Why Jimmy Fallon and Keke Palmer Owe the Password Revival to Betty White

By Paige Strout Aug 03, 2022 7:32 PMTags

Betty White's legacy lives on.

Before she became a Golden Girls icon, the actress was a mainstay celebrity contestant on the classic game show Password, hosted by husband and host Allen Ludden. Now, the NBC revival—hosted by Keke Palmer and starring Jimmy Fallon—is remembering the Hollywood legend by dedicating the August 9 series premiere in her honor.

"If it wasn't for Allen Ludden and Betty White, this show wouldn't have been a hit," Fallon exclusively told E! News' Daily Pop on August 3. "Betty White was the secret sauce."

"She was just charming and funny and a little irreverent, but just perfectly, just on the edge, and just knew how to do it," the 47-year-old continued. "And she loved games. She would come on our show and play games with us all the time, and very competitive, very competitive."

Fallon even recalled the hilarious time he and White played a game of beer pong on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon in 2009, during which she attempted to drink from the beer pitcher rather than her cup.

Betty White's Life in Pictures

"I'm like, 'Don't!'" he shared. "'I can't get Betty White hammered on television!' But she knew what she was doing. She did it kind of winking."

Fallon is taking a break from hosting for his latest TV gig, instead handing the reigns over the Palmer. She told Daily Pop that the decision to emcee the game show was an easy one to make.

Getty Images/Todd Owyoung/NBC

"When I heard that I got the opportunity to host it—and of course, I was gonna be with Jimmy all the time—it was an immediate 'yes.'" the Nope star said. "Classic show, legendary talent here, so it was just a no-brainer."

The actress also teased that the new series "merged all the old renditions of Password together," adding, "We got a little bit of all of them that we like." The game show was revived on ABC from 1971 to 1975 after its original CBS run ended in 1967.

Check out the full interview above.

Password premieres August 9 at 10 p.m. on NBC.

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)