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SNL’s Widette Family – It was a “crack-up!”

Entertainment | December 1, 2017

Saturday Night Live SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 9 -- Pictured: (l-r) Dan Akroyd as Bob Widette, John Belushi as Jeff Widette, and Jane Curtin as Betty Widette during the 'The Widettes' on December 16, 1978 -- Photo by: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

People quite often ask the question, “Does this (fill in the blank) make my butt look big?” Well, that is a loaded question that few feel comfortable answering; and for good reason. Many people, women especially, live in fear that they already know the answer to the question before it's even asked. Sadly, genetics play a sick and twisted role in an individual’s physical appearance…. Enter the Widette family!

The writers of the long running Saturday Night Live (SNL) show and the actors that portrayed the characters, have been delighting us for years with their over the top, sometimes politically incorrect skits. The Widettes were among many of the characters we laughed uncontrollably at. Like many of the SNL characters, they were everyday people with some sort of a silly twist. The Widettes, in particular, had the unfortunate condition of being bottom heavy, although from the waist up, they seem to be of average size.

Contrary to how others seemed to stare at them for their size, the Widettes couldn’t have been happier with themselves. A typical meal for the family consisted of macaroni and cheese with a side of home fries. If any of them had a hankering for a snack later, there was always leftover spaghetti or tater tots in the refrigerator for the taking; not to mention an endless supply of goodies always on display on the family’s living room coffee table.  

The skits usually revolved around some life issue one of the characters was having, and much like other families, there was sibling rivalry. No matter what the back story was, they could always be counted on to enjoy some type of food, and a lot of it... which went straight to their butts! Jeff Widette, the young son, would often come home and announce, “I'mmighty hungry!” Being a typical doting mother, Betty would say, “of course you are!” She would then proceed to get him a snack and they would marvel at the amount of food he could put away. Bob Widette, the father would remark, “I don’t know where he puts it!”  

While the Widettes were unusually shaped, they were perfectly comfortable in their own skin. They also had a small circle of friends come over from time to time that suffered the same condition. The skits always included the characters purposefully bending over in order to showcase their “best side.” Often, in the process, they would accidentally knock something over with their girth. One time in particular, Betty was out shopping and was forced to pay for something she had broken with her rear end but had no clue how it could have happened!

On another occasion, Jeff needed to excuse himself to go to the bathroom. He took his copy of “War & Peace” with him to keep busy while he was in there. If you know anything about that book, it is comparable to the size of Jeff’s rear end. When he emerged from doing his business, Jeff was trailing a long tail of toilet paper. Seemingly simple and stupid things like that often don’t have the same humorous qualities hearing them second hand, but trust me… it was a scream! You had to be there!

The core cast of SNL’s Widette family consisted of:

  • Betty Widette: Jane Curtin
  • Bob Widette: Dan Aykroyd
  • Jeff Widette: John Belushi
  • Tammy Widette: Gilda Radner

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Rebeka Knott

Writer

Rebeka grew up in the 1960’s & 1970’s and has always subscribed to the theory that a positive attitude will take you far! She is a wife and mother of 3 with a fun-loving spirit, believing that family and relationships are invaluable.