Betty White’s Best Game Show Appearances
Photo by Brian To/Getty Images for the Lifeline program.
The end Betty White is and always will be a pop culture legend. But before she was America’s Golden Girl, Betty was the first lady of game shows, leading the genre at a time when game shows were big business.
During her long and illustrious career, White has appeared on over 30 different game shows, often becoming a regular guest star on many of them. She even hosted a few and became the first woman to win a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Animation of a Game Show when she hosted Just men! in 1983.
If you want to look back at Betty White’s legendary career, you just have to include her legendary game show appearances. Here are 10 of the best.
10. The Odd Couple Game Password
A rare time Betty’s love of sitcoms and game shows collided, this 1972 episode of the classic sitcom The odd couple sees Oscar and Felix appear on the show Password. Naturally, they find themselves face to face with Betty, a regular guest on the real Password Pin up. Of course, Felix and Oscar struggle with the acting, resulting in some glorious reactions from Betty and some great one-liners.
9. password more perfection
Although Betty brought a lot of laughs on every show she appeared on, she was also an excellent gamer, guiding celebrities and everyday people alike to high scores and big prizes. Nowhere is this better seen than in this password more clip where Betty’s expert cunning leads to a big win for her teammate, showing that she was as smart as she was funny.
8. The antics of the fish
An often overlooked part of Betty’s comedy was her facial expressions. She was able to chuckle with a smirk or mime at the right time. This clip demonstrates that perfectly, as Betty’s reaction to her actor’s responses makes the trick infinitely funnier. His quip of “I can handle either the public or my friends. But I can’t handle you two” is a legendary and much-quoted line.
7. Betty White and Allen Ludden’s first show after the wedding
In 1963, Betty White married game show host Allen Ludden. The pair had fantastic chemistry, and nowhere is that more evident than in this episode of Password. Ludden Hosted Password from 1961 to 1980, and he and White met while filming the series. This episode was the first show recorded after White and Ludden’s honeymoon, and you can see the couple having a great time together as their charm shines through the screen.
6. Record Victory
Due to White’s long career, she has had many record-breaking moments. This includes this moment, when a lucky contestant set the record for the most money won on Matching game with a fabulous (if a little outdated today) price of $5,000. The clip also shows off one of Betty’s best qualities: her heart. You can tell that despite the fun of the laughs, she really wanted to see the contestants go home with good prizes, illustrating that she knew when to take the game seriously to ensure a big win.
5. Betty streaks
Whenever celebrities talk about Betty White, they always say she was a fantastic sport, ready to punchline any joke as long as it got a laugh. This was often shown during the long-running show Matching game, where she would often be ribbed by the other panelists. Here, Betty and the panel are asked to answer the question: “Every time I [Betty] streaking, Allen Ludden makes me wear his white. As the other contestants reveal their answers, Betty is all smiles and her comedic reactions to some of the suggestions make this a priceless moment.
4. Betty White defends Lucille Ball
Betty White was no stranger to the mayhem of game shows. In fact, many of his best moments come from times when the game went off the rails. This clip of great password sees Betty appear alongside the legendary Lucille Ball and Carol Channing. When Lucille and Carol struggle with a category, Betty’s partner, Dick Martin, buzzes in only to get a hilarious rib from Betty, showing that she always had a joke ready to go.
3. Tell the truth
Tell the truth was a popular game show that debuted in 1956. The premise is simple: a panel of celebrity guests is presented with a three-person line-up and must guess who is telling the truth by asking the guests various questions. Betty has appeared on this show several times during its run and each one is a delight. In fact, she was so good that she was brought back for reruns of the show in 1990 and 2016, proving that her talent didn’t fade with age. This 1961 episode shows why Betty has been a guest on so many game shows, as her laid-back charm makes an enjoyable format all the more fun. It’s also a great opportunity to see Betty banter with her contemporaries, including legends like Johnny Carson and Kitty Carlisle.
2. Betty and brownies
Betty has turned being a guest on a game show into an art form. His quick wit allowed him to inject humor into games while keeping them moving, and nowhere is this seen better than on The $25,000 pyramid. Take this clip, where Betty lands the perfect zinger midway through a rapid-fire round without missing a beat. The trick asks Betty to guess baked goods using her partner’s vague clues. When presented with the “brownie” prompt, the contestant suggests that it sometimes contains “marijuana”. Betty instantly responds correctly before adding a bemused “not at my house”, making the crowd laugh.
1. Betty White destroys a toaster
great password was a revival of a previous game show called Password. Hosted by Bert Convy, the game saw teams of celebrities try to solve various puzzles. During a trick called “Cashword”, the answer would come from an object called Magic Toaster. After getting the question wrong on the show’s final episode, Betty throws the prop onto the set as the audience roars with laughter. Host Bert Convy notes that the toaster didn’t break as well as it should have. He then returns the toaster to Betty, letting her toss it again. After that, Convy says, “Everyone in the world that’s been on this show wanted to do this,” while Betty comically slaps herself on the wrist.