Mayim Bialik, Kristen Bell Reveal Comedy Idols (Video)
It was clear whose influence loomed largest during The Hollywood Reporter's comedy actress roundtable.
When asked who their big influences were, many of the actresses named Betty White -- who happened to be sitting among them.
Jessica Walter (Netflix’s Arrested Development) bowed down to White and exclaimed “Hello ... Betty!” when asked to name her comedy idol. The pair actually worked together in 1962 at the Northland Playhouse in Detroit for a production of Who Was That Lady.
White looked delighted when Walter reminded her of their past collaboration.
Mayim Bialik (CBS' The Big Bang Theory) named White, Lucille Ball and Carol Burnett as some of her comedy heroes.
“But also male actors like John Ritter,” Bialik said. “Carol really, really appealed to me because I was a character-y kind of kid, and she played different parts. Tracey Ullman, too, had a huge impact on me when I was a teenager.”
Kaitlin Olson of FX’s It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia agreed.
“Both of those and Gilda Radner. And not because Betty's here, but my husband and I still watch The Golden Girls when we want comfort,” Olson said.
Kristen Bell (Showtime’s House of Lies) said White was one of her heroes and admitted to being “very obsessed with Catherine O'Hara.”
"The Christopher Guest movies had such an effect on me when I was growing up. I saw This Is Spinal Tap, and my mind was blown,” Bell added. “And Waiting for Guffman is still, like, my favorite movie of all time.”
THR's comedy actress roundtable also featured Zosia Mamet (HBO's Girls) and was moderated by THR television editor Lacey Rose and senior editor Stacey Wilson.