Following Betty White’s death at age 99 on Friday, Dec. 31, 2021, the internet has been flooded with posts sharing love and adoration for the beloved actor.
Among those posts was a tweet which resurfaced a piece of classic television from nearly four decades ago. In 1983, Joan Rivers was filling in for Johnny Carson as a guest-host for “The Tonight Show” and had none other than White on as a guest. During a two minute exchange that’s been circulating on social media, the two effortlessly launch roasts at one another, each funnier than the next.
As soon as she sat down, White immediately began to poke fun at a recent magazine cover Rivers appeared on. The actor told the host, “You would think you were the only cover girl in town. Did you know that I’m a cover girl?”
“I’m surprised, but probably yes,” Rivers responded. Before she could even finish her sentence, White fished out a magazine cover from beside her, which showed her on the cover of a magazine next to a big dog, immediately leading into another joke from the “Golden Girls” star.
“And if you dare say, ‘Who’s that other b—h on the cover?’ I will never speak to you again for as long as I live,” White said before later clarifying, “I am the one in the pink jacket.”
Decades before the show debuted, Rivers embraced her inner “Fashion Police” and went into an insult about the monochromatic purple ensemble that White had chosen to wear that night. After tossing the magazine cover behind her, she told the actor, “I asked you to come on tonight and look glamorous and look what you showed up in.”
White responded, “I like to think understated is a lot classier than all this other stuff hanging out all over, well it’s just ridiculous. The little tassels on everything… can you get them all going in opposite directions?
“Now do you consider yourself–seriously–‘cause you’re on a cover…not a major publication, but nonetheless–“ Rivers said to change topics, before White interjected with, “Not a major publication?”
Rivers clarified, adding, “For your career, though, that’s a good start.”
One Twitter user shared the clip, where it has since gone viral.
“You don’t get banter like this on many talk shows anymore,” the original poster wrote.
“Joan and Betty just effortlessly throwing shade at each other is so wonderful,” another person commented.
Though the clip only captured two minutes of their conversation, the original interview last nearly ten minutes and it’s pure delight.
The two late comedians (Rivers died in September 2014 at age 81) were playful the entire conversation, cracking joke after joke, sometimes at the expense of one another to keep things entertaining. For example, right after discussing their time as magazine cover girls, they dove into a conversation about dating where Rivers told White, “Oh, I bet you’d be funny on a date if you ever had one.”
After, the pair discussed their dating lives and what they were looking for when it came to men, as well as a funny story about a lunch White had with Doris Day, her ever-lasting love for animals, and her 1983 book, “Betty White’s Pet-love: How Pets Take Care of Us.”
In the days since White’s death, she’s been honored across social media, as well as in real life with fan tributes decorating her Hollywood Walk of Fame star. On Saturday, January 1, “Saturday Night Live” also re-aired her episode from 2010 to honor her just weeks before she would have turned 100.
There was also another hilarious clip from the past going viral on social media over the weekend that included another one of White’s co-stars from “The Proposal.” When she received the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award back in 2010, Sandra Bullock presented the award to her former co-star. White shared her appreciation for the actor in a way only she could: with a brutal roast.