During the Emmys Monday night, Alec Baldwin and Kate McKinnon came on the Microsoft Theater stage to introduce Betty White, who they noted is old enough to have been around for the very first edition of the Emmys in 1949 — and added that she’s still bitter about all the Emmys she didn’t didn’t win out of the 24 she was nominated for over the decades.
The 96-year-old White then spryly came on stage and delivered a short and sweet speech in which she expressed her sincere appreciation for “SNL” boss Lorne Michaels. You can watch the speech in full above, and read the full text below.
“Thank you. I’m just going to quit while I’m an ahead. Oh, my goodness, goodness, goodness. This is very exciting. I thought the biggest, most exciting night I had ever had — I’m talking to Lorne Michaels now — was the night that he gave me the honor. But boy, you topped yourself tonight, Lorne.
“You think I’m going to miss a chance when I get it? Believe me, this goes back to — somebody said something the other day about first lady of television. And I took it as a big compliment. And then I heard her talking to her daughter a little later, she said, first lady, yes, she’s that old, she was the first one, way, way back.
“But little did I dream then that I would be here, and it’s incredible that I’m still in this business, that I’m still — and you are still putting up with me. [applause from the audience] No, I’m thanking you. It’s incredible that you can stay in a career this long and still have people put up with you. I wish they did that at home. I want to thank Lorne Michaels for doing not only this tonight, but all the wonderful things he’s done with me — no, for me. And all I can say is, it’s such a blessed business to be in, and how lucky can I be, and how much I say thank you to each and every one of you. Thank you so much.”