By Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist Published May 13, 2010 at 11:00 AM
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Betty White's tour de force last weekend as the host of NBC's "Saturday Night Live" brought critical acclaim, strong ratings  and raises a legitimate question:

Who's next?

Facebook pages are already forming in some campaigns to get SNL to pick an unconventional host. It's not likely that route will work again.

But the business success of the White appearance makes it likely that Lorne Michaels is at least thinking about repeating the magic.

I have a handful of my own suggestions, classic TV comedy figures who I think should get a shot at letting a younger generation of viewers know who they are -- while bringing some older viewers to SNL.

1. Carol Burnett -- She hosted a very different comedy/variety show on CBS in the 1960s and '70s, but she paved the way for the funny women who were highlighted, along with White, on last week's SNL.

2. Mary Tyler Moore -- "The Dick Van Dyke Show" in the 1960s and "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" in the 1970s are among the top sitcoms of all time. And she kept Betty White working in the '70s.

3. Bob Newhart -- He deserves a shot just for spawning the "Hi, Bob" drinking game that grew out of reruns of his 1970s sitcom. You know, do a shot every time somebody says, "Hi, Bob."

4. Don Rickles -- He was the subject of a HBO film, "Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project," a couple years ago and his particular brand of insult comedy deserves exposure to another generation of TV viewers.

5. Carl Reiner -- The creative force behind "The Dick Van Dyke Show" is still a pretty funny guy.

There are many other possibilities, including Dick Van Dyke himself, or Bill Cosby. Carol Burnett raises the possibility of Tim Conway.

There are a lot of TV comedy veterans out there who can still be funny.  Who do you think deserves a shot at hosting SNL? 

On TV:  Door County's landmark White Gull Inn is a finalist in a "Good Morning America" breakfast competition for its cherry-stuffed French toast on Saturday morning's show, which airs at 6 a.m. on Channel 12. On-line voting will pick the winner.

  • Channel 4 is giving an hour of prime-time real estate to a Memorial Day airing of  "Flight of Honor: The Incredible Journey of 296 Wisconsin World War II Veterans." WTMJ-AM (620) talker Charlie Sykes hosts the May 31 program, along with Channel 4 anchors Mike Jacobs and Carole Meekins.
  • A Green Bay guy identified only as "Kirk," a 27-year-old sales consultant, is one of 25 guys vying for the had of "Bachelorette" Ali Fedotowsky. ABC's "Bachelorette" begins airing May 24 on Channel 12.
  • Channel 12 has signed a "multi-year" deal with ESPN to  continue to simulcast the sports channel's Green Bay Packers games. The arrangement dates back to 1992.
  • The latest buzz is that "Heroes" won't be on NBC's fall schedule when it's released next week. But it could be back as a TV movie. Nothing's official, however.
Alec follows Betty: Since we opened with "SNL" today, let's close on the same topic. Alec Baldwin has hosted the show 14 previous times. This weekend's show ties him with Steve Martin for the most hosts.

Here are the promos for this week's show:

Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist

Tim Cuprisin is the media columnist for He's been a journalist for 30 years, starting in 1979 as a police reporter at the old City News Bureau of Chicago, a legendary wire service that's the reputed source of the journalistic maxim "if your mother says she loves you, check it out." He spent a couple years in the mean streets of his native Chicago, and then moved on to the Green Bay Press-Gazette and USA Today, before coming to the Milwaukee Journal in 1986.

A general assignment reporter, Cuprisin traveled Eastern Europe on several projects, starting with a look at Poland after five years of martial law, and a tour of six countries in the region after the Berlin Wall opened and Communism fell. He spent six weeks traversing the lands of the former Yugoslavia in 1994, linking Milwaukee Serbs, Croats and Bosnians with their war-torn homeland.

In the fall of 1994, a lifetime of serious television viewing earned him a daily column in the Milwaukee Journal (and, later the Journal Sentinel) focusing on TV and radio. For 15 years, he has chronicled the changes rocking broadcasting, both nationally and in Milwaukee, an effort he continues at

When he's not watching TV, Cuprisin enjoys tending to his vegetable garden in the backyard of his home in Whitefish Bay, cooking and traveling.