seem like they've been together forever? You know what they say: Time flies when you're secretly recording your escape plans in a journal you hide inside a hollowed-out Build-A-Bear in the nursery.
Adding to the myriad professional burdens represented by her TV Land sitcom, her rocker-pratfall show on NBC, a still-bustling movie career, Facebook-mandated hosting gigs, the occasional Pound Puppies drop-in, filthy Nicki Minaj guest verses, and, we assume, arthritis-torturing 12-hour Shenzhen factory shifts slapping Gorilla Glass into iPads just to decompress on the weekends, someone has decided that Betty White should join Twitter. You know, great! Everyone is on Twitter. Hugh Hefner tweets his backgammon scores. Elizabeth Taylor, God rest her eternal soul, was on Twitter. [Aside to Twitter: Shouldn't someone delete that account? We fear it's haunted. It just DM'd us a link to an Instagram pic of a bottle of White Diamonds.]
Anyone who watched a sitcom in the '70s or '80s was conversant with the "precocious kid" archetype. From Arnold Drummond to Punky Brewster to Rudy Huxtable to Olivia whatever the last name was of that kid they got to replace Rudy when she wasn't so cute anymore, a family sitcom couldn't thrive without a sassy little brat with crack comic timing and wisdom beyond his or her years. In fact, comic timing was optional; the precocious kid could reliably get laughs just for delivering dialogue that was implausibly mature for his or her age.
Eventually, TV audiences got wise to this device (Two and a Half Men was probably the last show to deploy it successfully, and now that kid is like 40 anyway), but the hacky convention lives on with a slight modification: Now, instead of giving us gags from performers who are incongruously young, producers are trying to sell us comedy bits by performers who are incongruously old. And since Betty White has been the poster octogenarian for this trend at least since Lake Placid, she was the obvious choice to headline Betty White's Off Their Rockers, in which (according to the description for the series premiere) "[s]eniors target unsuspecting young people with pranks that include pouring a late spouse's ashes on a park bench and writing tickets for makeup violations."
Betty White has forgotten more about doing awesome stuff than most of us will ever learn. You could probably be like, "Hey, Betty, remember that time you serenaded Eisenhower, or that time you accidentally stepped on Patrick Duffy's foot, or that time you took a photo with a giant python around your neck?” and she'd be like, “Huh? What? Who cares about that bullshit?” and then she'd go off to learn how to juggle knives or something. On that note: This week Betty White did two more rad things.
Demi: "From the way Demi Moore was behaving on one January night, she may as well have been a college kid at a dive bar on spring break." The 49-year-old actress "looked out of her mind" partying with her 23-year-old daughter, Rumer. "She was dancing wildly, lifting up her shirt to show off her six-pack. Just desperate for attention. She was trying to seem sexy and cool." At an after-hours kickback in her Beverly Hills house, Moore smoked "an incense-like substance" (possibly the legal faux-marijuana Spice). "Everyone there thought she was going to die." She was treated at an ER. "Demi's life is in complete crisis. She has spiraled since her split from Ashton. She has no idea who she is or what her life should be." Her split from Kutcher "sent Moore's deep-rooted insecurity about aging into overdrive." "Once Hollywood's hottest and highest-paid actress," Demi viewed daughter Rumer "as her clubgoing wingwoman and an entrée into the young Hollywood scene." A friend of Rumer's says, "It's so weird." Demi has been "chasing" Zac Efron. She "tracked down the actor at a party" in Venice. "She just showed up, and everyone was pretty freaked out. They thought it was weird she would hang out with people half her age. She calls him and texts him a lot, but he's not interested at all. He thinks she's a creepy cougar." Oh no, not the C-words! "She seemed out of her mind at this party." At Beacher's Madhouse "a sloppy Moore danced on tables." A few nights later she chugged 10 Red Bulls. "She always wanted to seem young and fun to keep up with Ashton's friends. Her age made her feel insecure enough, but if she was sober as well, she felt like she was a killjoy." She "turned to bizarre beauty treatments, like using leeches." You mean like Jenna Maroney on last week's 30 Rock? "She would do anything to stay youthful."